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News Story
Updated: 08/31/2014 08:00:00AM

Fewer students seek careers in construction

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SUN PHOTO BY STEVE REILLY, reilly@sun-herald.com

Joshua Jenkins, 17, learns how to find studs in a wall. He and other students are learning construction trades by building a house, thanks to a joint project of the Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association and Charlotte Technical Center. He and others learning construction trades will be valuable employees since there's now a shortage of skilled tradesmen.

SUN FILE PHOTO BY GARY ROBERTS

Reflecting the turnaround in the home building industry, Maronda Homes was adding to its River Club development off Harborview Road in Port Charlotte.

SUN FILE PHOTO BY GREG GILES

Master carpenter Phil Baker, 85, in his workshop. Baker restored many of New England's finest colonial homes since the 1950s, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Wayside Inn after a fire took the ballroom, the 1640 Whipple Home in Ipswitch, Mass., the Clock House in Colonial Williamsburg, and President Franklin Pierce's Homestead in Concord, N.H. With few students entering the field nowadays, Baker's skill is in danger of becoming a dying art.

By STEVE REILLY

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In “The Graduate,” Dustin Hoffman’s character, who just graduated from college, was told to shape his future around one word:

“Plastics.”

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