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Brown Deer - After building wooden row boats last summer, students from Brown Deer were able to launch their boats on the Milwaukee River on Oct. 12.

The boats, called Bevins skiffs, were constructed through the Building2Learn Consortium's Boat Builders Camp, which is hosted and sponsored by the Southeast Wisconsin Carpentry Training Center. All Hands Boatworks, Inc. led students through the project, supplying the kids with instruction, blueprints, volunteers and a launching facility.

In addition to students from Brown Deer, the program also incorporated students from Messmer Catholic Schools and University Lab School. The boats were launched on the Milwaukee River from the boat launch in Badger Meter Park.

The Building2Learn Consortium was launched last year with the goal of developing a collaborative model of high school trades education that is focused, responsive, adaptable and sustainable. The mission of the consortium is to expose youth to hands-on learning of skills involved in carpentry and other trades. Students interested in joining the industry will be introduced to building trades apprenticeships, such as the programs offered through the Southeast Wisconsin Carpentry Training Center.

Joe Weisling, education administrator for the Southeastern Wisconsin Carpentry Training Center, said he looks forward to training students for careers in the skilled trade industry.

"It’s exciting to see young men and women become aware of skilled trades opportunities and have the ‘ah-ha’ moment of seeing the relevance of what is taught and how it’s applied." he said.

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