Ever since he was a child, Domenic Filice knew he wanted to be a carpenter. He never wavered on this vision for his future career, so it was not by chance that he began working on Habitat for Humanity Hamilton work sites as a high school student back in 2011. He was in grade 11 when he first began volunteering on Habitat construction sites as part of the Youth Build Program (YBP), administered in partnership with the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). The YBP allows Habitat Hamilton build sites to double as immersive classrooms for future tradespeople. It provides a unique opportunity for local students to gain hands-on construction experience and learn valuable skills they will use in their future careers. Our students not only get real-world experience on build sites, but they also get to make a positive impact in their communities as well.
Domenic’s persistence and dedication paid off. By the time he graduated from high school, thanks to all the hours he spent on habitat build sites, he had already completed the first year of his four-year apprenticeship. With so much experience already acquired, he was quickly hired and began refining his skills even more. In 2017, he started his own company. Now, fast forward to 2023, he’s back volunteering at Habitat Hamilton once again. “The Habitat crew I worked with had a great influence on me”, said Domenic. “Habitat Hamilton helped me get to where I am today, so I just wanted to give back.” Domenic is currently contributing his skills and knowledge to bring vacant CityHousing units back online.
Domenic’s story is a testament to the power of Habitat Hamilton’s Youth Build program and how it can help set up young people for success in their future careers in the trades. It’s also a testament to the incredible dedication and passion of our supporters, who work tirelessly to facilitate change and advance our mission of providing affordable housing to deserving families. We’re grateful to have Domenic back with us and are inspired by his success story!
50 students participated in the YBP in 2022, collectively contributing over 8,500 hours of labour on Habitat Hamilton build/repair projects.