This past August, Habitat Chesapeake celebrated the graduation of our 2022-2023 HabiCorps Workforce Development Program cohort, a group of Trainees who have received training in construction and trade skills alongside our construction staff.
On a lovely summer evening in Catonsville, HabiCorps grads met with Habitat Chesapeake staff and HabiCorps sponsors to enjoy cake and revel in a new beginning with valuable skills under their tool belts. The HabiCorps Workforce Development program consists of 10.5 months and 1700 hours of training, including a paid stipend and health and childcare benefits. All graduates also qualify for an education grant to pursue further training or education like an apprenticeship program, plus job placement assistance.
With plenty of smiles and laughter, HabiCorps graduate Keith took to the podium to share what he had learned during the program:
“The path to this moment has been a testimony of our dedication. Finishing strong is not just about reaching the end, it’s about giving our absolute best to the last step,” he said. Last year, Keith had recently left college when his mother sent him a flyer about HabiCorps. He signed up, and for the past 10.5 months, he has worked hard to build skills and relationships, on and off the jobsite. “I had a lot of skills before, but I have gained a whole lot more. Not just financial skills or carpentry skills, but friendship and mindset. I gained a little family.”
HabiCorps instructors Mike Downey and Gary Mitchell sent off the graduates with framed certificates of appreciation as well.
“We’ve learned a lot about each other and what it takes as a team to get things done. I want to wish all of them the best for their future endeavors. They all have great potential to move on and do great things. I have confidence that you will all succeed and stay focused on your goals, and always reach more opportunities and life experiences.”
– Mike Downey, HabiCorps Instructor
One graduate in particular can look forward to continuing his journey with Habitat – as a full-time employee! Upon completion of the program, Dana was hired as an Assistant Site Supervisor to lend his freshly-honed skills to the jobsite alongside construction staff, volunteers, and the rest of the Habitat family.
“Being an AmeriCorps member is not always easy. But we’re so thankful and we’re so happy you consider us family. We definitely consider you family as well,” says AmeriCorps Program Director Kristen Chappelle.
This cohort also worked closely with future Habitat homebuyer Gabriel, who is matched to a home in Woodbourne-McCabe, a neighborhood off the York Road corridor where Habitat Chesapeake has built over 20 homes. Alongside their instructors, they installed trim and drywall and painted the interiors of Gabriel’s future home as he fulfilled his sweat equity hours. “I’m so happy to be a part of this family and be a future homeowner in Baltimore City,” said Gabriel.
Habitat Chesapeake is thrilled to see what the future holds for these great graduates!
@habitatches It's a ✨good day✨ when HabiCorps works onsite alongside our volunteers to build a home in #Baltimore! With HabiCorps, you can learn skills to launch your career in #construction and the trades, while earning a living stipend and benefits. Join us for a free info session this week! visit: 🔗 HabitatChesapeake.org/HabiCorps #feelgood #learnatrade #workforcetraining #careers #free #lifehacks #diy #homediy #constructionjobs ♬ Good Day – Nappy Roots
About Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake
Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake (www.habitatchesapeake.org) brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Since 1982, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake has built more than 780 homes in 19 communities, providing a brighter future for 2,700 children and family members. Homeownership is proven to transform lives – improving health, increasing children’s chances of academic success and offering an opportunity to build wealth across generations. Likewise, homeownership enhances neighborhoods by bringing tangible investment, engaged, long-term residents, rising property values and a sense of community.