Portland, OR. Constructing Hope is a nonprofit that trains low-income people to work in the construction industry. The organization hosted a Grand Re-opening on April 21st to showcase new additions that can accommodate larger classes and more job training options. The building, at 405 NE Church St, can now host up to 160 students annually for training. At the event, Executive Director Pat Daniels greeted former Oregon State Senator and Constructing Hope board member Robert Boyer, seen above. A new boardroom is named after Boyer.

With this expansion, Constructing Hope will help more low-income people of color enter careers in the skilled construction trades
with middle-class wages to support themselves and their families. Constructing Hope graduates typically start work as construction apprentices earning over $20hr with opportunities for advancement to journeyman wages of $35/hr. or more. Graduates enter careers as carpenters, laborers, sheet metal workers, roofers, electricians, heavy equipment operators, ironworkers, painters, bricklayers, and plumbers/steamfitters.
Over the past five years, CH has placed 326 graduates into new careers with an average starting wage of $23/hr. Graduates have been 80% people of color, 55% returning citizens (formerly incarcerated), and 100% unemployed or underemployed.

Guests arriving at the Hoffman Construction Training Center.

The new interior (training room) mural is for students only, and all students who have participated in the program should see themselves in the mural. A central theme of the training room mural is action-oriented images showing students learning and working in the trades. Another mural theme is personal growth and transformation. Tapping into the strength of our ancestors is another theme.

There’s a new outside mural. The exterior mural honors African American pioneers in the construction field, the founders of the Constructing Hope Program (Irvington Covenant Church), and the faithfulness and perseverance of the Executive Director, Pat Daniels. The mural will honor and respect the historically Black community, ancestors, and struggle for access in the construction field.

Example of the type of equipment Constructing Hope provides to its trainees.

From Constructing Hope:

Constructing Hope would like to thank our partners at Prosper Portland, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Hoffman Construction Company and Pence Construction who funded the Workforce Training Center renovations and additions.

The program provides a no-cost, 10-week, construction skills, and life skills training program for disadvantaged men and women. The pre-apprenticeship allows women to learn construction trade skills and helps them secure a living wage job. The program aims to break down barriers by providing three years of career placement, mentorship, and supportive services. Constructing Hope is doing the work to help reduce recidivism for these women.

Constructing Hope serves people of color, those formerly incarcerated, and low-income adults looking to gain skills to access a high-paying career in construction. The construction workforce has a major labor shortage and Constructing Hope is working to fill that gap and has placed over 1,000 graduates into apprenticeships since 1995.

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