Home Build

Andre Ayala, formerly of Central High School, and Cheyenne Estes, formerly of Savannah High School, are working on a new Habitat for Humanity home with St. Joseph Youth Alliance’s Youth Build.

Life is not a cakewalk for anyone, but it is considerably harder for those without a high school diploma.

Youth Build is a St. Joseph Youth Alliance program that targets young adults who have not completed high school.

The program instructor, George Hoeffner, taught carpentry for 26 years and has more than 40 years of direct experience.

He came out of retirement to be a part of Youth Build, which pays its participants minimum wage and gives them 10 hours of OSHA certification, among other things.

“They’re going to acquire work skills, they’re going to get a carpentry certification, and then also earn their GED,” Hoeffner said. “This is our first cohort to go through.”

He was teaching the basics to four individuals who were going through the program Monday morning at a partially constructed Habitat for Humanity home near Carden Park Elementary School.

“What is nice about with working with Habitat is we have all these projects that now we can go through and attain all of the skills that the students need,” Hoeffner said. “Everything is strictly competency based, to make sure that we can get them through in a timely manner.”

Gabe Parker was a student at Savannah High School, and although he said he’s not certain he wants to pursue a career in construction, he is glad it’s something he can fall back on if need be.

“I already know a lot of skills with this — my dad and grandpa taught me, but yeah, pretty much every day is something new that I learned,” Parker said.

Youth Build will finish in either November or December.

Ryan Hennessy can be reached

at ryan.hennessy@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowHennessy.