The recent construction boom in the Treasure Valley has put a bunch of people back to work.
However, a skills shortage has the potential of causing delays.
One program in the valley, though, could serve as a solution while teaching valuable job training skills.
Mr. Ray teaches two, 3-hour classes a day at the Canyon-Owyhee School Service Agency Technology and Education Center in Wilder, or COSSA. Students must maintain good grades to be accepted into the residential building trades program. They walk away with a good understanding of how to build a house from the ground up.
On Thursday, they put cedar backing on for the exterior light fixtures in preparation for the siding to be tacked on.
"It's a lot different than the conventional classroom where you sit and learn. We're really hands on, we get to work together," said Treyson Krasowski, a senior at Notus High School. "So, it's a really cool experience because you get to lead and you get to follow. There's a lot to learn."
This particular class project is unique not only because it's a 192-square-foot home as featured on the reality television series Tiny House Nation but because after the COSSA students put all of the finishing touches on, it will be raffled off.
All proceeds from the raffle will go to support Metro Community Services, an agency focused on helping aging seniors.
"They get to be a part of something bigger than themselves," said Tyson Willden, Project Tiny House director.
"When it's done, they're going to get to stand back," said Rick Ray, COSSA building trades program instructor. "And, that's when they're really going to realize what they've done... that feeling of, 'We did this.'"
"It's a real movement, nation wide, we'd like to be on the ground level here helping people be more energy efficient, more conscientious of their impact," Willden concluded.
The students' tiny house will be raffled off on May 4 at the Metro Meals on Wheels annual Culinary Walkabout at the Boise Centre. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Metro Community Services in Caldwell by dialing (208) 459-0063. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold.
The next opportunity for students to get into the program is in the Fall.