Edwardsville, Luzerne County -- You'd expect to see PennDOT workers on some road project near you. But on Friday they stepped away from their regular tasks to help build a future home in Edwardsville for a family in need. It's a project sponsored by the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity of Wyoming Valley. PennDOT Construction Project Manager Carla Medura helped line-up her company's volunteer crew. "We like the work, you know. It's sort of a break from the roadway work that we do, you know. It helps a family out of getting themselves started here," she said.
PennDOT workers spent Friday framing the future home on Green Street. They measured carefully -- lining up each board and piece of plywood with precision to benefit a low-income future homeowner. "It's a feel good kind of thing but I've got to be honest with you. Everybody's got a little Bob the Builder in them and I enjoy getting out and doing this kind of work," said PennDOT District Facility Manager and volunteer Stephen Shields.
The Edwardsville project marks the fourth Habitat for Humanity home that these PennDOT volunteers have had a hand in building. Even though it's not road and bridge construction, a project like this is still a good fit. The PennDOT workers are unlike most other volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. "It is wonderful. This is one of our best skilled groups. They can read our blueprints and away they go so I really enjoy having them for the framing part of the process," said Wyoming Valley Habitat for Humanity Board Member and volunteer Joe Dussinger.
Besides home building, the project allows for a little team building among the PennDOT staffers. "You deal with someone on a day to day basis and to see them outside the office in this kind of setting gives you, you know, shows you a different facet of that person," said Mr. Shields. Habitat for Humanity of Wyoming Valley is grateful for PennDOT's helping hands. "Without volunteers, there's no way to build a home," said Mr. Dussinger.
Other PennDOT volunteers will return Saturday to help install the roof trusses. The Habitat for Humanity home should be ready for a family sometime next spring in Edwardsville.