Students in the Construction program at Fairfield Career Center proudly pose on the floorboards of their first Habitat for Humanity home.
December 1, 2022 | EFCTS
Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio is launching a new partnership with Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools that will provide homes for families in need while providing valuable, unique educational opportunities for students in its Construction program.
As part of the partnership, students will build a complete home at Fairfield Career Center utilizing skills they learn in the classroom. Once the home is almost complete, Habitat then will transport the home to its permanent location and complete the home for occupancy. The permanent location for the first home will be in Lancaster.
“We are very excited to partner with Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools to provide vocational training to high school students in Fairfield County while building homes for families in need,” says Ken Oehlers, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio. “This partnership adds to our three other career center partnerships throughout Southeast Ohio and will allow us to provide vocational training opportunities for over 500 students this year”.
The process to launch the program began two years ago with a discussion between Habitat and the program instructors and administration from Eastland-Fairfield. “It was very obvious that this was going to be a great partnership once we were able to get it launched,” says Oehlers. After initial talks, the partnership was proposed to the superintendent and Board, who approved the new partnership.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity,” said Eastland-Fairfield Superintendent/CEO Dr. Kimberly Pietsch Miller. “Providing true work-based learning experiences for our students is foundational to career-technical education. More importantly, our students are serving others in our communities along the way.”
This new partnership would not be possible without the help of several funders within the community. Both The Fairfield County Foundation and The Fairfield County Land Bank have provided significant funding for the first build and the land bank is planning on providing a lot for the new house. “The Land Bank is excited about this new program. We have developed an excellent working relationship with Habitat for Humanity over the years and expect to continue that relationship as we both move forward with our complementary missions. Habitat does excellent work and we are proud to play a role in their continued success in Fairfield County.” said Executive Director of Fairfield County Land Bank Michael Kaper. In addition, the City of Lancaster is providing funding for the home through its CDBG program and South Central Power through its foundation.
Over the past few weeks, students from the Welding program at Eastland Career Center and students from the Construction program at Fairfield Career Center have worked together to install a temporary foundation that the house will sit on while under construction. Soon, the house will start to take shape and will soon be visible from Columbus-Lancaster Rd. when driving past Fairfield Career Center. While the first home will be located in Lancaster, Habitat will be seeking out lots in other communities within Fairfield County for houses being built in the following years.
With the addition of this career center partnership, Habitat will be building at least two homes per year in Fairfield County over the next few years. In 2023, Habitat for Humanity will finish this career center home and finish another home that will begin this upcoming spring in Pleasantville.
Habitat has a “hand up, not a hand out” model; homes are built in partnership with families who have a need for housing. Families purchase their homes and pay a zero-interest mortgage back to Habitat. Habitat then uses those mortgage payments to build and repair more homes in Fairfield County.
About Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio
Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio is an independently chartered affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) the largest nonprofit home builder worldwide. Since 1990, Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio has empowered 141 families to achieve their dreams of homeownership and break the cycle of poverty. Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio also works to remove substandard houses from communities. In this way, we can transform entire neighborhoods, one block at a time. Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio is dedicated to using local materials and contractors in the construction of each home. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, visit us online at habitatsteo.org
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About Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools
Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools is the seventh-largest career and technical education district, geographically, in the State of Ohio. We serve more than 5,000 students in 16 school districts throughout Franklin, Fairfield, and Pickaway counties. Eastland-Fairfield provides more than 35 programs to over 1,600 high school and adult students. The district has two main campuses — Eastland Career Center in Groveport and Fairfield Career Center in Carroll, with satellite locations at four of our associate high schools: Gahanna Lincoln, Groveport Madison, New Albany, and Pickerington North.
Founded in 1969, Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools’ mission is to engage, enrich, and equip students every day in every experience. We prepare students to pursue their life’s next E: Employment, Enlistment, Entrepreneurship, and/or additional Education. Visit us online at www.eastlandfairfield.com
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