GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Students from Franklin County Tech reach a meaningful milestone raising and setting the first wall of their ongoing home construction project.

It’s part of a unique program, setting students up for a lifetime of success. The Franklin County Tech construction cluster was hard at work Tuesday combining the skills of their carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and landscaping programs to build a home in their community that will stand for generations.

Each program gives students the skills and credits they need to get to work and get their trade licenses faster.

“Right now these kids are starting $25 an hour plus with benefits without any school loans,” said Kenneth Vautrin, Senior Outside Program Carpentry Teacher. “This is much more than just hands-on education for these students. At the end of the process, a building inspector will come through and check the work of the 80 or so students that worked on this project. Then, it goes up for sale.”

“My parents have friends who are electricians and they make good money they have a good life. I just figured I liked the challenge and stuff so I tried it out and loved it. It’s definitely really cool. Especially when they tell you what you did wrong so you can learn and know how to fix it next time,” said Brady Booska a Junior.

In the end, the house will be sold to a family at a great price. The program is in partnership with Greenfield Savings Bank which extended a credit line for the first project. Each time a completed home is sold, they use the money to pay off part of that mortgage, purchase the next lot, and buy the materials for the next build.

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Duncan MacLean is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2019. Follow Duncan on X @DMacLeanWWLP and view his bio to see more of his work.