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Construction Tech Students working on-site in Winona

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Boots are on the ground this fall with the debut of MSC Southeast's partnership with Habitat for Humanity in WinonaMSC Construction Technology Students

With the launch of the new Construction Technology program at Minnesota State College Southeast, Winona college students are getting hands-on experience on a large-scale commercial project -- and it's for a good cause.

Mornings are spent in the classroom learning at the college, but afternoons you can find them working at the Habitat for Humanity Winona-Fillmore Counties job site renovating the future 8400 square foot ReStore and constructing a 1500 square foot addition to the building from the ground up. 

The completed project will unite Habitat's office operations, increase ReStore retail space, and add storage for construction materials on one central site. 

MSC Southeast students are currently at work most afternoons from 12:30-3:00 pm. Even though it's only their third week in college, they've already poured footings and foundations for the new Donation Dropoff and Processing Center. Currently backfilling is under way to prepare for the concrete floor. 

"Three weeks ago, most of these students didn't know what a footing was," says their instructor, Jonathan Powell. "Now they not only know what it is, they know how to pour one."

Amanda Hedlund is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity Winona-Fillmore Counties. She anticipates that the project will increase the organization's ReStore sales by more than $200,000 annually. "It's not just a short-term benefit. This partnership with Minnesota State College Southeast provides us with a ReStore expansion that will help us build and repair homes for decades to come." 

Follow the college's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for updates to this story as the year goes on!


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