The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh has a goal: to take students of all backgrounds and work experience from $0 to a liveable wage in less than 90 days. Over ten weeks, they’re introduced to a realistic work environment and learn from masonry instructors, counselors, and job placement specialists with one common goal: We encourage our students to rebuild their lives at the same time they rebuild the city.
The program celebrates its hundreds of graduates who have completed the program to become apprentices, team members, and leaders all over Southwestern PA and beyond. And it all starts with a very simple premise: We believe that the right tools in the right hands can help change the world.
Here, we’re teaching the fundamentals of construction trades and changing people, so that they in turn can create and contribute to a better life.
We can’t do it alone. And that’s why we’re so thankful that Marshalltown Company, Generation T and Lowe’s Home Improvement are part of the change.
They’ve given us a generous assortment of new tools. But more than that, they’ve given us something even more precious. They’ve given us more opportunity.
Courtney was raised by a single mother in the one post office, one beer distributor, rural town of Forestville, PA. During her days at Slippery Rock High School, she excelled in academics and athletics, specifically her favorite sport of softball.
She noted always wanting to run her own company someday, knowing even then that she had much to offer. She took and passed the civil service exam, and began building a career with a leading investigations company. She took full advantage of the opportunity and was promoted often during her five years there, helping perform federal background checks on Military and Aviation applicants.
Courtney admits that during the time she also succumbed to an addiction, and fell into the wrong crowd, supporting her habit with increasingly bad decisions, ultimately costing her job and freedom. And much more, she goes on to say.
She served her time for various related charges in Pennsylvania state corrections system, and then in federal. Between these, she notes that the loss she felt about her young children and family triggered a sincere desire to overcome her addiction, and she entered a treatment program. Following what she defined as the worst of her experiences behind bars, she declared that immediately upon her release she’d find a way to support herself to continue the changes she’d begun while inside.
She started working full-time in food-service, while seeking out additional training to make a new, real life for her children and spouse. During this process, the Federal Job Supervisor said he had the perfect program for her to do just that – TIP.
She is thankful for the “real opportunity” she’s been given by the staff and her fellow students, and includes her improved self-discipline, accountability, and acceptance she’s realized as the highlights of her training. Even in her first weeks, she proved her dedication and leadership, and she was selected for a special project at ProjectRE_.
She has a plan to put the lessons and skills honed here to good use in a career in the trades, and hopes to someday work in her dream job with TIP (making her biggest supporter, her daughter that much more proud).