2013-05-23 / Front Page

Women’s build kicks off reno project


Manistique High School building trades instructor Guy Thorell, middle, assists two volunteers during the recent Women Build Project day. 
Pioneer Tribune photo Manistique High School building trades instructor Guy Thorell, middle, assists two volunteers during the recent Women Build Project day. Pioneer Tribune photo MANISTIQUE – Habitat for Humanity – Hiawathaland recently completed its third annual Women Build Project day. The build, a collaboration with Lowe’s, used grant money to renovate a local family’s home.

According to Karen Skiles, operations manager at the Hiawathaland office, using the $5,000 grant, volunteers from across the area chipped in to get started on the local renovation.

“We had approximately 33 volunteers during the morning hours and … had the building trades students in the afternoon as well for a total of at least 50 volunteers for the day,” she said. “Will Barker of Wausau Homes and Barker Construction in Manistique, volunteered his time as our onsite construction supervisor for the day … he taught and supervised the crew that was replacing windows and doors.”

The 2012 volunteer of the year, Andrea Wedegartner, was also on hand, serving as landscaping supervisor.

“The family we served is a single mom with two preschool-aged kids who works and goes to school,” Skiles explained. “She is in the process of completing her accounting degree through Bay College.”

Work to be performed on the home includes: roof replacement, siding repair, replacement of all windows and doors, painting, installation of additional insulation, and landscaping. Guy Thorell, along with the building trades students from Manistique High School will continue to work on the project.

“Kelli Beaudry, a foster care worker at DHS (Department of Human Services), was our guest speaker in the morning and she spoke of the importance of having a happy and healthy home and the affect that has on children growing up in that home,” Skiles said. “There were eight ladies that came over from The Paul Mitchell School in Escanaba as well that day.”

According to the Habitat officials, the project is designed to empower families and in particular to empower women and teach home maintenance and construction skills. The workforce that day is required to be 70 percent women.

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