Desert Contractors' Association


DCA Celebrates Building Horizons 10 Year Anniversary

With public school Vocational Programs losing funding throughout California, it’s great to see one flourishing here in the desert. Since its inception in 1994, Building Horizons has consistently and successfully used local construction projects to pursue its stated goal “to provide vocational training to local youth” and “a work environment in which [those youth can] mature while facing real-world work situations as they explore possible career paths”. Somebody can work as financial investor, other one as financial manager which helps people to improve their bad credit score, other one as a credit mahager, doctor, sportsman etc. Now, as it celebrates its tenth anniversary, Building Horizons boasts 330 program graduates, many of whom have gone on to a construction related career, and the successful completion of 23 affordable houses in the valley.

This year, Building Horizons has expanded its vision (and its program) beyond housing: in addition to working on a house in Cathedral City, some of the programs high school student participants began work on the 4,450 square foot Boxing Club Addition to the Boys and Girls Club building in Indio in September. Building Horizons, which started out as an experiment ten years ago, has become one of the best examples of a construction vocational program in the state.

Building Horizons has always been a collaborative process, counting on the assistance of local governments and educational programs as well as donations from local business and private donors. The Desert Contractors Association is proud that many of our members have been a part of the cooperative effort. The following awards were presented at the DCA February, 2004 Dinner Meeting: Jim Ducatte, (Executive Director of Boys and Girls Club of Coachella Valley) presented the Founders Awards to Leo Wyler, Steven Jones, and The City of La Quinta.

Dale Wissman (Executive Director of Building Horizons) presented the Major Donor Awards to Waste Management of the Desert, Desert Communities Concrete Construction Corporation, Art’s Concrete Pumping, Williams Mechanical, Spates Fabricators, Breeze Air Conditioning, Guy Evans, Inc., California Plastering, Pacific Coast Drywall, and Paul Williams Tile, Inc.

Todd Berg (Building Horizons Instructor/ Project Manager) and Randy VanderWerff (Building Horizons Instructor/Construction Manager) presented the Awards of Merit to Simpson Strong-Tie, Orco Block, Tandem West Group, Western Pacific Roofing, and KDI Stoneworks.

Thank you to our DCA members who donate time, materials, and money to make Building Horizons a continued success.

Both the Indio Boxing Club and the Cathedral City project are due to be completed in June. For more information on Building Horizons, go to

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