HARVEY — One local store was given a special award for their work as a part of Career and Technical Education month. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Harvey was selected as the Vocational Training Site of the Year by the Marquette Alger Regional Educational Service Agency.
The ReStore was selected because of the work that it, and store director Bob Howe, has done with students from the different Transition programs, as well as the Summer Job Club. And it’s working with the students that Howe really enjoys.
“I see it as almost like a blessing to be able to help some of the guys that come in here,” said Howe. “Give them some work experience, give them an opportunity to work with the public. It’s really a pleasure to have them here, they’ve all been pretty good workers. They listen well and seem to have a good disposition, they’re a joy to have here.”
MARESA’s Transition programs help students aged 18 to 26 that qualify for special education, through a wide variety of disabilities and diagnosis, build skills necessary for post-school life. Vocational training, integrated employment, and independent living and community participation are just a few of the areas that the Transition programs focus on.
Not only was the award given for the quality of work that the students experience while at the ReStore, but Howe’s managerial style and connection with the students also was a big factor.
“He’s always been kind but demanding,” said Harger Boal, the Work Based Learning Technician for MARESA. “He has high standards for them, and treats them like he would for any other volunteer or employee. He expects them to do a good job, and if they don’t he’s going to talk to them about it. Not every supervisor steps up and does that or develops the kind of relationships Bob ends up having with the students.”
The ReStore is an important part of Habitat for Humanity, as the money that is raised there is used by the organization to build homes. For a link to their website, click here.
To learn more about the MARESA Transition programs, click here.