City leaders have launched a pilot program to help people get back on their feet. It’s a six month framing skills program, designed to place them into in-demand Salt Lake City construction jobs.
“We had a construction industry who was looking for employees- and how could we bridge people experiencing homelessness and a job need,” said Lara Fritts, Director at Salt Lake City’s Economic Development Department.
The pilot program provided apprentices with up to six months of free housing, a month-long intensive training in framing for the construction industry and the “soft skills” needed to land and keep a job.
Of the 12 candidates, at least half of those that completed that program have pending job offers with a local construction company. All of the students will continue to work with case managers through Utah Department of Workforce Services to ensure their success. Together, they also have some processes in place to set students and homeless up for success as they transition into their permanent housing in a few months.
On February 6th students received certificates, tool belts and job supplies, and interviews with local construction companies seeking workers. Watch the full awards ceremony here: https://youtu.be/JPhjmf1U7GI
“I am pretty excited. I am excited to show off my skills to any employers who are interested; I am excited to move on and make things a success in my life… I am very appreciate. I am grateful. I am honored to go through this class. Our instructor, his name is George, he is an absolute whiz. I learned a lot from him. Hopefully, I can take that to the table and be an asset for the company I go to work with.” – Graduate Kevin Cressell
The program was a result of innovation and creativity in trying to solve the issue of homelessness and workforce needs and it’s not something that could have been by one single agency. Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development’s incredible partners include: Salt Lake Community College(SLCC), Housing Authority of SLC, Catholic Community Services of Utah, Department of Workforce Services, and the Utah Transit Authority.
The program has received funding from Morgan Stanley and other sources to continue this program. The next steps for the Department of Economic Development and and the Housing Authority of of SLC and their partners, is to get together and debrief, allowing them to move forward with this program efficiently with some refinements.
For more information, contact the Department of Economic Development or the Housing Authority of SLC at HASLCUTAH.org.