This is a paid piece from Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls.

Simplified: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls is helping foster the next generation of builders through partnerships that help both high school and college students learn about every phase of constructing a home.

Why it matters

  • Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Sioux Falls' Career and Technical Education Academy for more than a decade, and in recent years that partnership has expanded to giving students a chance to fully build a home.
  • This year, construction is underway on the 13th home built through this partnership. Habitat provides the raw materials, and then students in the CTE Academy's carpentry classes work to put the homes together.
  • Students can learn even more about the construction process after high school via a partnership between Habitat and Southeast Technical College – which has resulted in three homes constructed. Students are getting tangible, real-world experience in the skills they can take with them to a career in construction.
"It's no secret that building a home is expensive right now, and a big part of that is we don't have the skilled labor," Habitat's Executive Director Rocky Welker said. "The more students that we have interested in these trades – and then having experience coming out of school – the better we're going to be as a community."

Tell me more about what students are learning

Jackson Gardner, an 18-year-old Sioux Falls senior, is in his second year of taking the carpentry class at CTE Academy, and he said the class has helped him realize it's the type of work he wants to do in his future career.

  • He's learning everything from framing to finishing a home, and having the hands-on experience has been invaluable.
"There are so many things you can't learn in a textbook," Gardner said.

His classmate Brayden Hamberger, also an 18-year-old senior, said even though he's not sure construction is his career path, he's grateful to be learning skills that'll help with everyday life.

Both students said they feel compelled to work extra hard to ensure the homes are well-constructed because they know they're going to be housing a family in need.

"You pay attention to every little detail because you want to do it (well) for them," Gardner said.

How can I support this work?

Habitat for Humanity is launching its end-of-the-year giving campaign this week with a theme of "Revitalize."