Building their future

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:45

Joint effort helps students earn experience and school save dollars SUSSEX COUNTY - Students from Sussex County Technical School's building trades shop did a little trading of their own last week in Sparta: They provided free labor to Station Park and the township in return gave them on-the-job experience. Eleven building trades students showed up for work at the township's new maintenance building addition on Monday morning and spent two days framing out the walls and putting in insulation. Students from the school's electrical shop will wire the building and then building trades students will return to put up plywood walls and paint the entire building. The swap is saving the township between $10,000 and $12,000 said Jim Carmeci, building maintenance mechanic for Sparta Township, who was supervising the students. "I was amazed," Carmeci said. "They're doing a bang-up job. I'm really pleased with the way the kids are working." Carmeci estimated that the work the students are doing would have required between 15 and 20 man-days of work. The new construction is a 32-by-64-foot addition to the building where equipment is stored at the park. The job is a perfect match for the building trades students, because it's the kind of work for which they're training, said Ed Paiva, their instructor. "This is a great project for them," Paiva said. Building trades is a "broad stroke" in the construction field, he added. Students learn some masonry, some electrical work, carpentry, and some plumbing, but the emphasis is building with wood. The Station Park project, which was set up by Sussex Tech's Co-op and Apprenticeship Coordinator Lisa Krauss, gives them real-life experience on the job, Paiva said. "They have the satisfaction of having a job completed," he said. "Here, you're building something and you leave it here, completed."