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Smart-home technology displayed at House & Home Show

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    Toledo Walleye mascot CatTrick poses on a chair in a Gross Electric display during the HBA House and Home show at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

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    Dion Alvarez, of Toledo, checks out a Weaver Barns shelter during the HBA House and Home show at the SeaGate Convention Centre.

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    Guests check out the Squire Development model home during the HBA House and Home show.

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    Amelia Kemp, 3, and Matt Kemp, both of Toledo, check out a fountain at one of the model homes.

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    Vendors line the walkways during the HBA House and Home show.

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    Rob Ballinger, with Kitchen Craft, demonstrates some of the pots and pans to guests during the HBA House and Home Show at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo.

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The latest and greatest in home building was on display in downtown Toledo Sunday at the final day of the House & Home Show. That’s important for the students and teachers at Penta Career Center who were at the show all weekend. 

Phil Stockwell, the supervisor of the manufacturing and construction programs at the school, said smart-home technology is reshaping industries faster than ever, making it a challenging yet exciting time for instructors. 

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Toledo Walleye mascot CatTrick poses on a chair in a Gross Electric display during the HBA House and Home show at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

The Blade/Kurt Steiss
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“We don’t want to train them like how they did it 20 years ago,” Mr. Stockwell said. “We want to start bringing that technology into our schools.”

Penta had its Z-Space computer lab on display, showing how technology is already integrated in its programs. Construction students can use the design programs to map out electrical circuits digitally before the actual construction begins. 

PHOTO GALLERY: House and Home Show

“If you burn the motor up, you just have to dump it off the screen. You don’t have to buy a whole new one,” Mr. Stockwell said. “We know this is how our kids are starting to learn best.”

Students and teachers used the show to make connections for future employment in an industry sorely needing new, well-trained employees, not necessarily more students with a college degree.

“There’s a huge skills gap, and we need students to understand these are good paying jobs,” Mr. Stockwell said. “You can make just as much, if not more, by going into the trades, going into union workshops, union contractors, and make a good living.”

Steven Gillenwater, the founder of Squires Development, said smart-home technology is usually integrated into every home he builds. 

“In almost every house we do, it has some sort of automated integration in the house,” he said. “Most people that we’re building for like all the cool stuff, and that’s all the cool stuff.”

The entire model home could be operated by smart phone, including lights, audio systems, and kitchen appliances. For the second year in a row, he displayed a model home inside the SeaGate Convention Centre, which brought together a dozen individual vendors to build one home.

“It’s good for the vendors, and it’s good for me,” he said. The show is his main source of advertising for the year, so it was important to him to get the word out about his company. 

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Dion Alvarez, of Toledo, checks out a Weaver Barns shelter during the HBA House and Home show at the SeaGate Convention Centre.

The Blade/Kurt Steiss
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Homeowners not looking for a brand-new home could add smart-home technology to their existing home, including a door lock with a video camera and other high-tech security features from Habitec, a Holland-based home security company. 

“We are in a cellular, technological world. We have to keep up with the times,” said Suzette Ramirez, a Habitec representative demonstrating the new technology.

The show was presented by CertainTeed Saint-Gobain and Buckeye Broadband, the parent company of The Blade. Supporting sponsors included K100 Country, 13ABC, First Federal Lakewood, Squires, North Branch Nursery, Inc., Space Walk of Lima, Penta Career Center, and the Home Builders Association of Greater Toledo, Inc.

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