unCommon Construction (uCC) is a New Orleans startup that creates high energy, impactful construction experiences that develop New Orleans’ hard working high school students into team oriented, resourceful leaders. The program prepares students for the post-secondary path of their choice through hands-on training, certifications, and scholarship.
Over the weekend, the uCC team was working on a home build and received a check for $300,000 from philanthropists Brook and Pam Smith to help further the work, mission and growth of the nonprofit.
uCC participated in both the Propeller and 4.0 Schools accelerator programs, developing the company along the way. “Through the generosity of Brook and Pam Smith, we will be able to take unCommon Construction’s growth, impact and financial sustainability to the next level by building a house to sell in the market,” said uCC Executive Director, Aaron Frumin.
The company will keep adding apprenticeship opportunities for students and continue to teach valuable skills outside of the classroom, something both Brook and Pam Smith are passionate about.
“We’re building unCommon Construction because of the obvious need for it. Statistics show that Career Technical Education students graduate at a higher rate, are more likely to continue their education and are better prepared to enter the workforce. In fact, 81% of high school dropouts say that relevant, real world learning opportunities would have kept them in school,” said Frumin. “What I loved about working at Habitat was teaching people, so I became a teacher with Teach for America. But what I hated about being a teacher were the walls of my classroom, so we created a classroom that didn’t have walls at unCommon Construction; instead, our kids build them on the first day of school.’”