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Operation Reconstruct was established by the Home Builders Institute (HBI) and partner The Paxen Group in 2006 to assist with disaster relief efforts in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The program — which provides out-of-work youths with Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT), training at various community service projects and employment placement services — was later replicated in Gulfport and Jackson, Miss.
On the heels of Sen. Wicker’s visit, Gulfport hosted a graduation ceremony for 20 students. The event was well-attended by local builders and Operation Reconstruct partners, and Gary Holliman, a councilman for the City of Gulfport, delivered the commencement address.
Nine students graduated this month from Operation Reconstruct Jackson, which has been particularly noteworthy for its contributions to local organizations in need.
In late October, Jackson students completed a weeklong renovation project for the Holy Temple Church. Students applied their training in patching concrete at the church’s entrance and throughout the week caulked cracks in plaster walls and hung molding in the restrooms. The bulk of their time, however, was spent stripping and replacing tile in the dining hall.
Jackson’s community service activities also included building a mobile trailer for a local Boy Scout troop. The trailer is used to transport tents and supplies on camping trips.
“Operation Reconstruct has been a great program in the Gulf Region and New Orleans, Gulfport and Jackson are incredibly appreciative of the work completed by HBI students,” said HBI Chairman John Moffitt.
“The goal of HBI training programs is to make a discernible difference on multiple levels,” he said. “Operation Reconstruct is accomplishing this by finding jobs for out-of-work youths and donating their skills for the betterment of the community.”
For more information on Operation Reconstruct, e-mail Dennis Torbett at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8908.