Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tuscaloosa business leaders help build the Habitat for Humanity home

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The event, dubbed CEO Build, was led this year by Michael Goebel, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International.  Each year, Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa invites chief executive officers to work alongside each other as they build a house for a low-income homeowner.

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“We all feel a need to make a difference in someone else’s life,” Goebel said.  “Volunteering with Habitat is one of the most rewarding ways I know to fulfill that need.”

The West End home of the Jones family was the beneficiary of this year’s CEO Build.

On Tuesday the CEOs worked on the interior of the Jones family’s home, installing  flooring, cabinets, baseboards, doors and trim.

“We are passionate about our involvement with Habitat for Humanity,” Goebel said. “Our team members enjoy volunteering with Habitat and they are excited to work alongside and meet the hardworking families who will eventually move into these homes.”

This house is the second in Habitat Tuscaloosa’s Operation Transformation initiative, which uses Habitat build sites as a training ground for young people who are interested in learning construction trades and general construction skills.

Ellen Potts, Habitat Tuscaloosa’s executive director, said Habitat recently purchased 40 lots from Barr Realty near TCTA and had three additional lots donated by Realtor Edward Hubbard.

In May, students from the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy began their work with Habitat Tuscaloosa, and in July, 35 AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team leaders learned carpentry skills as they framed the Jones family’s home. These team leaders now serve on disaster response crews spread throughout the Southeast.

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“With the help of corporate partners like those participating today and our other supporters, 43 Habitat families will have the opportunity to build equity and stability in their futures, and through our many community partnerships, this part of West End will be revitalized, similar to the revitalization in Alberta since the tornado,” Potts said. “All the while, we will use these build sites to train the next generation of construction tradespeople and workers.” 

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