Pulaski Technical College, several local organizations and new homeowners Karen Baker and Kenya Waller recently celebrated the opening of two homes on Schaer Street in downtown North Little Rock that were constructed by students in the Pulaski Tech Construction Management Technology and YouthBuild programs.
Construction of the homes was financed with a grant from Metropolitan National Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas. Other partners included Argenta Community Development Corporation, City of North Little Rock, North Little Rock Community Development Agency and the North Little Rock Housing Authority.
Dr. Dan F. Bakke, college president, said Pulaski Tech established the YouthBuild program two years ago in conjunction with the college's Construction Technology program to provide students with an opportunity to give back to the community and to offer hands-on training in a variety of construction fields.
In YouthBuild, unemployed and undereducated young people ages 16-24 work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning construction skills by building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people. Strong emphasis is placed on leadership development, community service and the creation of a positive mini-community of adults and youth committed to success.
"The college is not in the real estate business," Bakke said, "so we partner with community organizations such as Argenta Community Development Corporation and the North Little Rock Housing Authority to find families to purchase the homes at an affordable price."
Students also have completed two single-family homes on Alpha Street in Rose City and 16th Street in the Baring Cross neighborhood.