Students Get An Eye-opening Experience on Road to Promising Careers


For the last 22 years, the grade 11 and 12 construction students at Jack James High School have worked alongside some of our site staff as part of an initiative that provides them with increased confidence, a glimpse into careers in construction and new homes, and a rewarding new skillset.


On the day of the ribbon cutting and house reveal to the students, the energy was buzzing and we were all excited for the students to see the house they helped build. No matter who attends the event, the shared feeling of pride is prominent.

Throughout the year, grade 11 and 12 students transform a pile of construction material at school into the first floor of a home, which is eventually transported to the home site and finished by our trades.


This collaborative project wouldn’t be possible without a few key individuals and teachers: Mr. Coleman, the Wood Frame Construction teacher who pushes the kids to always do their best, Pam Blake, the Off-campus Coordinator who organizes the program, and our very own Kyle McAllister, Site Superintendent, who spends countless hours with the kids at Jack James, lending his on-site experience and patience to the budding construction students. And of course, Avi Amir, our founder and visionary. He holds this initiative close to his heart and each year he communicates to the students that they must pick a career that they like; to wake up happy each day… because retirement is a long way away and doing something you like is key to a happy life. He’s proud of this industry and loves to see new energy and talent attracted to it.


A handful of students will take what they’ve learned on the project and apply it to the Turning Points program, where students get to try their hand at several trades at SAIT and get acquainted with the post-secondary campus. Riley King, grade 12 student, who can explain how he installed the walls, windows, and second-floor flooring last year, will add framing and learn the early stages of house building this semester. “It was an eye opening experience for all the students involved, says Riley. “It gave us an experience that you can not always find in schools, all while building the students’ confidence.”

Jack James High School is unique in that it provides extensive support and personalization for students to transition from high school to the workplace or post-secondary through a variety of trades and technology fields. With a focus on authentic, practical, and often hands-on opportunities many students participate in Skills Canada Alberta competitions and the Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP). Undoubtedly, this school and its dedicated staff prepare its students for real-world careers and we’re proud to be a small part of it.

Back to Top