For trade students, hands on training is really the only way they can hammer home their skills before heading into the workforce.

That was the inspiration behind an initiative by the Regina Trades and Skills Centre, where students in the RTSC’s roofing program repair roofs for people who need a leg up.

"I cried," Lorelie Hutchinson said when she heard she would be getting a new roof free of charge. "It was hardcore tears. It was such a relief, stress off our shoulders. It's unbelievable how great it was."

Hutchinson works two jobs to support her 3-year-old son and also her husband, Curtis, who is dealing with chronic pancreatitis, making saving for a new roof difficult.

She saw a posting on Facebook from the Regina Trades and Skills Centre regarding the school looking for roofs for its students to work on.

"We needed to figure out a way to replace it in the next year or so, so this opportunity came up and I couldn't resist the actual attempt to try and get that roof," Hutchinson added.

It also gives students a real understanding of what it takes to replace a roof from start to finish.

"We look for projects in the community to allow the students to practice their skills in a real life setting before they go to work," said Melissa Dobrowolski, operations coordinator at the Regina Trades & Skills Centre.

But the work wouldn't be possible without the help of multiple community partners such as Wheatland Roofing, GAF Corporation, Evolution Insulation and Western Pizza.

"It really helps the industry and really benefits (Wheatland Roofing)," said Victoria Scrudder, health and safety administrator for Wheatland Roofing. "We are looking for roofers, we're not just looking for shinglers, we want students to understand the system components of roofing."

Kelly and Dan Snowden also received a new roof through this initiative.

"Kelly works full time and supports her disabled husband who has been unable to work for 20 years due to a motorcycle accident," the Regina Trades & Skills Centre said in a statement.

This is the third year RTSC, Wheatland Roofing and GAF Corporation have partnered to create this hands on learning opportunity and to give back to the community.