• Future tradespeople get real-world experience through the PCTA Home Build project


    January 17, 2019--Today, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and City Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris joined students from Providence Career and Technical Academy for a beam-signing ceremony of a student-built, two-story house, currently under construction on Blackstone Street in Ward 11 of the city.


    “This project presents our students with an invaluable opportunity to gain real-world experience in the building trades,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “In addition to putting residential constructions techniques into practice, they are also learning important life skills, like team work and time management.”


    When the PCTA Home Build Program is completed in June, nearly 150 career and technical students will have played a role in its planning and construction, including juniors and seniors from PCTA’s carpentry, general construction, electrical, HVAC & plumbing and pre-engineering programs. The project also offers job shadowing and exploration experiences for more than 100 PCTA freshmen and sophomores. Students from the school’s graphic communications program will help design real estate marketing materials for the house.


    Funding and support come from the Governor’s Workforce Board, Providence Public Schools and the City of Providence’s Office of Economic Opportunity. Proceeds from the house’s sale will finance future home-building projects for PCTA students.


    “This work will earn the students a pathway endorsement from the Rhode Island Department of Education,” said Superintendent Christopher Maher, who added, “Providence Public Schools are committed to creating more career pathways with built-in work experience, just like you are seeing in action today.”


    The City’s Director of Economic Opportunity Brian Hull said, “Workforce development is economic development. The PCTA Home Build Program is giving hands-on construction experience to high school youth that will prepare them for future academic and career success and put them on a pathway to economic prosperity.”


    On site construction is overseen by Casa Buena Builders. The 770-square-foot, two-bedroom house is sized for energy efficiency. Additionally, the contractor is working with CLEAResults environmental consultants to achieve energy efficiency standards in air filtration and insulation. Materials such as wood floors, clapboard and mahogany trim were chosen for durability and aesthetics.


    Currently, the foundation has been poured, and carpentry students are working on sills and floor systems. When the exterior and bearing walls are in place, students will tackle the jobs of roofing, interior partitions and window placement. Once the exterior is completed, electrical, plumbing and HVAC students will begin work on site. Meanwhile, students will be building cabinets at the school shop, to be installed in the spring. Interior walls, plastering and trim are scheduled for late spring.


    One of 12 public high schools and district charter high schools in Providence, Providence Career and Technical Academy offers career and technical education through the following programs: Automotive Technology, Carpentry, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Electrical Technology, General Construction, Maritime Pipefitting, Maritime Sheet Metal, Maritime Welding, Media Arts, Pastry Arts, Pre-Engineering and P-TECH Information Technology. Career and technical education programs in Providence are also available at Central High School, Hope High School, Mount Pleasant High School and Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex.

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