Barberton, Copley, Norton and Wadsworth carpentry students build houses

Late last month, carpentry students from Wadsworth, Barberton, Norton and Copley high schools were hard at work, putting the finishing touches on an energy-efficient home on Stratford Avenue in Wadsworth.

Seniors in the schools’ Four Cities Compact program learn all aspects of home construction, from estimating jobs, learning to read blueprints, laying a foundation, framing – basically, what it takes to build a home from the ground to the roof. Much of it they do themselves, with some jobs like wiring subcontracted to area businesses.

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Building a home is an annual project of the carpentry program, which is growing in popularity, said Roger Wright, Director of the Four Cities Compact. Students, driven by interest in a hands-on career that pays increasingly well, even had to compete for slots.

Wadsworth student Kendall Hahn said the carpentry program helped her develop a fuller understanding of what would be needed in her career as an architect.

“This year, we had to make a selection [process], “He said April 29 in an on-site interview at the Stratford Avenue home. “We had 40 kids apply for … 25 spots.”

Career programs are getting another look from students

In Ohio, more than 250,000 students have participated in career and technical education programs in the 2019-2020 school year, with courses spanning careers in carpentry to animal care, health and nursing, automotive technologies, cosmetology, masonry, machining and information technology.

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