Building Trades Academy Inc., is a 501(c)3 entity that strives to deliver workforce education, training and employment services that lead to better jobs and careers in the building trades to low-income residents of South Hampton Roads through partnerships with industry, government, and community organizations; to deliver vocational training through partnerships that enhance the community and promote affordable homeownership.
We have helped more than 4,000 students build their better lives with the foundation that they received from the training program. These young men and women, who are often dismissed by society, may have few, if any, positive role models and are seldom encouraged to develop their skills and talents. For many, this training program is their first taste of success. These are people with potential who might otherwise depend on government subsistence or end up in our correctional system.
However, this program has proven that it does make a difference. The students are not only taught how to succeed in the construction trades, but they also receive life skills training. Students are required to participate in training as if it were a real job, and they also have to demonstrate the ability to obtain employment. Follow-up services are conducted for one year following their graduation from the program and include facilitating additional employment as needed, providing career counseling to promote job retention and advancement, and providing assistance to obtain higher education.
The following are some successful hands-on training endeavors that have been completed by our pre-apprentices:
- Remodel single-family homes in Park Place, a Norfolk Redevelopment Housing Authority public housing development, 2010.
- Provided assistance in renovations in Norfolk's Spartan Village following a flood, 2010.
- Partnered with The Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project (STOP) Inc. to provide weatherization services for low- to moderate-income households who may not have been able to afford home repairs themselves, 2010.
- Under a Youthbuild grant from the Department of Labor, built four homes that were sold to low-income families in Prentice Park, a neighborhood undergoing revitalization in Portsmouth, 2005-09.
- Completed the 24th affordable home constructed by program participants for a low-income family since 1990.
- Revamped Norfolk's Junior Achievement Building.
- Constructed furniture for mentally impaired children in Chesapeake's Southeastern Virginia Training Center.
- Converted a two-car garage into a year round children's playhouse for YWCA-Womens Crisis Center.
- Conducted building maintenance repairs to several low-income city housing projects (Ingleside-Lakewood).
- Remodeled a two-bedroom home for families in need in Bayside, Virginia Beach.
- Conducted Building Maintenance Training Program for Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
- Constructed a 3,000-square-foot training facility for the underprivileged (built entirely by pre-apprentices).
- Completed the construction of an additional wing for Camp Pendleton's Child Service Center in Virginia Beach.
- Contributed to Norfolk's new Day Care Center.
- Made repairs to Beach House, a home for mentally-impaired individuals.
- Completed major renovations to Mother Seton House, a home for runaway teenage girls in Virginia Beach.
- Converted a three-bedroom Virginia Beach home into an Emergency Shelter for the Samaritan House.
- Constructed floats and other materials for the Neptune Festival.
- Completed renovations to the first Rainbow Housing Inc. project.
- Completed remodeling project at the Susan Jan Keneski handicapped complex in Chesapeake.
- Renovated Norfolk's Park Place Friends Home Orphanage for 3-6 year-old children.
- Helped with renovations to Virginia Beach Chamber of Commerce office.
- Renovated Southeastern Virginia Food Bank offices in their new location at 2308 Granby Street in Norfolk.
- Renovated Endependence's new Satellite Center in Chesapeake.
- Renovated a Portsmouth home for an elderly woman through the Portsmouth Housing and Community Development.
- Renovations to the offices and gift shop at Virginia Zoological Park in Norfolk with the Friends of the Zoo.
- Renovations to Virginia Beach Christian Outreach, a temporary shelter for the homeless in Virginia Beach.
- Constructed two picnic shelters in Chesapeake, one at Greenbrier Park and the other at the Jubilee site.
- Renovated an abandoned building in Campostella Square that will be used to provide literacy training for adults and as an after school program for children.
- Constructed two duplexes for low-income families for Chesapeake Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
- Built three single-family homes, providing homeownership for low-income families in Chesapeake.
- Helped with the construction of Kids Cove in Virginia Beach.
- Helped with the construction of Fun Forest in Chesapeake.