TradeUp!, a Phoenix nonprofit dedicated to empowering children through hands-on learning in the construction trades, is seeking parents, educators, and professionals in the skilled trades to volunteer at its educational workforce development program. The free after school program, now in its sixth session at Madison Park Middle School, introduces students to careers in the skilled trades through interactive training modules led by local construction industry experts.
To kickstart the Fall 2022 program, TradeUp! is inviting industry professionals to join them on Wednesday, August 31, from 3:30 – 5:30 pm at the Helios Education Foundation located at 4747 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix. Registration is requested at http://tradeupclub.org/. Organizers will demonstrate how skilled trade professionals who volunteer for just one day can help shatter misconceptions, teach basic skills, and share the joy of building our community.
“Arizona’s incredible growth and other factors have led to a shortage of skilled trade workers in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and other sectors that many children are not exposed to in school,” said Sasha Lewis, CEO at TradeUp! “Volunteering for just one day gives industry professionals an opportunity to share their stories and teach kids new skills that spark creativity and inspire them to explore new career options.”
As the rising cost of a college education is on the minds of many parents, TradeUp! seeks to inform students of the wide range of high-quality, high-paying career opportunities in the construction trades that often don’t require a 4-year degree.
While the 21-week program is free for students, the nonprofit relies on the support of business partners. To offer a complete learning module, it needs volunteers from different specialties to lead age-appropriate, dynamic activities. Each week focuses on a new skill that combines STEM subjects with hands-on instruction for basic skills such as carpentry, plumbing, and electrical, as well as virtual reality and computer modeling.
“Rosendin supports TradeUp! because we want to create awareness for students and their parents about the wide variety of careers in the electrical industry that offer career growth opportunities whether they plan to attend college or enter the workforce after graduation,” said Jake Kenney, TradeUp! Marketing Chair and Business Development Coordinator for Rosendin, the nation’s largest employee-owned electrical contractor. “We encourage more construction companies to join the effort to educate the next generation that will propel our industry to the next level.”
The TradeUp! after-school club, formerly known as CACTUS (Careers in Architecture, Construction & Trades Uplifting Students), was created in 2018 with the Madison Elementary School District. Previous learning modules include how bathroom plumbing works, repairing drywall, painting, wiring solar panels, and building a doghouse. In addition, students toured trade educational facilities and construction sites, and met with high school students attending a training school like West-MEC.
TradeUp! is possible thanks to the sustained backing of its trade partners at Chasse Building Team and Gilbane, as well as support and donations from industry, including Arizona Masonry Council, Cotton Architecture + Design, DEPCOM Power, Global Roofing Group, Karber Corporation, Renco Roofing, Sun Valley Construction, Sargon Masonry, TDI Industries and the Arizona Chapter of NECA, among others.