Minnesota North College’s Impactful Collaboration with Habitat for Humanity

by Annika Freiburger

Habitat for Humanity partners with the Minnesota North College Electrical Maintenance and Construction Program and Hibbing High School shop class to complete a house build each year. This project is an opportunity for students to have a real-world learning experience, while also providing the homeowners with low-cost electrical installation. This is the seventh house that the Electrical Maintenance and Construction Program has worked on in the last five years. 

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. These homes are built by volunteers, some whom have never been on a construction site before. The homeownership program helps provide families in need with affordable housing based on three levels of criteria: The applicant’s level of need, their willingness to partner with Habitat, and their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan. 

Second-year students completed the installation for the entire project, including electric service to the home, all internal wiring, lighting control, low voltage wiring, and temperature control work. There are 27 Minnesota North College students working on this project. 

For the students involved, this project offers invaluable real-world experience that goes beyond the classroom. Being able to apply their skills and knowledge in a practical setting not only enhances their technical abilities but also instills a sense of responsibility and pride in their work. 

“It’s an awesome opportunity to help a family in need. The work we do in the classroom translates to what we did in the field,” said student Joe Foster. “My hands have helped build someone’s home- it’s a big responsibility and I’m honored to be a part of this project.” 

Projects like this not only contribute to the community by providing affordable housing but also empower future generations of skilled workers who are equipped with the expertise and dedication to make a difference.