NCTC’s Building Trades Lends a Helping Hand


NCTC Building Trades Students In Front of Martha’s Community Kitchen. Photo credit: Dino Patsouris

Adelyne Collin, Editor

Students from Northwest Career amd Technical Center have taken on a project that is changing lives in our community. Martha’s Community Kitchen is currently upgrading several components of its new Lake St. facility with the help of the NCTC Building Trades program—among a long list of additional community partners. The construction project began in 2018, and the NCTC program instructors were quick to offer our resources. 

“The kids were a part of the demolition, the kids put the foundation in the ground, the walls, the footings and the slab…the kids stick built the walls, installed new windows, interior finishes, exterior sidings, roofing, doors,” Mark Capsey, a Building Trades instructor, said.  He added, “ There was some pretty intricate work involved and lots of detail. Our students developed a lot of patience to make that happen.” 

In addition to working on Martha’s Community Kitchen, students in Building Trades are forming new connections with the community members that rely on the meals they provide.

“The kids are seeing the people that utilize Martha’s Community Kitchen and understanding that there’s no taboo about it,” Building Trades Instructor Ross Lavoie said—mentioning that these interpersonal experiences have been very valuable for his students. “What Building Trades has become with the eldery people down there…they are starting to learn their names, they’re seeing that they come from all walks of life and they’re having great conversations back and forth as they work,” Capsey added. 

NCTC’s involvement comes at a time where more people are utilizing Martha’s Community Kitchen than ever before. “We never miss a day—someone is in that kitchen serving food every single day,” Jason Wetherby, President of the Board of Directors at Martha’s Community Kitchen, said.

Wetherby added, “Last year with COVID, we served around 42,000 meals. We’re lucky to have such a large amount of community support…We don’t rely on many grants or government funding, which could dictate how we’re able to operate and what we’re allowed to do for our community. We’ve been grateful to work closely with [NCTC] and so many other entities and volunteers in our community to help us meet our needs so that we can serve at a higher capacity and continue to do what we do.” 

With the help of Building Trades and many other volunteers in the community, Martha’s Community Kitchen has a new walk-in cooler, a larger food storage capacity and a new dining area that they look forward to opening when COVID cases are low enough to allow for it.