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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.

Learn more in our 2022 Annual Report»
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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Leroy Mabins


Director of Student Services

Leroy Mabins has over 30 years of experience in the social services field prior to joining the TIP team. Leroy began his career as a district supervisor in a trade school for adjudicated youth. He went on to serve as a retention case manager with the City of Pittsburgh RESET program. Outside of his work at TIP, Leroy is a musician and motivational writer. He holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Duquesne University.

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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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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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Alfredo Rodriguez


Carpentry Instructor

Alfredo Rodriguez is a graduate of the Trade Institute and has been affiliated with TIP since 2016. Alfredo is a certified welder and currently serves as an assistant carpentry instructor at TIP. Alfredo’s personal mission is to continue to support the formerly incarcerated community and to help ease their transition back into society.

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Kenya Alford


Community Engagement Coordinator

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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Joy Porter


Office Manager

Joy Porter comes to TIP after working in the Pittsburgh Public Schools for 26 1/2 years as the main office school secretary. In her role, Joy greeted visitors, answered phones, ordered all supplies, and was the school treasurer. Joy loved getting to know the PPS families well over the years, but is excited about the new opportunity to work with TIP students. When she is not working, Joy enjoys spending time with friends and family.

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Jabriya Hester


Development Coordinator

Jabriya Hester received her B.A. in Community and Justice Studies/Political Science from Allegheny College. During her time at Allegheny College, Jabriya Hester served as the president of Gator Activities Programming. She also worked as a resident advisor for three years at her institution. Later, she went to start her own club – Women of Color in Politics – with her classmates. Jabriya is passionate about women’s reproductive rights, education, and ending mass incarceration. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, and dancing.

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David Jardini



David Jardini has been a board member of the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh since 2021 and was elected board president in March 2023. He is an experienced entrepreneur whose career has been focused in the metals and manufacturing industries, and he is currently Managing Member of Black Diamond Investments, a diversified family investment partnership. David holds a Ph.D. in the History of Technology from Carnegie Mellon University and B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College. In addition to his membership on Trade Institute’s board, he is honored to serve on boards of directors of Robroy Industries Inc. and Compass Precision Inc., the Sauereisen Inc. board of advisors, and the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence Advisory Board. He formerly held Board positions at GrafTech International Ltd. (GTI), St. Clair Memorial Health Corporation, the Sewickley Heights History Center, Elk Regional Health System Foundation, the Elk County United Way, and the University of Pittsburgh – Bradford. David was born and raised in Pittsburgh and lives with his family in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

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Reed Agnew


Board Member

Reed Agnew is one of the three founders of ThoughtForm Inc., a design consultancy noted for untangling complex communication problems. At ThoughtForm Inc., Reed has devoted his attention entirely to graphic design and communications. He is specifically interested in integrating language and visual design and especially in the use of visual models to explain complex ideas. His notion of “writing backwards” has guided his work, which has included information spaces and exhibits, brochures, packaging systems, interactive programs, sign systems, annual reports, handbooks, branding programs, websites and software. He is also interested in computer technology and its application to design problem-solving and production, as well as to business management. Before founding ThoughtForm Inc. in 1980 with Don Moyer and Grant Smith, Reed spent 13 years with Westinghouse, mostly at the company’s Corporate Design Center. A graduate of Lehigh University with a degree in civil engineering, Reed served as manager of industrial design and later as manager of the design services group, which also included graphic design. The Design Center was a unique, in-house consulting office, set up under the direction of outside consultants Eliot Noyes and Paul Rand. It provided design services to Westinghouse divisions worldwide for products, graphics, signage, packaging, interiors and architecture. 

He has won numerous design awards, published articles on a variety of design-related subjects, speaks frequently at design and business conferences and has been actively involved in AIGA, APDF, IDSA and the Design Management Institute. Reed has served as a board member of the Association of Professional Design Firms (APDF), as well as on the advisory boards of the Design Management Institute and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Business School. In 2008, Reed was selected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).

