Fayetteville Technical Community College and the Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity have worked together since 1988 to strengthen the community, improve the quality of life, and change lives. Since its founding in April 1988, the Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity has built more than 110 homes to help eliminate substandard housing in Cumberland County, and Fayetteville Technical Community College is proud to be a partner in 59 of these proj-ects. FTCC’s Building and Trades Division and students enrolled in the cabinetmaking, plumbing, electrical, and masonry classes have completed 29 homes since the completion of the first dwelling on Camden Road.
The partnership between Fayetteville Tech and the Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity provides not only the opportunity for hands-on training for FTCC students but also low-cost construction op-portunities for Habitat for Humanity. FTCC Student Hershel Williams feels that working on projects with Habitat of Humanity has helped him become more aware of community services. “FTCC students take pride in giving back to the community that has supported them throughout the years. Through the various projects with Habitat for Humanity and other similar non-profit orga-nizations, FTCC students are able to learn the value of giving back while gain-ing the experience needed to obtain employment after graduation. As a student participating in these projects, I am truly blessed,” Hershel said.
Students in the Building and Trades programs at FTCC learn quickly through working with Habitat for Humanity where the learning experience is based on a “hands-up” not a “hand-out” philosophy. FTCC students feel they are partnering with families by helping them build their homes, and FTCC students are committed to those families for their long-term success. FTCC students, faculty, administration, and members of the community can see the fruits of students’ labor in the completion of a house that may be the first “home” for a family.
Hershel Williams believes there is no substitute for experience and encourages any individual seek-ing knowledge and experience to enroll at Fayetteville Tech. The partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and other non-profits allow students valuable on-site job and learning experiences. Because of the combina-tion of hands-on experiences and classroom instruc-tion, students become knowledgeable and skilled employees available for the work force. Hershel plans to continue his education at NC A&T University and admits that the foundation he received at Fayetteville Technical Community College and through his experience with Habitat for Humanity have better prepared him for a successful four-year college experience.