Wilmington, North Carolina Non-Profit Provides At-Risk Youth with Skilled Labor Career Paths to Combat Skilled Labor Shortage
November 4, 2019 – Wilmington, NC
Kids Making It (KMI), a Wilmington, NC non-profit teaching woodworking to at-risk youth, attributes much of its success to the essential volunteers who support their efforts. Morgan Chiarelly, the Events Manager for Kesseböhmer USA, has been assisting KMI with its crucial mission of combating the skilled labor shortage facing the Kitchen and Bath industry. Students have one-on-one guidance to secure entry-level positions on job sites, apprenticeships with area contractors, and or pathways for continuing education programs at Cape Fear Community College.
Volunteering with Kids Making It is a way Chiarelly can support her professional industry while also giving back to her community. Chiarelly noted, “The young individuals in the program have tremendous potential, skill, and dedication. With a little bit of guidance, they, and their peers could help bridge the gap in our industry.” According to the Kitchen and Bath 2019 Market Index, “building and construction companies cite that the lack of skilled subcontractors in the market is preventing them from doing more projects,” (p.7). KMI will host skilled labor classes for carpentry, electric and HVAC trades for kids aged 16+. The goal of their skilled trade academy is to combat the lack of available skilled laborers in today’s market. KMI will work to provide relevant careers by partnering with area professionals and contractors to teach the basics of the construction trades.
Support for Kids Making It comes from grants, fundraisers, and donations. Additionally, the program seeks long-term partnerships from companies looking to fill open positions within their respective trades, as well as professional mentors for KMI participants.
About Kids Making It
Founded in 1994, Kids Making It began as a one-person operation with Founder and Executive Director, Jimmy Pierce in his garage. Pierce took it upon himself to mentor a single child with no intention of shaping as many lives as he and Kids Making It has. Jimmy Pierce and his wife moved to North Carolina in 2000, and Kids Making It has grown steadily ever since. The program has grown from a garage-run-operation into over 6,000sqft of space that includes a woodworking shop, finishing room, apprenticeship workspace, crafting/art room, and a retail shop. Kids in the program sell their projects in the retail shop and keep 100% of the profits. Kids Making It continues its expansion with the addition of a 4,300sqft timber structure that will house its Skilled Trade Academy. For more information, please visit www.kidsmakingit.org or contact (910) 763-6001.