DC Students Get How to Lessons On Career Options In the Building Industry

(Washington, DC) Nov. 14, 2018 – It’s Apprenticeship Week and WHUR Digital Reporter Cadice Adkins is profiling a great program in DC that’s teaching high school students about the various career options in the building industry.  The program just got a big financial shot in the arm courtesy of the SunTrust Foundation.

The SunTrust Foundation has granted $100,000 to the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation (DCSCTF) to expand skilled trades career and technical education (CTE) through paid internships and hands-on building projects in the District of Columbia. The funding will help more high school students gain financial confidence by putting them on paths to employment, higher education, diverse careers and entrepreneurship opportunities in today’s building industry.

“Industry training partners have enthusiastically supported these high school CTE programs for nearly 15 years, and we are excited our results have attracted the interest of financial and philanthropic leaders like the SunTrust Foundation,” says Foundation Board President John McMahon. McMahon led the effort that launched the foundation’s Academy of Construction and Design (known as “A-CAD”) at Cardozo High School in 2005 and brought skilled trades classrooms back to the District’s public schools.

Academy of Construction and Design students previously worked under the guidance of professional builders and certified CTE instructors on a single-family house that was sold at market value in 2013. The students also completed two energy-efficient tiny houses that are currently featured at the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development’s Vacant to Vibrant: Tiny Living demonstration site in Ward 7.

“The SunTrust Foundation is committed to providing communities with financial education and counseling, career readiness and entrepreneurship support, and there is no better place to begin the journey of financial well-being than with our youth,” said Stan Little, president of the SunTrust Foundation. “We’re proud to assist today’s students, who are already achieving great things, such as building homes for others, and we look forward to reinforcing the financial foundation they build for themselves.”

DCSCTF has also received an education grant from the Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation and funding from other financial services companies. These community investments total more than $250,000 to support soft skills training, mentoring, job shadowing, and work-based learning experiences for eligible construction and design interns participating on homebuilding sites in communities east of the Anacostia River.

“The DC Students Construction Trades Foundation is a prime example of investing in communities to drive development and make an impact in students’ lives,” said Dan O’Neill, SunTrust Bank Mid-Atlantic division president, speaking on behalf of the SunTrust Foundation. “We share the same values and are proud to support our partner in providing services that will continue to expose these students to more opportunities, putting them on a path to financial confidence.”

DCSCTF owns two property sites for professionally managed homebuilding projects that will support paid A-CAD Builds internships. Proceeds from the sale of all foundation-sponsored building projects are reinvested in the academy’s education and training programs to introduce more District students to building industry careers.

Renee Nash


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Renee Nash, Director of Information and Public Affairs for WHUR, is a well-respected journalist who has covered a range of issues from local and national politics, to healthcare reform and civil rights. She has also spearheaded numerous award-winning projects including radiothons, town hall meetings and food and clothing drives. Over her 25-year career at WHUR, she has been a writer, reporter, producer and anchor. Renee serves on the boards of many organizations including the Edith P. Wright Breast Cancer Foundation and Sisters of Hope. She is the proud mom of Dominique and Delante.

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