Building Beyond the Walls exists to “build community through service”. Hands-on construction training is the conduit we use to connect individuals to each other and their community.
Building Beyond the Walls creates an experience through inclusive hands-on construction skills training that increases confidence and self-reliance. By focusing on projects that give back, we connect individuals more deeply in their communities!
This is achieved by:
- Bringing strangers together for a common purpose.
- Building a small structure to fill a community need.
- Requiring 50 hours of community service in exchange for the free training.
- Having community organizations provide lunch on training days.
What Makes Us Unique:
- It’s Free. Flagship Construction Training is a free residential construction training program, designed to give participants basic hands-on construction skills. Offering the training at no cost to the participants allows a broader participant pool to draw from and increases our ability to reach and serve low-income people. Professional training programs are often cost prohibitive and the time commitment is much longer than our 8 to 12 classes.
- Complete Structures. In our Flagship class, we build a complete structure. Most professional training programs do not provide the opportunity to build a product that is left whole or built and used by the community.
- Process Not Project. Our Flagship training is driven by the process of learning and not the project itself, unlike other educational institutions who are measured on production. Our class allows all students to learn at a safe pace and results in greater confidence.
- Industry Professionals as Instructors. Our students work alongside industry professionals, ranging from an educational institution to business owners. This gives businesses an opportunity to work alongside individuals and has made a deep impact on many of our participants’ lives. Inclusive Training Program. We allow people with physical disabilities to learn and become empowered to do construction safely by modifying equipment and processes they help create. This is a demographic that is most often excluded from construction training programs, yet it has proven to have a profound effect on their lives.* Currently, 30% of our participants have been individuals with disabilities.
- Responsible Building Techniques. We are proactive in adapting all projects to incorporate Universal Design concept and sustainable building practices, putting our students ahead of the curve in construction knowledge and increasing the potential success of all of our students and their awareness of responsible building techniques.
- Enriching Our Community through Service. Students agree to give 50 volunteer hours back to the community upon completing our program. To our knowledge, no other professional training does this. Multiple projects have been built by trainees that are enriching our community. To date, approximately 5,000 hours of volunteer service has been completed equaling a value of over $112,000.**
- Engages Our Community. Community organization bring lunch on training days where they share a meal with the students, share what they do in the community and how the students can volunteer with them.
Process Driven not Project Driven
During the training, our purpose is to build community through projects. Working safely is paramount. Time must be given to explain processes, techniques and why we do them. Relate the process of what we are teaching to how it will help them in their life.
Before there was a construction training program, the vision to find a way to connect people more deeply to their communities was stirring. It is through the training that this vision became a reality. Throughout our training, we look for ways to build community. We have local organizations bring lunches so that they can tell their story to our participants. We look for opportunities to share the local history.
Inclusive and Adaptable
None of us are the same. We each learn and comprehend things differently. As instructors, we need to listen and observe. For example, sawhorses may need to have height adjustments for shorter participants to work safely. We believe, anyone who has the heart to serve will have a job they can do safely through our ability to adapt. We make every effort to be respectful and patient as we work to empower participants; helping them to find their “abilities”.
Universal and Sustainable Design
Our goal is to teach and build with Universal and Sustainable Design practices in order to educate participants in a way of doing things that will benefit the organization we serve. By following some simple guidelines we create an end product that will last longer and allow recipients to live longer and more easily in their home or building.
Universal Design is building with the goal to promote independence, safety, comfort, and convenience for homeowners of any age so they can stay in their homes their entire lives. It allows for an aging loved ones or friends with physical limitations to visit comfortably in a home.
Sustainable Design for us is simply building with products that are environmentally friendly and long lasting. It is also in designing practices that reduce waste.