Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School Electrical Students Give Back to The Community While Gaining Real-World Work Experience.

WENHAM, MA (April 6, 2021) – In a partnership, that can only be described as a win-win situation, Essex North Shore Agricultural, and Technical High School, a community-funded school, has been working on Habitat for Humanity Homes for the past five years. Students, who would usually be confined to a classroom or workshop, are able to join Habitat on a construction site and gain valuable real-world experience in their trade, while also giving back to their community. This contribution means Habitat saves money that would normally go towards construction costs, allowing even more homes to be built in partnership with local families throughout Essex County.

Since the start of a great collaborative partnership between Essex North Shore Technical High School and Essex County Habitat for Humanity, we have seen students from all trades participate. Due to the diverse programs offered at Essex Tech, we are able to host students throughout the construction cycle – there have been carpentry, plumbing, electrical and arborist students, helping us get homes move-in ready. “The partnership we have with Habitat for 

Humanity is a great opportunity for our students in our construction cluster programs to learn their trade and contribute to a worthy cause. We feel fortunate that year after year we can continue to partner with Habitat for Humanity to provide homes for individuals within our district’s communities”, says Jill Sawyer, Director of Career & Technical Education at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School.

Essex County Habitat for Humanity is currently building two-family homes in Wenham, MA, with completion set for June 2021. Additionally, Habitat is building another 11-family home in Andover and Salisbury and will be breaking ground in Lawrence again this spring. There are currently Essex Tech electrical students joining Habitat in Wenham on a weekly basis, as we work on getting the homes wired. 

Besides gaining experience working on a construction site, students see first-hand what giving back to their community looks like. Essex County Habitat homes are funded by donations and grants from individuals, foundations, and corporate partners. The homes are built by volunteers and partner families before the families can purchase their new home on an affordable mortgage.

Access to affordable housing is truly only made possible through partnerships like these. Our communities are stronger when we work together for the common good. Just as important as educating our youth is, so is affordable housing for families in our community.

A higher rate of homeownership means stronger neighborhoods. Stronger schools. Stronger communities — for everyone!


Pictured above: Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School Students receiving instruction from their electrical teachers Christos Xerras and Richard Whitaker – courtesy of Don Preston