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Building Community

Nine sets of hands hoisted a gable up and over the wall at 537 Lansing Street, where it could be nailed into position to support the roof of a new house.

For Erick Juarez, the Habitat for Humanity project with co-workers in the Facilities Division was a satisfying way to spend a Friday.

“I’d always wanted to work on a Habitat project, but I never knew how to get started,” said Juarez, whose usual workday involves planning landscape projects for Grounds Management.

An avid do-it-yourselfer with an associate’s degree in architecture, Juarez joined three dozen of his colleagues in the largest volunteer construction project to date for Facilities.

The team used their community service leave, paid time off for volunteering available to NC State employees. “It’s one of the great features of working at NC State,” Juarez said.

Employees receive 24 hours of community service leave each year, to be used for qualified volunteer activities at schools or community organizations with a supervisor’s approval.

Natural Habitat

Having community service leave makes it possible for Tierra Hobley in Business Services, a longtime Habitat volunteer, to continue her support.

She saw the devastation of Hurricane Katrina firsthand while volunteering in the lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans during an alternative spring break trip. As an NC State student, she also spent many Saturday mornings at construction sites with a public service sorority, Delta Sigma Theta.

Hobley, who became a full-time employee in November, enjoyed the opportunity to connect with co-workers in person instead of on the phone.

Lynn Burris, an executive assistant for Facilities, learns to use a circular saw with a hand from Tom Skolnicki of the University Architect's office and Rachel Patrick from Capital Projects Management.
Lynn Burris, executive assistant, learns to use a circular saw with a hand from Tom Skolnicki of the University Architect's office and Rachel Patrick from Capital Projects Management.

“It’s great because it helps relationships within departments,” she says. “Facilities is so large, I didn’t know some of my co-workers before today.”

At a second Habitat house nearby on Parnell Drive, crew members with construction experience navigated the roof with confidence. Meanwhile, Lynn Burris, an executive assistant, was learning to use a circular saw.

“This is a situation where we can use skills particular to our organization,” said Kevin MacNaughton, associate vice chancellor for Facilities. “We also have a fair number of people at the site today who normally sit at keyboards.

“The fact that we have community service leave is something we want folks to take advantage of, to do good things for the community.”

Facilities Volunteers:
Habitat for Humanity

Building Maintenance and Operations

Facilities Budget Office

Business Services Accounting

Capital Project Management

Design and Construction Services

Facilities Human Resources

Associate Vice Chancellor

Facilities Division Administration

Grounds Management/Fleet Services

Grounds Management

Housekeeping

Housekeeping Administration

Repair and Renovation

University Architect

Utilities

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