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November 7, 2007 11:46 AM

Conestoga, Holmes Foundation Carry Out Community Service Projects

Holmes and Student
When it comes to renovations, nobody cares more or demands a higher level of excellence than Mike Holmes. He has even established a foundation to promote quality in the skilled trades and to aid individuals victimized by unscrupulous contractors.

Conestoga College is dedicated to excellence in teaching trade skills. So, Conestoga and The Holmes Foundation have joined forces, with the assistance of local contractors and suppliers, to carry out much-needed renovations at three not-for-profit agencies in Cambridge, Ontario.

Holmes speaking

Mike Holmes visited and toured the project sites on November 5 - National Skilled Trades Day - and stated his hope that the Conestoga initiative could serve as a model for other, similar initiatives involving The Holmes Foundation across Canada.

This first-time effort involved second-year students from Conestoga’s Renovation Technician program, which is based at its Waterloo campus. Student project teams worked under the supervision of faculty leaders as well as members of the Renovation Technician Program Advisory Committee, a volunteer group of renovation practitioners that advises Conestoga on workplace and career issues related to the instruction and eventual employment of these students. The Foundation worked with local contractors and suppliers to provide the necessary materials for the projects.

Each project involved meeting an identified need at each agency. At Lisaard House, a hospice facility, the initiative was a washroom for use by guests and visitors, which is not only a convenience for them, but also an improvement to the privacy of residents. At the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank, the project entailed renovations to create a large meeting room/training room with accompanying office space. At Argus Residence for troubled teens, the Conestoga-Holmes Foundation partnership resulted in creation of a quiet room/study area to assist residents with efforts to complete their schooling.

Renovation Technician is a two-year program that prepares students for careers in residential and light commercial construction. It includes a wide range of skills areas: from carpentry to project management, from computer-aided design to building science, and from client relations to "green” building and renovating.

CONTACT: Greg White, 519-748-5220, ext. 3831, gwhite@conestogac.on.ca

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