Our July 4th celebration showcase on the Offsite Dirt show this episode of Building Better with Karen, we speak with Donta Green, Executive Director of the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh (TIP), about their incredibly successful program to support each student's unique path to "find their next". In addition to masonry & carpentry skills training, TIP provides life-coaching, financial literacy & budgeting, drug & alcohol awareness, support in getting a driver's license, and personal case management to transition students from survival mode to thriving.
TIP's employer partners are chosen carefully, and can count on TIP to maintain communication and involvement with their alumni to help ensure success upon hire. Current employer partners vary in size & scope: including small contractors with one crew, to large union shops. MODULE, a Pittsburgh-based modular home provider, became an employee partner in 2022, exposing TIP's students to careers in offsite construction. In addition to discussing their modular factory tour experience, we discuss how TIP's students contributed to the construction of a DOE Zero-Energy-Ready ADU that was part of HUD's Innovative Housing Showcase on the National Mall in June of 2023.
Listen and learn how TIP found a unique way to fund their carpentry program through the sale of student-build sheds, and how they find their experienced and dedicated trainers. Donta also shares about the possibility of future program expansion to include weatherization training, to help respond to the region's urgent need for home repairs that will contribute to better health, and decrease the energy burden, for local residents.
The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh (TIP) is a non-profit organization and vocational training provider dedicated to providing opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment and others who need additional supports to begin their careers. Founded in 2013, TIP has engaged and empowered men and women throughout Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to meet a growing need for skilled tradespeople.