Students Tour Infill Sites in Pittsburgh
In the second stop on a five-city “Day at the Job Site” tour sponsored by Freddie Mac, 150 NAHB Student Chapter members from Pittsburgh’s vocational technical schools traveled to two “infill” housing redevelopment projects in their area.
The April 19 event assembled chapter members from the Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center, Northern Westmoreland CTC and Steel Center Vocational Technical School, as well as representatives from the Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh (BAMP), Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation and Steve Catranel Construction Company for a day of first-hand exposure to the construction industry.
“We are delighted for the chance to inform our future home builders of the many unique challenges and growing opportunities available in urban residential construction” said Mark Lantz, chairman of the BAMP Workforce Development Committee. “This event is an important introduction to the multiple dimensions and positive outcomes of projects of this nature.”
The builders association supports five NAHB student chapters in its area’s secondary vocational technical schools.
All the participants were outfitted with hard hats, protective eyewear and tee shirts prior to their visit and learned about the many organizations and facets involved in bringing such projects to fruition.
David Howe, senior development officer for the Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation, and Kate Trimbell, executive director of the Lawrenceville Corporation, discussed the role of government agencies and neighborhood organizations in creating jobs, increasing a city’s tax base and enhancing businesses through community redevelopment.
The first project toured by the students was the third phase of an urban “infill” project supported by the URA and the Lawrenceville Corporation. Homes there were in the final stages of construction.
At the second site, students saw the beginning of a new redevelopment project and homes that were in the framing and rough-in stages of construction.
Bill Miller, government relations director for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, explained to the students the role of financial institutions in promoting affordable housing through lower mortgage rates, accessible credit and targetted mortgage loan products.
Steve Catarinella, president of Steve Catranel Construction Company and the general contractor for both projects, described some of the unique challenges and hidden obstacles of building and marketing new homes in areas where deteriorated housing once stood.
Three remaining “Day at the Job Site” events will be held in Alaska, Idaho and Georgia this year.
Home Builders Institute, the workforce development arm of NAHB, manages the NAHB Student Chapter program at more than 150 high schools, career and technical schools, colleges, universities and Job Corps Centers.
For more information on “A Day at the Job Site” or the NAHB Student Chapters, e-mail Joe Krinock at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8928.