Each year Moores’ class builds a new home in the area. The houses the Woodbine High School class builds are sold almost at cost, providing affordable housing that attracts new families to the community. “There are no new developments in our small town, so we’re finding old homes that need to be torn down and putting up new ones,” says Moores. “The program has been an amazing opportunity to improve the housing stock in town and give the local trades some work.”
The class also works on other community projects, which last year included constructing a local food pantry. “Our program has rekindled this enormous sense of community pride that began when we rebuilt our main street, which was named a Great American Main Street by Main Street America™ in 2014,” says Moores.
Building A Work Ethic
Moores’ class provides students with hands-on knowledge about the building trades. “The kids get to work on a home every day,” explains Moores. “They also get to observe the contractors we bring in to help keep the projects on schedule. I want them to experience a bit of each trade — whether it’s plumbing, electrical, framing, or trim carpentry — and determine if it’s something they might want to pursue. There’s a huge demand for skilled trades in this country, so it’s a great opportunity for them to learn about rewarding jobs that pay well.”
What I want them to take away from this program more than anything is a strong work ethic. That’s what every employer is looking for. And it’s what will really present the greatest opportunities for these students down the road.”
Moores tells his students to treat the class like a job, and he grades based on participation. “I tell them I am their boss. They need to show up on time and be tuned in and ready to work. Otherwise, they won’t earn a good grade. In the real world, they would not get paid.”
Cool Tool For School
After taking delivery of a new 333G Compact Track Loader last October, Moores took the machine around to the various projects the class is working on. His first stop was the house the class built last year, where he used the 333G to grade the yard in preparation for seeding.
“It’s going to be a great machine. I really wanted something with a lot of power and lift capacity, so we can do our own grading and excavating, and move large amounts of material.”
Moores also took the machine to a few of the new projects the class started this year, including a house they’re remodeling. He used the 333G to quickly load a pile of lathe and plaster into a dumpster.
Moores then took the 333G to the lot where the class will be building a new house. The students stayed a safe distance back as Moores used the 333G to demolish the existing house. After tearing down the structure, he used a scrap grapple borrowed from another contractor to load debris into a dumpster. “I also have access to pallet forks and posthole diggers I can borrow from local contractors. The versatility of the machine is just unbelievable.”
Woodbine High School is serviced by Horizon Equipment, Woodbine, Iowa.