School Bulletin: Building a local workforce

School Bulletin: Building a local workforce

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- High school seniors from the New Berlin School District are helping to make a house in Menomonee Falls a home, and they've starting from the ground up this semester. It's through a partnership, which started about 10 years ago, between local schools and Tim O'Brien Homes.

"We're building the workforce in our area," Jeff Martin, a technology education instructor at New Berlin School District, says. 

The students start working as early as 7 a.m., and then go back to school for class at 10. But while the students are at the build site, they're learning from the subcontractors. Martin says the students get exposed to the many different trades it takes to build a house.

"They did all the rough framing," Martin says. "They'll do everything -- the electrical and siding. So every step of the house, from start to finish, the kids are involved with."

This year, the students are also seeing the realities of supply shortages caused by the pandemic. Martin says windows and doors were on back order earlier in the semester, but the Tim O'Brien team worked hard during the summer to have everything ready for the students' first week of school.

But supply shortages aren't the only thing delaying construction across the United States.

"There's a huge trade shortage right now," Jordan Flash, a building professional with Tim O'Brien Homes, says. "There's a lot of kids going to college, and we want to show them that right after high school, you could actually leave and go right into the field with a high-paying job."

A job is exactly what Sam Susek, a senior at New Berlin West High School, is after.

"Getting to go build a house during school is pretty awesome," Susek says. "I plan to go straight to work after I graduate so this is helping me figure out what I wanna do exactly."

Susek says he grateful for the experience with Tim O'Brien homes and adds that he'll pursue a career in heating and cooling after graduation.

If you know of a remarkable student, teacher or school making a difference in our community -- contact CBS 58 News to be part of the next School Bulletin.

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