Green Construction Academy graduates summer class

NEWS for immediate release
Contact: RaJean Strube Fossen, Green Construction Coordinator, (307) 856-2028

Green Construction Academy graduates summer class

(Riverton) – Twenty students from four Fremont County High Schools graduated from a Green Construction Academy on Friday, August. 19, completing a summer of specialized construction projects. The academy was sponsored by Fremont County BOCES and included two teams of students working on projects in both Riverton and Lander.

“This summer academy gave these students instruction on entry-level carpentry and construction techniques that will result in them having life-long skills,” said RaJean Strube Fossen, director of the Green Construction Program. “They worked on a greenhouse at Pathfinder High School and a Gazebo for the Wyoming Life Resource Center, both in Lander, and on the Project Green Duplex in Riverton.”

Fossen said the twenty students who graduated Friday received a variety of certifications, including the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), OSHA Safety, Green Construction Academy and First Aid/CPR.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services funded the Green Construction Academy through monies it received from the National Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s stimulus program. “This is one of the very best projects statewide without a doubt,” said Rob Black, the Community Projects Grants Coordinator for the Workforce Services Department in Cheyenne. “I’m really impressed with what you’ve accomplished here, congratulations.”

Fossen also saluted a great number of community partners, both businesses and individuals, who made significant contributions to the summer academy with in-kind equipment and materials donations, supplemental funding and personal expertise passed along to the students. Fossen said that among the donations received, the Concrete Association of Wyoming donated $1,500 and Wells Fargo Bank contributed $1,000 to the Green Construction Program this summer.

Male and female Students from Lander Valley, Pathfinder, Riverton and Wind River high schools who worked on the projects also received a paycheck during graduation ceremonies Friday. “The students were paid weekly for the time they put in,” Fossen said. “And, just like in the real world, if they were late on any given day, they lost an hour of wages. Two of the students, Chancy McKiernen and Shannon Linch, both of Riverton, had perfect attendance throughout the six week-long project.”

Instructors for the course were Dave Peschio, Tim Hampton and Markus Wesaw.

Students who successfully completed the academy were:

Lander Valley High School:
Randy Hitshew (graduate)
Monte Jacobson (graduate)
Chad Mason
Kade Simonson

Pathfinder High School:
Cedar Caskey
Joshua Downey
Austin Hammock
Jasmine Quintero

Riverton High School:
Josh Chavez, (graduate)
Devin Oldman, (graduate)
Hanna Amos
Randy Caskey
Taylor Hill
Christian Irvin
Shannon Linch
Chancy McKiernan
Savannah Shirk

Wind River High School:
Drew Antone
Andrew Murdock
Justin Weier

Fossen said a total of 60 applications were received for the summer academy, 25 were qualified and enrolled and 20 students completed.

Green Construction graduate Taylor Hill, front center, showed Wyoming Workforce Services’ Community Projects Grant Coordinator Rob Black, right, the floor and crawl space of a duplex project in Riverton. Hill said the foundation was constructed so that naturally emitted radon gas from the soils under the house are vented to the outside air. She also said that because the crawl space air is not vented to the outside, heating and cooling costs are reduced for the whole structure. Holding the open floor panel in place is Randy Hitshew.
The Concrete Association of Wyoming presented a $1,500 donation to the Green Construction Project this summer at a job site at the Wyoming Life Resource Center in Lander. Picture, from left to Right. Dave Peschio-instructor, Randy Hitshew, Kade Simonson, Monty Jacobson, Justin Weier, Hannah Amos, Cedar Caskey, Austin Hammack, Joshua Downey and Tim Hampton-instructor. Representing the association are Tina Sylva and Randy Newman, Executive Director and Chair of CAW, respectively.