Profile: Construction 101 Makes a Difference

“I noticed he has gone from being a kid, to thinking about adult things,” remarked Dale, father of recent Construction 101 graduate, Jonas.


A 2018 Champlain Valley Union High School graduate, Jonas enjoyed working with his hands but had no idea what career he wanted to work in. As someone with high-functioning autism, Jonas prioritizes hands-on learning experiences, and his experience in Construction 101 has taught him worksite safety, tool usages, and building construction. Working on projects from scratch to finish, has helped Jonas feel a sense of pride and confidence.


Dale and Joanne, Jonas’s mother, are taking note of Jonas’s growth. “Jonas is shining a little bit now. He’s realizing what a 9-5 job entails. It [Construction 101] raised his maturity level…He’s speaking about his future a lot more now.”


As part of the program’s on-the-job experience component, Jonas job shadowed under Matt Peck, owner of Haven Mechanical, with whom he bonded well and has willingly received career advice from. Social interaction is not typically comfortable for Jonas, but being in class with other students and working alongside Matt, has helped him to open up.


Joanne noted, “It [Construction 101] is a comradery…Jonas is coming out of his shell a little bit.”


Now that the class is over, Jonas is sad to see it end, but he has found a trade he wants to continue with – plumbing. Dale summed it up this way, “Jonas experienced a taste of different things, [the program] allowed him to find a niche, find that one trade he enjoys.”


While there is no guarantee every student will figure out their path through ReSOURCE programs, there’s no doubt that students can engage in diverse learning settings that enhance their experiences and expand their vision of what may be possible.

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What is Career Start?

Career Start is a program designed for high school students to gain hands-on experience and technical skills in various departments at ReSOURCE’s Burlington or Barre locations.

High school students enrolled in school are eligible to participate in the Career Start program.

The program provides hands-on experience in ReSOURCE departments, technical skills training, and monthly personal and professional development classes.

There is a fee of $1500, but tuition is waived for qualifying Vermonters.

Departments include Customer Service & Retail, Office Administration, Computers and Electronics, Overlook Cafe, and Large Appliances, among others.

Yes, students earn a monthly stipend

Training covers Health and Wellness, Goal Setting and Achievement, Leadership Development, Career Planning, and Financial Literacy.

Interested individuals should contact ReSOURCE’s Training and Development Manager, Susan Uthmann, for enrollment details.


Please contact:

Susan Uthmann
Training and Development Manager
[email protected]

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Our partners help us to provide $125,000 worth of goods to over 2,000 individuals/families in Chittenden, Lamoille, and Washington Counties, and the greater Vermont area.

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For interest in joining our program please email [email protected] to learn more about the next application cycle or any availability in become a new partner agency.

We make award decisions each December for the next calendar year and notify partners so our clients can request vouchers.

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