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About Us

The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh 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. The Trade Institute is located in the Homewood community of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 2013, the Trade Institute has engaged and empowered men and women throughout Allegheny County to meet a growing need for skilled tradespeople.

Donta Green

Executive Director

Donta Green is a strategic and inspiring nonprofit leader who brings a wealth of knowledge and community connections to his role as Trade Institute of Pittsburgh's second Executive Director. In addition to his leadership role at the Trade Institute, Donta volunteers on several advisory boards in the Homewood community including the Westinghouse Entrepreneurial Program Advisory Board and the Homewood Children's Village Site Team. Donta was selected to participate in the 2021 cohort of the University of Pittsburgh's Entrepreneurial Fellows Class and the Stand Together Foundation Catalyst Program. Donta has been voted by readers of the New Pittsburgh Courier to be among the "Fabulous 40 under 40" and "50 Men of Excellence."

Donta holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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Maggie Beldecos

Chief Operating Officer

Community engagement, advocacy, and the cultivation of financial resources are the essence of Maggie Beldecos's nearly two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector. Maggie is recognized as a strong, diplomatic leader, working collaboratively and transparently with partners, community stakeholders, and constituents. Prior to this role, Maggie led corporate and community engagement for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and community engagement for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She began her career as a correctional librarian in Ontario, Canada.

Maggie actively volunteers and serves on the Jeremiah's Place board of directors. She holds a BA in English Literature from Oberlin College and a Master of Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Chett Williams-Garlington

Life Coach

Chett Williams has over 15 years of experience in mentoring, counseling, and case management. Chett helps students set goals and overcome barriers to employment by developing a personalized, holistic plan and by accessing the available resources of our partner network. Chett also provides vital counseling services for our students and graduates who may be working through past traumas or current life issues.

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Ryan Glatz

Director of Programs/Job Developer

A graduate of the Trade Institute, Ryan Glatz has over seven years of experience in the construction industry. Ryan began with TIP as an instructor and progressed to his current role as Director of Programs. Ryan enjoys working with Trade Institute students to help them acquire the necessary skills to obtain gainful employment and grow their careers.

Ryan holds a BS in Finance from California State University.

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Kirk Gilbert

Case Mangement

Kirk Gilbert has a passion for helping others and brings over 15 years of experience in case management. Kirk previously held case management positions within a variety of settings including hospitals and public schools.

Kirk has a B.A. in Christian Counseling from Logos University. Outside of TIP, Kirk serves as one of the associate pastors at Another Level Ministries in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Rich Prater

Masonry Instructor

Richard Prater has nearly 40 years of experience as a union bricklayer. Richard began his career as a mason through activist Nate Smith's Operation Dig, a program launched in Pittsburgh that paved the way for thousands of racial minorities and women to join the trade unions.

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Mark Schoedel

Carpentry Instructor

Mark Schoedel has nearly 50 years of carpentry experience, including experience running a family carpentry and home building business for 45 years. Upon retiring from the family business, Mark had a passion to pass along his trade skills to a younger generation. Under Mark's leadership, TIP launched a carpentry program in August 2021.

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Cam Meadows

Masonry Instructor

Cam Meadows is a graduate of the Trade Institute and has been an instructor at TIP since 2017. Cam is a gifted bricklayer and artist who is always growing and developing his professional skills. He holds a certificate in computer-aided-design (CAD).

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Kenya Alford

Executive Administrative Assistant

Kenya Alford brings her passion for helping students find their NEXT to TIP every day. Prior to working at the Trade Institute, Kenya Alford spent nearly 20 years as a Legal Administrative Secretary, providing behind-the-scenes work for a variety of law firms. Kenya brings her deep organizational skills to the work, performing tasks including organizing files, preparing documents, managing office supply inventory, and scheduling appointments. Kenya believes her purpose in life is to help others. Kenya volunteers regularly at church events and she serves as a "Team Mom" for the Westinghouse Bulldogs, her alma mater. She is fondly known to the young men as "Momma Kenya."

Kenya received her Associate's Degree from Duff's Business Institute.

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janera solomon

Board Chair

janera solomon is a writer, producer, curator, and creative strategist based in Pittsburgh. She is recognized for her creative energy, wide breadth of experience, and transformative community leadership. For more than a decade, janera served as executive director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, a cultural anchor in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood, successfully managing its expansive growth by developing a wide range of programs to inspire and engage diverse audiences. janera is a provocateur known for her passionate commitment to creative and cultural expression as powerful tools for dialogue, collaboration, and social change. In addition to her Trade Institute Board service, janera currently serves as a Public Trustee of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and as a member of the Carnegie Museum of Art Advisory Board, where she chairs the Equity and Engagement Committee.

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Reed Agnew

James Anderson

Leon Haynes

Dave Jardini

Francois Bitz

John Earnest