NCCTI Partnership with Habitat of Greater Newark Gives Building Trades Students Real World Experience
A partnership between New Community Career & Technical Institute and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark allows Building Trades Specialist students to help build homes on active worksites.

NCCTI Partnership with Habitat of Greater Newark Gives Building Trades Students Real World Experience

New Community Career & Technical Institute (NCCTI) provides its students with a variety of hands-on practical skills and is always looking to enhance those educational opportunities. To that end, the accredited school has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark to offer its Building Trades Specialist students the opportunity to hone their skills on active worksites building homes for others.

Building Trades students began working at Habitat of Greater Newark sites in March. They visit a site each Wednesday as part of their regular instruction. Habitat of Greater Newark offers a safety orientation and provides students with hardhats and the tools and materials that are needed to complete tasks associated with residential construction. This includes carpentry skills, framing out rooms, installing sheetrock and painting.

In addition to the real world training available on an active construction site, the students also benefit from sharpening their soft skills.

The partnership between New Community Career & Technical Institute and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark gives Building Trades Specialist students the opportunity to do a variety of tasks needed to construct a home, including working on flooring.


“The students learn the importance of teamwork, punctuality and taking direction from senior leaders,” said NCCTI Director Rodney Brutton. “If you are an entry-level carpenter, you have to take direction from a journeyman.”

The partnership is also beneficial to Habitat of Greater Newark, which receives assistance with constructing homes for recipients and helps train the future workforce.

“We are so pleased to be partnering with New Community Career & Technical Institute (NCCTI) to train the next generation of workers in the skilled trades. Being able to deliver a quality home at an affordable price is extremely important to the Habitat of Greater Newark mission and we could not do that without the contributions of our partners in the skilled trades,” said Habitat of Greater Newark Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey J. Farrell. “NCCTI’s students will learn a lot from our Construction Manager Rick Casaretto and our Site Supervisor Alphonso Richards, and we hope to see NCCTI graduates back on our worksites as trained professionals in years to come.”

Theodore Brown is a Building Trades Specialist student who says working on the Habitat of Greater Newark site each week has been a good experience.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It has taught me a lot.”

Building Trades Specialist students at New Community Career & Technical Institute gain real world experience at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark worksites. They take direction from a professional site supervisor and use the tools on site.


The experience has been so positive that Brown is considering staying with Habitat of Greater Newark after he completes the program at NCCTI.

Building Trades Instructor Yusto Awich previously volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Maryland and suggested that his students could benefit from a partnership with the organization. He and Brutton reached out and the timing worked out well because Habitat of Greater Newark was looking for volunteers for a site in Livingston. Even when that project ends, NCCTI looks forward to continuing the partnership at new sites with new students that enroll in the program.

In addition to the actual construction of a house, Awich said his students have participated in a variety of jobs, including landscaping, cutting down trees using chainsaws, making benches out of pallets, masonry, fixing stairs and using concrete. He accompanies his students to the Habitat of Greater Newark site each week, overseeing their work and participation in projects. 

“It’s a broader experience and it’s a real exposure to house construction,” Awich said.

NCCTI provides transportation to and from the Habitat of Greater Newark site each Wednesday, where students work from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Brown said it’s a privilege to work with Habitat of Greater Newark and recommends the NCCTI Building Trades Specialist program to anyone interested in the field.

“I feel it’s helping me a lot,” Brown said. “I’m not yet perfect but I’m getting it little by little.”

NCCTI is an accredited post-secondary career and technical institution that offers the following programs: Automotive Technician, Diesel Technician, Building Trades Specialist, Clinical Medical Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Community Healthcare Worker, Culinary Arts Specialist and Business and Computer Technologies. NCCTI also operates a comprehensive Financial Opportunity Center and Bridges to Career Opportunities Program sponsored by the local and national Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) offices. For more information, call 973-824-6484, log onto newcommunitytech.edu or visit 274 South Orange Ave., Newark.

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