By LOCAL TOWN PAGES - Sometimes dreams do come true. Tri-County RVTHS Senior, Michael “Mike” Barrett of Walpole, MA, has been selected to appear on “This Old House” (TOH) TV, a real life dream come true for the senior. Mike will be working alongside the pros on the show’s project house this summer in Newton, MA. After launching a nationwide search for apprentices and local trainees, Mike was chosen to work with the TOH TV crew on the project house, where construction is already under way.
In a nationwide effort to increase the pipeline of skilled workers in America, the need to inspire young people to go into the building trades is a must. TOH has partnered with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity that rewards people with a passion to get trained for skilled jobs that actually exist. TOH is so deeply committed to this program that they’re joining all of their media resources to elevate the building trades as a rewarding career path and to help raise money for the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s Work Ethic, which supports training for the trades.
Mike is part of the carpentry program at Tri-County RVTHS which trains students in the tools and techniques needed for house construction and remodeling. “We learn basic framing, cabinetry, how to use power tools, but we also have to pick up every day and keep our work area clean. That has helped me on the job site,” says Mike, whose interest in the building trades was formed early on as he says he has been watching “This Old House” since he was 5. He also knows about the work through a cousin who is a high-end carpenter. Mike hopes to refine his skills in finish carpentry, framing, flooring, and roofing on the job site. “I like that you are doing something different every day, and often working outside,” he says. Framing interests him because progress is rapid and visible. “But demolition is fun, too, because you can go pretty fast and work out lots of energy.”
The Co-op Program at Tri-County allows qualified seniors and exemplary juniors the opportunity to learn and earn while being employed by a trade specific business. Students receive their traditional academic course load, then spend their practical (shop) week experiencing the real-time world of business and industry.
Michael first began working for Charlie Silva from Silva Brothers Construction this past year as a junior. He applied for a co-op position with the firm, and received the offer to come to work for them. Michael then emailed his boss about TOH and the GenerationNext opportunity he found on the Internet. Mr. Silva emailed back asking him to report to the Newton house for his co-op job. Once there, Michael met the hosts of the TOH Show and was told he was going to be a part of the team.
“Being enamored with “This Old House” as a little boy, Mike went ahead and solicited Silva Bros. on his own,” said Mary Ellen MacLeod, Director of Cooperative Education. “We had no idea that he initiated contact with Charlie Silva, got the interview and landed the job! All of us at Tri-County are exceedingly proud of Mike, his initiative and passion for the trade. We greatly look forward to following his endeavors on the show this season.”