FVCC Building Trades Program Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Build Columbia Falls Home

The building trades program at Flathead Valley Community College is proud to announce a new partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley.  This fall, students in the program will assist with the construction of a town home at the Habitat for Humanity build site in Columbia Falls.

In its 18th year at FVCC, the building trades program is offered as a one-year Certificate of Applied Science or two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program designed to prepare students for entry-level positions within the building trades field.  For the past few years, students in the program have focused on producing and selling student built homes.  Program coordinator Greg Waldrop said he is pleased that this change will offer students an opportunity to interact with volunteers from the local and national level of Habitat for Humanity.

“We are excited about this collaboration,” said Waldrop.  “The students will be involved with their local community, homeowners and volunteers on a project that will bring them confidence, respect and skills in the construction industry.”

Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes, by advocating for fair and just housing policies and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.  Executive Director Christine Morris said the partnership with the college will help the organization fulfill its mission.

“We rely on the support of the community to build affordable homes.  What keeps them affordable is volunteer labor,” said Morris.  “The partnership with FVCC will allow us to build another home this year, and that’s a huge contribution to our community.”

Students enrolled in the program will be involved in all areas of residential construction while being instructed by qualified personnel and interacting with the eventual homeowners.  Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley builds all Habitat homes to the highest North West Energy Star Certification standards, providing FVCC students with the opportunity to learn the latest technology in building energy efficient homes.

High school students also may enroll in building trades courses for college credit through the Running Start program.  Running Start offers eligible high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to get an affordable start on their education by earning college credits while still in high school.  The first six Running Start credits are offered at no cost for in-district students, and subsequent courses are offered at a significantly reduced cost.

Fall courses start August 26, and students are encourages to apply early.  For more information about the application process, call 756-3846 or 756-3942, or visit www.fvcc.edu.  For more information about the building trades program, contact FVCC Career and Technical Education Director Pete Wade at 756-3968 or call Waldrop at 249-6584.

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