FLOYD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR)— Second year students in the Building Trades class at Floyd County High School are making a difference and learning life skills in the process.

Ross Snead, the instructor, has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry and knew he had to get his students hands-on experience.

“It’s almost impossible to duplicate what you’re going to get out here and hands-on. We can do a lot of things in the shop, but it’s a whole lot different when you actually get out in the field and start instructing and putting together. In the lab, everything is laid out and everything works. When you get out in the field things don’t work that way,” said Snead.

That’s why each semester Snead has his students in Building Trades II help build Habitat for Humanity houses. He says they’re out there every school day, weather permitting. It’s something he is thankful to the school administration for allowing.

“We get to explore all the trades. We get to roof, we get to, well build, and get to do most of everything. It’s really fun,” said Garrett Greenman.

Garrett Greenman is a Senior at Floyd County High School and a student in the Building Trades II class. He explained to WFXR News that one of the things students this semester helped to do was put up trusses, which also served as a lesson in teamwork.

“It was a big ordeal. It was super heavy. We had to have multiple people on the job,” said Greenman. 

The project the students are currently helping with is a group of seven townhomes in Floyd. Jack Tawney, a Senior, says he can’t even comprehend the impact the homes will have on the people who get to live in them.

“Hopefully this will inspire more people to help out in the community. I’m glad we get to help some people that are less fortunate,” said Tawney.

The work teaches the students the importance of giving back to the community while also setting them up for the future.

“If they do decide to go into the industry you know, there’s jobs anywhere. I have people stopping me daily or contractors calling me wanting to know do you have kids coming out who are interested in this field. The cool thing about them is you know most of them they can go into an apprenticeship, be paid while they’re learning and when they finish the apprenticeship depending on what they go into they can be making 50, 60, 70, 100, thousand dollars a year,” said Snead.

Snead later goes on to say that a lot of times employers will also pay for any education or training needed. However, even if students decide to go into another industry, the skills learned can still help with everyday home projects and allow them to fix some projects on their own.