Two students earn honors and Home Builders Institute certification and two complete OSHA 10-hour construction course in work training and school partnership

Learning valuable skills, developing mental toughness and gaining certifications that can put them on a career path, three students from MTCS High School in south Minneapolis completed the first year of the Tree Trust YouthBuild program, which involved residential construction work in north Minneapolis.

“Each student who is here was invited because of teamwork, effort, attitude and motivation,” said Tree Trust YouthBuild Program Manager Maja Numainville, at a special ceremony in Golden Valley.  Year round hard work and persistence were required to remain in the carpentry program, she explained.

MTCS High School seniors Zyshawn Moore and Eddie Rodriguez and junior Alex Sanchez were recognized.  Rodriguez and Sanchez reached the honors level, and earned Home Builders Institute (HBI) certifications.  Moore’s HBI certification awaited a signature.

Additional credit arrived in the form of a 10-hour construction course through the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which was completed by Moore and Rodriguez.  The two-year, federally funded Tree Trust YouthBuild program involves skills training and school work, as well as job preparation and assistance.

“I’m really proud of the job they’ve done.  The work reports have been excellent and at least two of the three will end up with careers in the construction trades,” said Randy Hammond, work coordinator and teacher at MTCS High School in south Minneapolis. The students alternated weeks in school and on job sites, but still completed the same amount of schoolwork that other students do, he explained.  They can gain up to 300 hours of work experience.

Students work under master craftsmen, learning by doing, said Hammond. Partnering with Homeworks Construction, the group of 17 young people from six schools rehabilitated nine Minneapolis homes and built a garage from the ground up.

Job preparation also includes help with mock interviews, resume writing, business tours, volunteer work and job searches.  The second year of the Tree Trust YouthBuild program provides an open door for young people to assist them with finding stability, which typically involves gaining employment.

MTCS High School is a part of Minnesota Transitions Charter School, a Minneapolis-based district of seven schools that offer instruction for all grade levels, including multiple options for online education. MTCS has an enrollment of about 3,000 students and strives to empower students and ensure that they acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to embark on their career paths to the future.