July 17, 2015 – “Second Chance Graduates its Tenth Deconstruction Training Class” Press Release from Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development
The press release issued by MOED, a long and vital partner of Second Chance, reads in part:
Second Chance utilizes the training program to deconstruct houses and other buildings and salvage the appliances, furniture, fixtures and materials for resale at its warehouse store in downtown Baltimore. Second Chance, a pioneer in deconstruction when it introduced its training program during a dynamic period in the development of “green” building standards and techniques, has grown its deconstruction crew from four to almost 50 people.
“A ‘green’ training program for those with employment challenges is a natural fit for us,” said Second Chance President and Founder Mark Foster. “We believe in giving materials and especially people a second chance.”
The 20-week Deconstruction Training Program incorporates both classroom learning and on-the-job experience. Participants are trained in deconstruction tools and techniques as well as the “soft skills” that help them to manage their professional and personal lives. They also receive certifications in safety protocols, including OSHA 10 (US Occupational Safety and Health Administration), a key credential for workers in the construction trades.
Paying a living wage is an essential element of the program. “The population we serve is unemployed. Offering them full-time, paid employment throughout the training program reduces the likelihood of recidivism; provides them with an employment history; and helps them to support themselves and their families. Additionally, they gain the life skills and work habits necessary to meet 21st century job readiness standards,” said Foster.
In addition to providing a portion of the funding, MOED identifies qualified candidates who could benefit from the program. The program targets city residents who face multiple barriers to employment, such as chronic unemployment or criminal records.
“Second Chance grads are overcoming challenges and orienting themselves on a path of responsible, productive citizenship,” said MOED Director Jason Perkins-Cohen. “I am proud of each of these graduates and pleased with our Second Chance partnership that results in people reaching new career goals.”