July 4, 2022

Building Trades at the HACTC by the Level One Building Trades Class

Student in the Level One Building Trades ClassIn the Level One Building Trades program at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC) in White River Junction, Vermont, we all come from different high schools, and have different backgrounds, but we all work together like in the real world. It’s worth the long bus rides for some of us to get here. We learn from each other through teamwork. We grow together with each other’s different strengths. We are like a family here.

Building Trades means a lot to all of us. This class is like no other: it’s unique and so interesting, and we want to be here every day. What we learn in the classroom we go out and put into practice at the house site. We build a new 2000+ square foot house. It’s an amazing opportunity for us all. There is never a dull moment! We work no matter the weather. The students are great and the teachers are great. We’re always working with our hands, and we’re always busy.

Building Trades is a “haven for catching opportunities”, finding what you’re good at and where your interests are. The trades are a real good place to be right now. Construction companies are offering high wages, good benefits and training. Some past students are now working with the Vermont Carpenters Union as well. We all hope to gain experience and skill, to lead us to what we are meant to be. 

The mission statement for HACTC is Respect. Engage. Learn. Work. Serve. Grow. and that is something that happens in this school and program every day.

Level One Building Trades ClassRespect for safety is a big part of Building Trades. Wearing hard hats and safety glasses with a mask can be tough. We have learned to deal with it, as is the way of the world right now. Safety is the first concern here, to work with any tool or piece of equipment, students must take and score 100 on a safety test.

So far this year we have worked on blueprint reading, site work including understanding grades and drainage, framing the house, roofing, roof layout, wall layout, under slab plumbing, job safety and electrical service installation. In the future we will be working on electrical work, plumbing work, insulation, drywall installation, interior finish, cabinet installation, flooring installation, painting and landscaping.