Habitat for Humanity Tucson is developing a solution to two of the most pressing issues facing Arizona, the lack of affordable housing and a growing need for skilled workforce in the trades. The Connie Hillman Urban Construction Knowledge Center (CHUCK) will serve as Habitat Tucson’s construction hub, warehouse, and training center. It will provide job training and intern opportunities with real-world experience building affordable housing. The facility, located on property owned by Habitat Tucson in the Flowing Wells neighborhood will feature over 15,000 square feet of storage, classroom, and office space.
Creating a more compassionate and just world, Habitat for Humanity Tucson brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
The CHUCK Center brings together local industries, educational institutions, expert volunteers, and strong financial support to create a significant shift that will allow Habitat Tucson to offer a “hand up” to more families, lifting them out of generational poverty.
The trade fields, like construction, have seen a steady decline in skilled employees. As a generation of skilled tradesmen approaches retirement, not enough younger workers are trained to replace them. The CHUCK Center will be designed to include workshop, classroom, assembly, warehouse, and housing space for long-term volunteers. By building a skilled labor force, our whole community will benefit from the CHUCK Center.
A partnership with the Applied Technology program at Pima Community College (PCC) will provide students with the opportunity to work under the tutelage of experienced Habitat Tucson staff and skilled community volunteers. They will complete traditional apprenticeships in the construction, plumbing, carpentry, and electrician fields. This will provide critical workforce development training in our community.
In support of developing a skilled workforce, the CHUCK Center provides Habitat Tucson with housing for Americorp Members and Caravanners. Through the federal AmeriCorps program, Habitat Tucson offers young adults (AmeriCorps Members) real-world work experiences and training. The AmeriCorps Members receive only a small stipend for their service, making living in Tucson impossible for most. Although Habitat Tucson has had several local Members join our team, many times positions have been left open due to the higher cost of living in Tucson compared with other eligible communities
program cost: $1.8 million
With the addition of the CHUCK Center, Habitat Tucson will create more efficient and reliable means of home production. The CHUCK Center will minimize fluctuations in our volunteer core which is our main labor source. It will provide the facility for a guaranteed pool of students, expand building pace and volume, and replace offsite storage costs. A major outcome of this project will be that Habitat Tucson and PCC help create better, professionally trained individuals to work in their community.
Budget and Challenge
The budget to build Habitat Tucson’s CHUCK CENTER is $1.8 million dollars. This budget includes the cost of buildout, materials and supplies, permits and fees, and engineering. The facility will be constructed by traditional commercial builders since Habitat Tucson holds a residential builders license.
Habitat Tucson is the generous recipient of a challenge grant from the Connie Hillman Family Foundation. This grant will allow us to leverage any increased gifts, or gifts made by new or lapsed donors. Every two dollars raised, will be matched with one dollar, up to $1 million dollars.
Because the CHUCK Center will speed up construction of affordable homes. Habitat Tucson is working quickly to develop and build the CHUCK. Groundbreaking is anticipated in spring of 2021, with the expectation that the project will be completed by 2022.
The CHUCK Center will serve future homeowners, volunteers, and PCC students eager to learn and thrive. It offers the ability to provide a vision for youth and those reentering or improving their standing in the workforce. And it allows Habitat Tucson and the community to access additional resources to end poverty housing.
Habitat Tucson’s game changing plan will allow more homes to be built while supporting workforce development in our community. Habitat Tucson changes lives by building homes for local families. The CHUCK Center will allow these efforts to be multiplied offering more families will be able to live in safety and security.
Thank you for partnering with Habitat for Humanity Tucson to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.
Partnership includes naming opportunities, invitation to the ground breaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies. Any donation will help.