They say that many hands make light work.

Participants in one of our vocational programs are getting to experience that proverb firsthand.  

The Vocational Training Employment Program (VTEP) crew has been assisting with the building of a new storage and maintenance facility on the Pilot Butte campus.

The focus for VTEP is to help participants develop life skills, vocational training, skill development, and supervised vocational activities. What better way to do that than by working on a building that they will soon be using themselves to further develop their skills.

The new facility, which will be approximately 1,400 square feet, will be a home base for Ranch maintenance facilities workers. Having a shop space also allows the workers to do projects with VTEP clients, like onsite trailer servicing and certification.

“Having VTEP take part in the build is an excellent opportunity for our participants to work with other professionals in the field and to gain construction experience. They can gain various trade skills and learn how to work with others outside of our agency,” stated Warren Cook, vocational program manager.

Participants working on the certified construction site are required to wear all safety equipment needed as on any other site - hard hats, safety goggles, steel-toed boots, and gloves. They are also encouraged to wear masks and keep social distance when possible.

Warren added, “Our participants are very excited to work here and take great pride in the work they are doing. One of the participants is so excited he has purchased a few of his own tools to use on-site!”

The maintenance facility will also have other important uses at the agency once it is completed, explained James Westerman, director of property management at Ranch Ehrlo.

“First of all, the building will allow us storage and the ability to buy some items like appliances, furniture, and mattresses in bulk, reducing cost and wait times for specialty items. The building will also allow us to store some seasonal items, such as those used at the powwow.”