AUGUST 28, 2021
Building Construction Technology (BCT) students from the Clarksville campus of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) – Dickson have been on the job the last several weeks working on the current Habitat for Humanity house located at 910 Richardson Street.
Joel Reeder, owner of Red River Home Improvement, serves on the advisory committee for the college’s BCT program and invited the students to participate in the build. Reeder hired the first two BCT graduates to come out of the program at TCAT and says he knows the value of the hands-on experience the students are getting, noting that he got his first job from connections he made building a Habitat house during his college years.
During this build project, students have trained with codes officials, plumbers, electricians, and other professionals, networking with many who can provide co-op and job opportunities in the future and getting a better idea of how they might want to specialize in the industry.
Not only are students gaining experience building a home from the ground up, but they are also making a huge contribution serving the community. With so many students getting their hands dirty on the job, Reeder said he hopes the house will be finished by the end of September. “It’s honestly been a phenomenal partnership,” he added.
Living Hope Baptist Church is the sponsor of this Habitat house, and the church raised more than $60,000 to purchase materials, according to Reeder. Several area businesses provided substantial discounts on materials for the house, and numerous volunteers from various trades have donated time, labor, finished product and expertise.
“We are all so thankful to Living Hope Baptist Church, Joel Reeder, and Habitat for Humanity for allowing us to be a part of this build,” said program instructor Tom Bleyle. “The class is learning so much and enjoying the process.”
Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries.
TCAT Dickson serves as the state provider of workforce development and hands-on technical training in Dickson and the surrounding counties. For more information, please visit www.tcatdickson.edu.