Rebuilding Together: CAGC volunteers gather to help 80-year-old live independently

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Bob Gear from Chicago-based Bulley & Andrews along with Antonio Rodriguez from Wight and Company from Darien sand a new door for an resident in Chicago. The men volunteered as part of National Rebuilding Day on April 28. (Photo by CAGC communications manager Hilary Korabik.)

Volunteers from one of Chicago’s largest groups of young construction professionals partnered have partnered with another community organization to help a 80-year-old resident live independently.

The Chicagoland Associated General Contractors’ (CAGC) Construction Leadership Council (CLC) partnered with Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago for this year’s National Rebuilding Day on April 28. The nation-wide event supports Rebuilding’s mission to repair homes, revitalize communities, and rebuild lives.

Anthony Alleman, project executive for Pepper Construction Company and a CAGC member, helped organize the event and oversee the repair work.

“This was a collaborative effort involving nearly 25 volunteers from the CAGC, over half a dozen union plumbers, electricians, and carpenters, and board and staff of Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago,” Alleman said. “Everyone worked tirelessly from early this morning to late in the afternoon to make critical repairs to this individual’s home free of charge. It is truly what charity is all about.”

The CAGC’s CLC provides opportunities for the industry’s rising leaders to increase involvement through various leadership development programs and philanthropic events.

CAGC executive director Daniel McLaughlin says he hopes these kinds of opportunities will bring more young people into the industry. “The construction industry, especially commercial construction, has changed dramatically over the past few decades. But it is no secret there is a major labor shortage in the industry and those of us in the commercial construction business need to do all we can to attract young people to consider a career in construction,” McLaughlin said.

Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago, an affiliate of Rebuilding Together, Inc., works to make a sustainable impact in partnership with communities, while improving the homes and neighborhoods of residents in need so they may continue to live in warmth, safety and comfort.

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Stipo Zeba, an employee with McShane Construction Company out of Rosemont, caulks the window of an 80-year-old Chicago resident home. Zeba was one of several volunteers that included over half a dozen union plumbers, electricians, and carpenters, and board and staff of Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago. (Photo: CAGC’s Hilary Korabik.)

Since its inception in 1991, the organization says it has repaired over 1,600 homes and 250 nonprofit facilities in the Chicagoland area.

Nation-wide, each year, Rebuilding Together affiliates and nearly 100,000 volunteers repair 10,000 homes across the country

Alleman believes highlighting events like this will bring much-needed attention to those in need. “CAGC values safety, community, and education. For these reasons, we were proud to sponsor this restoration project bringing people together and giving volunteers a hands-on learning experience in quality construction.”

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