College students work on Habitat for Humanity house in Raytown

RAYTOWN, Mo. - Electrical students at Vatterott College are getting real world experience while helping a good cause.

For the first time, these students are working on all the electrical components on a house for Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity.

Vatterott College has had a five year partnership with Truman Habitat, but this is the first time the students are in charge of electric wiring and HVAC for a house.

"We've got an amazing lab. The students can go in there and simulate to do the exact same thing," said instructor Melissa Gaines. "But there is no comparison to actually coming out here and doing the work."

Gaines is a Trades Program Director and NCCER Master Trainer/Sponsor Representative at Vatterott College.  She is supervising the students as they work on the house.

"The students got to do the blue-printing, they got to do the service calculation," she said. "They got to do the wiring diagrams and then the installation."

For Truman Habitat, having the students help mean keeping costs affordable for the family that will eventually move in.

"We win because we're able to provide a home for our partner family at an affordable cost," said Carla Simpson, Resource Development Director with Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity.

Simpson said Vatterott College donated the supplies for the project as well, which also keeps the home affordable.

"It's important because the cost of supplies keep going up," she said. "If we can partner with organizations like Vatterott and some other companies that can provide these, at either a donation or low cost to us, then we can keep the cost of a home down so the homeowner can afford to purchase it."

Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity supports Eastern Jackson County.  To learn how you can help, visit

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