AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — As the school year comes to a close, workers are making sure schools in Aiken County like Graniteville Elementary are ready for students next school year. The project is giving some local residents a “Second Chance.”
“Second Chance Jobs is really cutting edge of putting people back to work and obtaining skills and careers,” Advisory Board member Mike Stake told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
It’s putting folks back to work, one trade at a time. “If they don’t have this opportunity, where do they go?” Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon said.
The Second Chance Initiative gives displaced workers, ex-offenders, and others another shot at entering into the workforce. With training and an apprenticeship program. Current apprentices are working at the new Graniteville Elementary School.
“It’s a great thing in order to get you started in a trade that you may like to do,” Gino Johnson said.
There’s construction happening on the outside and inside too. Graniteville students will see a lot of new hardware like sinks and toilets. Also, things they don’t see like pipes. Many of which Bradley Plumbing and the Second Chance initiative provided the labor force. The program seeks all different backgrounds providing training in 10 different areas: Basic HVAC, Building Construction Technology, Carpentry, Electrical, Solar Installation, Landscaping, Masonry, Painting, Plumbing, and Weatherization.
“I wanted to do H-VAC first but then i came to Bradley’s and they were doing plumbing mostly, so I’m working to get my certification in that,” Zachary Carpenter said.
In addition to Bradley Plumbing, a number of businesses/individuals have partnered with Second Chance:
- ACE Electric
- RW Allen
- JE Stewart Builders
- Southern Plumbing, Electrical, Heating & Air
- Johnson Construction
- Doc Savage
- Lessie Price and the Aiken City Council
- SC Works
- Mayor Rick Osbon
- The Department of Labor
- Megiddo Dream Station
The program, approved by the Department of Labor, started off by working with ex-offenders but has grown into helping dis-located workers, veterans, the homeless. Now, the program is partnering with area high schools and colleges. Even bringing manufacturing apprenticeships on-board.
“We are changing lives daily that’s what we like to do. It just feels so good seeing the people go through our program and getting into a career path that’s really going to change their lives, their community, and their families lives, too,” Second Chance Job’s Colin Slaven added.
Classes are forming now for the Augusta. In order to get your chance to be a part of the July 22 class, contact Second Chance Jobs, here: 1-866-7 CHANCE or visit http://secondchancejobs.org.
A class will also take place July 15 in Aiken.