JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — After Hurricane Michael, Jackson County suffered a lot of damage.
There was a lot to be repaired, but not enough people to repair it. That’s when the building construction program began.
“Our local community saw a need and they reached out to some different funding sources, career source being one of them, and saying ‘hey we need people educated in the trades so that we can be self-sustaining,” said David Castleberry, Building Construction Program Director.
The group started with $450,000.
Their first investments were in buying materials, tools, and curriculum to teach students like Nathan Ziglar.
“The hands-on learning is the best thing for anybody,” said Ziglar, a student at Marianna High School.
Ziglar said he wasn’t very confident in his skills before he joined this program.
“It was really nerve-wracking at first. I was working with power tools that I had never even seen or touched before,” said Ziglar.
After completing multiple projects with the group, he said his trade skills are in tip-top shape.
“Now it’s just basically, basic knowledge for me,” said Ziglar.
In April, the students began their current project- fixing up the old Marianna High School science labs.
“We came in here and did a complete demolition of this project. Took these buildings and just gutted them, made them down to walls,” said Castleberry.
After updating communication lines, data and installing new electrical work, the crew started working on constructing 9-foot walls.
Castleberry said they do not know when this project will be completed because they are still waiting on some of the materials.