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Carpentry students with Raritan Valley Habitat Community Services Manager

(l-r) SCVTHS Supervisor of Career and Technical Education Mr. Rob Carrig, SCVTHS Cooperative Education Coordinator Gerald Mazzetta, SCVTHS students Ryan Oset of Manville, Emily Granja of Bridgewater, Steven LaRosa of Bridgewater, Will Rogus of Branchburg, Armando Garcia of Bridgewater, SCVTHS Carpentry Instructor James Foley, and Community Services Manager for Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Jessica Mauceri outside the Bound Brook home where the critical repairs were taking place.

On Wednesday, May 11th, students in the Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School CarpentryProgram assisted Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity in performing some critical repairs for a home in Bound Brook, NJ. The project took shape after discussions SCVTHS Supervisor of Career and Technical Education Rob Carrig and Cooperative Education Coordinator Gerald Mazzetta had with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity.

The house, which was flooded with over three feet of water on its first floor from Hurricane Ida, was in need of repairs before the owner could inhabit it again. In addition to financial assistance from a State Farm sponsored grant, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity stepped in to provide materials, labor and guidance in completing the project.

“We really try to empower the youth to be part of these projects,” stated Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Community Services Manager Jessica Mauceri. “This project in particular seemed like the ideal situation for their participation. It’s such a rewarding experience for all involved.” Additionally, Mauceri added that having the students step in to assist shows how these projects bring the community together.

SCVTHS Carpentry Instructor James Foley also spoke about the partnership stating, “Having the students volunteer for Habitat for Humanity provided them with the opportunity to apply the skills they learned in shop to a real life scenario. It is one thing to learn how to install sheetrock in a shop space, but to actually enter into a person's home and produce quality work that will last for years to come is quite another. The students were eager to work and hopefully garnered great satisfaction knowing that with each piece of drywall hung up and each phase of spackling completed they were helping to get the house one step closer to being occupied again. Volunteering also helps to build a sense of community among the students, everyone working together to achieve a common goal.”

“In the future, we plan on assisting Habitat for Humanity with many more home repairs,” said CTE Supervisor Rob Carrig. “We hope to expand. In addition to sending out our Carpentry students, we plan to send out our Electrical and Plumbing students as well.”

For more information on this story, please contact James Strickhart at (908) 526-8900, x7169 or