ST. LOUIS, MO -- Recognizing a need for housing in the community it serves, Ranken Technical College established the Ranken Community Development Corp. (RCDC) backed by the development expertise of SLAYCO, in April 1994. Prior to establishing the RCDC, Ranken students exercised their skills through projects with community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. As student and project schedules became more difficult to coordinate, the College began working with the city of St. Louis to establish a non-profit, Ranken-run organization capable of providing affordable housing to the Central West End community.

The program combines the technical skills of its students and faculty with the need for affordable housing, enhancing North St. Louis city's neighborhoods.

Through the RCDC and their required curriculum, students receive hands-on experience in the carpentry and plumbing involved in the construction and renovation of single-family homes. The non-profit organization has built more than 50 homes to date. For each house, students and faculty members from Architectural Technology, Carpentry and Building Construction Technology, Plumbing Technology, and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology use their skills to build houses in the neighborhood surrounding the College.

Once the houses are completed, they are sold. Proceeds are then used to build more homes and involve future students in home building projects.

Source: Ranken Technical College

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