Editorial Provided by Erica Johnson, Heritage Homes Project Assistant
This two-week long program allows students, ages 15 and older, to explore the world of construction through activities and classroom sessions hosted by Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead, MN.
During the program students are introduced to a variety of specialty occupations within the construction industry, working side-by-side with career professionals to experience both classroom and hands-on learning in how residential and commercial buildings are built, as well as potentially earning college credits.
The skill sets introduced within the program include; forming and pouring concrete, framing, siding and roofing, installation of electrical and plumbing, installation of doors and windows, hanging and finishing drywall, surveying and site layout, and operating small construction equipment. This year, students will have the opportunity to construct a backstage building at the Red River Valley Fairground’s grandstand.
We, Heritage Homes, are a custom home builder and have built over 1,000 homes in our Fargo-Moorhead area. Since our founding in 1995, we now have 31 employees. We base our success on the homebuyer experience through our journey and providing the most livable home for your money. Our mission is to positively impact the lives of others by delivering a product that families will enjoy for many years.
Heritage Homes not only helps sponsor the Herdina Academy, but we also provide several employee volunteers to serve as teachers for the students during the program.
Curt Kellen is one of our Construction Superintendents for Heritage Homes and has volunteered for the past four years. We asked Curt a few questions about his experiences with the students and here is what he had to say.
What kinds of projects or activities do you enjoy teaching the students?
“I work with the students on framing practices…the first year we built garden sheds. The last two years, we have built garages. I am usually the first to show the students how to build walls.”
Are there any particular things the students are excited to learn?
“The students are usually excited to finally get to use tools when I get them. They have spent a few days in the classroom, and are eager to build something.”
Why did you want to participate as a mentor/teacher to students, and what has been most rewarding for you in that role?
“It is good to give back to the community and hopefully get these students interested in pursuing a career in the trades. Construction is in dire need of more people willing to work “
Dylan Walton is one of our Home Designers for Heritage Homes. He has helped volunteer the past three years showing students the design aspect that goes into the construction of a home. Here are a few things Dylan had to share about his experience.
What do you teach the students?
“Each year we’ve presented on the importance of drawing accurate plans in order to have a smooth and successful construction process. We also discuss the reward that comes from the design process by meeting with clients to help take their ideas and put that to paper, which then ultimately gets transformed into their home.”
Are there any particular things they’re excited to learn?
“They are always surprised when we talk about hand drawing details. And then they love the 3D portion and how as I draw in 2D it gets transferred to a 3D model.”
This year’s Herdina Academy takes place from June 4 through June 15.
June 14 from 11a.m. to 1p.m. there will be a Contractor Lunch at M State – Moorhead East Commons Area. This lunch helps provide the students with an opportunity to practice their interviewing skills with the Home Builders Association volunteers. Students will rotate through the interviews receiving two minutes each. Even if an associate member is not hiring summer help, it’s still an opportunity for our industry professionals to interact with the upcoming workforce! For more information contact Tahra Doll, Office Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Graduation Day for the students is June 15 from 3-4p.m. at M State-Moorhead East Commons Area. Please R.S.V.P. to Summer Hammond, Education and Development Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to attend the graduation event.
For more information or to view photos of this year’s Herdina Academy visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TradesAcademy/.