It’s nice to see kids giving back.

Franklin County High School instructors and students have provided an invaluable service to the community by taking on projects that offer them the chance to learn.

In a form of town-grown relationship, career and technical education students have been partnering with organizations such as Community Partnership, the Franklin County Parks and Recreation Department and group homes to build much-needed projects.

What makes these partnerships so important is that students are learning skills while at the same time learning the meaning of community service.

“Just to be able to help someone with no expectation of monetary reward is good for the soul,” said Franklin County High School trades instructor Bruce Broadstreet.

Whether it is a project that has been viewed by thousands of residents such as the LOVE sign or fixing a cane for a senior, service is service and their contributions are immeasurable.

All the while, students are learning skilled trades, which can lead to high-paying jobs following high school. As the baby boomer generation retires, more trades jobs need to be filled. Whether the jobs are for electricians, machine operators or carpenters, there’s an employment gap in today’s economic climate.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor: “Employment of construction and extraction occupations is projected to grow 11% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, a gain of about 747,600 new jobs. Overall growth in the economy and population will increase demand for new buildings, roads, and other structures, which will create new jobs in construction and extraction occupations.”

Not only are these jobs in demand, but they pay well.

The median annual wage nationwide for all construction and extraction occupations was $46,010 in May 2018. That was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $38,640.

Boilermakers median income in 2018 was $62,150 a year, and elevator installers and repairers had a median income of $79,780 in 2018. The lowest paying skilled job, according to the Department of Labor, was construction laborers and helpers, who had a median income of $34,810 in 2018. Most of these jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent. No pricey college education is required.

With Franklin County ready to grow and Summit View Business Park waiting to be filled, these students are poised to fill a need. Hopefully they’ve learned about giving back to their community along the way.

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