A Civil Honor: Pittsburgh Native Lauded for Nonprofit Trade School

Steve Shelton is being honored with the Manhattan Institute’s Civil Society Award

PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE EDITORIAL BOARD – AUG 28, 2019

Image by John Heller/Post Gazette

Hats off to Steve Shelton. The 58-year-old has been honored with the Manhattan Institute’s Civil Society Award for his work in creating the nonprofit Trade Institute of Pittsburgh.

Ten years ago, Mr. Shelton, a Navy veteran and a lifelong tradesman, founded this philanthropic enterprise to help ex-offenders get back on their feet by offering free training for jobs in the construction trades. His idea turned out to be a great success.

Mr. Shelton’s school offers training and employment opportunities in masonry, carpentry and welding. Unemployment rates of ex-offenders are alarming. According to a 2016 policy brief released by the National Employment Law Project, 60% to 75% of former inmates were not employed in their first year of being released. A lot end up in prison again.

Those who complete Mr. Shelton’s training buck this trend.

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