This is the second year that Home Depot and HBI have partnered to provide grants for CTE programs across the United States. Last year due to COVID, it was a smaller roll-out, but this year the grants are providing around $500,000.
Currently through the CTE program at FHS roughly 70 students are enrolled in the Construction Technology courses. These students begin with the entry-level course, Principles of Manufacturing. They then advance to Construction Technology I, Construction Technology II, and eventually to the senior-level practicum course that allows students to gain real-world knowledge by working in the community.
Through professional connections and his link to the construction industry, FHS Construction Technology teacher Tracey Pope has culminated a top-notch program through Frenship CTE.
“HBI is who hires our kids after graduation,” Pope said. “Last year when our kids were done, some were going to college and got jobs through this program that have helped many of them pay for college. They get that certificate through this program, show that certificate to potential employers and they basically have the job.”
Pope explained that even though last year was the first year HBI certifications were offered, he had several students test and receive their certification.
“Last year we had 35 students receive the certification through HBI and this year I have 25 students testing,” Pope said.
Pope said the donation will help all of the Construction Technology courses have plenty of resources to learn with and to better prepare students for their upper-level courses later on.
“Any time you get a donation, it’s a plus,” Pope said. “We didn’t have enough money in our budget to get the hand tools we need for our Principles of Manufacturing class, so this really helps his program a lot. It’s a little bit of everything like, torpedo levels, framing squares, hammers, which gives him an opportunity to show the kids what these tools are so by the time they get to my classes they know how to use them.”
Amy Baker, CTE Coordinator at Frenship, said community partnerships, like the one with Frenship and HBI, are what help drive each CTE class.
“Community partnerships have completely elevated our level of student training and given the students the ability to connect what they are learning in the classroom to what their next steps will be,” Baker said. “We couldn’t do it without community partners. Small partners, big partners, we are grateful for the ones that have a vested interest in public education.”