Building Futures Initiative Program
Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity (FVHH) has a mission to build housing for working low-income families. FVHH was founded in 1989 to transform families’ lives through affordable home-ownership. That footprint has expanded while we stay true to our mission by creating sustainable models that improve our community through our programs that benefit our communities:
- Demolition of severely blighted unsafe property
- Complete extensive rehabilitation of vacant foreclosed homes
- Build new tax paying homes on vacant land
- Train university interns in the work of non-profits
- Work with individuals for court mandated community service hours
- Get students involved in our mission through FVHH Campus Chapters
- Help students complete graduation required community service hours
- Bring significant money through grants to improve the Aurora area
- Building Futures Initiative: This program to educate students in construction skills
In 2016, 35% of the students at East Aurora High School did not graduate. Where will they work? If they find employment, it is usually for minimum wage. This project is about helping students to stay in school and to begin a career path in construction. Without a decent job, where will they live? Is it government subsidized housing, or becoming homeless or living with their parents? If they are married or have children, the problem of finding housing they can afford becomes even more impossible. There needs to be a better alternative for non-college bound students and those considering dropping out of high school that will benefit the Aurora area. The answer lies in providing educational alternatives that can lead to a career path in construction skills. According to a Reuters article on September 6, 2016, titled “Construction worker shortage weighs on hot U.S. housing market, there is currently a shortage of these skilled workers and this creates an outstanding opportunity for these students to have a career with good wages and is able to support a family and to aspire for home-ownership. Currently there is a Building Trades class at East Aurora High School but these students and future students need to learn a variety of construction skills on the build sites with Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity. With funding, we can teach employable skills to prepare the students for good paying jobs instead of dropping out of school and being on welfare. Using data from PayScale.com, these are the annual salaries and their averages for some of the construction professions.
Career Average Income Range of Income
- Design Architect $59,000 $41,000 - $99,000
- Construction Foreman $52,000 $34,000 - $79,000
- Land Surveyor $52,000 $30,000 - $52,000
- Electrician Journeyman $50,000 $35,000 - $78,000
- Plumbing Journeyman $49,000 $33,000 - $73,000
- Sheet Metal Worker $47,000 $26,000 - $84,000
- Excavator Operator $47,000 $31,000 - $77,000
- Cement Mason $43,000 $43,000 - $76,000
- Finish Carpenter $43,000 $43,000 - $76,000
- Ceramic Tile Installer $42,000 $42,000 - $83,000
- Drywall Installers $38,000 $38,000 - $70,000
- HVAC $37,000 $25,000 - $57,000
- Roofer $35,000 $35,000 - $61,000
- Painter $34,000 $22,000 - $55,000
- Construction Worker $32,000 $32,000 - $54,000
As students work around the build site, signs will be displayed showing these salaries to motivate students to continue to develop their skills for employment. There are also field trips that will visit four apprentice schools.
The purpose of this project is two-fold. First is to have high school students learn building trade skills on the construction sites with FVHH to keep them in school to graduation and to begin a career path for employable skills when they graduate. Second is to provide affordable housing to working low-income families. After graduation, students can further their skill development through Junior College courses or look at apprentice programs to prepare for their career. This project is crucial to helping students find their job interests to determine what they will do to support their own family after graduation and to aspire to home ownership.
Through this Building Futures Initiative we can change the circumstances for each student that participates during the school year and/or summer. While accomplishing the mission of Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity, we will continue to expand our footprint in our community through hands-on education for a high risk population. We know this program will continue to have a positive impact on our neighborhoods where we live and work. We cannot do this alone. We want to partner with others that believe in our solution to this problem.
You can make a secure online gift to support all of our projects at Fox Valley Habitat. DONATE NOW!