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James Anderson



James Anderson is the Director of the Justice Policy Program at the RAND Corporation and oversees research projects on various aspects of the civil and criminal justice system. He has served as principal investigator on many projects, ranging from policy implications of autonomous vehicle technology to understanding the effects of indigent defense systems. He has presented to a wide variety of academic and professional audiences and is a member of the American Law Institute. Before joining RAND, he clerked for the Honorable Morton Greenberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and represented prisoners on death row as a public defender for 10 years. He received a J.D. for Yale Law School, and a B.A. in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University.

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Board Member

Francois Bitz is an Independent Computer Hardware Professional. Mr. Bitz is the CEO/Treasurer of the Bitz Foundation, as well as a Board Member of the Pittsburgh Opera Company. Previously, he was the Cofounder and Vice-President of Advanced Product Development for FORE Systems, Inc. 

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Board Member

Andrea Clark Smith is an Associate Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President Employment Law, Labor Relations & Physician Contracting for UPMC. At UPMC, Andrea leads a team of employment, labor, immigration, HR compliance and physician/health law specialists. Her law practice focuses on nearly every element of the employee/employer experience. In addition to her legal practice, Andrea has led significant diversity and inclusion efforts including serving as Manager of both UPMC’s and American Airlines’ Minority Counsel Programs, serving on the UPMC Corporate/International Executive Employee Experience team and serving as Co-Executive Sponsor for UPMC’s Employees of Color Employee Resources Group. 

Andrea completed her undergraduate work at Spelman College and received her law degree from Emory University School of Law. In 2019, she was identified by Savoy magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in Corporate America. In 2021, Andrea was inducted into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and in 2022 Andrea was honored as a Diversity and Inclusion champion by PA Women Work and inducted into the New Pittsburgh Courier’s Women of Excellence – class of 2022. 

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Board Member

John Earnest is Team Laminates Company CEO/President 1998-Present, which is a Lead Architectural Casework and Millwork Shop that employs 15 individuals. Since buying the company is has grown in  olume from $400,000 yearly to $1.2 million annually. John is a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute QCP, a member UoP IEE and Advisory Board member for 15 years, a Board member of Hillel Academy School for 8 years, and a mentor for the IEE EFC program for 14 years.

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Board Member

Brick and mortar has been in Adam’s DNA since he was a boy, spending summers in the warehouse of his family’s masonry business. After graduating from high school, he immediately went to work for the family business as a laborer, where he carried brick and block, mixed mortar, operated equipment and built scaffolding. Five years later, Adam transitioned from the field to the office, trading in his hammer and gloves for a pencil and a scale rule. He performed as an estimator, reading blueprints and bidding projects. He then went on to become a project manager. After several years wearing many hats, Adam became more integral with the day-to-day of the company and, as his dad would say, he began “overseeing the entire shoe store, not just the individual shoe box.” Adam was recently promoted to President of Harris Masonry Inc.

Adam believes that the trades are a great career path, and he is committed to championing the building trades. He serves on the Construction Advancement Program of Western PA, the Builders Guild of Western PA, and he is involved with numerous high school career technical centers.

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Leon Haynes


Mr. Haynes is the Executive Director of Hosanna House, Inc., a multi-purpose community center for quality health and human services located in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. It has over 80 full-time and 20 part-time employees with an operating budget of $6,000,000, and serves over 35,000 people per year through workforce development and technology training, health care, dental care, childcare, and after school and in-school programming.  

Mr. Haynes, originally from Virginia, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology at North Carolina A&T State University. He has worked with local boards such as the Boys and Girls Club, Lifecare Hospital-Wilkinsburg, the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development, and the Family Support Policy Board. Mr. Haynes has had a leadership role in the forming of Healthy Start, Inc. of Pittsburgh, along with establishing the Wilkinsburg Community Health Advisory Council, the Wilkinsburg Family Health Center, the Wilkinsburg Family Support Center at Hosanna House. 

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