We often think about January as a time for new starts and positive change. A New Leaf is a blog series that highlights some of the fundamental changes and new starts the men at His Way make on their road to lasting, Christ-centered recovery. For the second blog post of our “Turning a New Leaf” series, we focus on our NAHA program.
NAHA’s Program & His Way
One of the greatest challenges in overcoming addiction and re-establishing a life of sobriety can be securing stable and quality employment. Because of their past way of life, many of our residents have a history of legal problems. This can make it difficult to get hired and secure a sustainable income.
Additionally, they often lack confidence or marketable job skills. We have some residents who have not held meaningful employment in several years, and a few that never have.
Through our Professional Development programs, we are able to assist our residents with resume building, job searches, and job training. A growing number of our residents and graduates are choosing to further their education.
We have recently formed some exciting partnerships to help our residents have access to educational and job training programs. The North Alabama Homebuilding Academy (NAHA) is one of those programs. The four-week class offers home building skills to anyone wishing to pursue a job in the construction field.
Their mission resonates with us:
to educate a workforce in the high-demand homebuilding industry by providing professional training so graduates are successful contributors to the workforce and can positively impact our communities.
Graduates also attend a job fair where employers are able to offer them better starting pay than they would without this training.
Delaying full-time employment to attend the month-long program can put a financial burden on some residents. Thankfully, His Ways helps residents with several grants and flexible employment through The Saving Way thrift stores. With this help, we are able to make this opportunity available to any resident.
So far, we have had two residents successfully graduate from the program. This blog post focuses on the perspective of one of these graduates named Carson King.
Celebrating a Graduate from the NAHA Program
Carson’s plan was to get his restaurant job back when he finished his first 60 days at His Way. But after hearing a presentation from the NAHA staff, he decided that he wanted to pursue this opportunity at learning a skill and possibly earning a higher wage.
During the month he spent at NAHA, he worked at one of our thrift stores and attended class in the afternoons. He said that the first two weeks of the program provided training in basic carpentry skills, such as reading a tape measure.
After that, there were four “trade specific” areas to choose from: HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical and Carpentry. Carson chose electrical.
At the end of the program, he attended a Job Fair and walked out with 6 great job offers! He decided to accept a position with Reliable Electrical Services, installing electrical in residential new construction. Carson told us that he loves the company and his job.
More from Carson
When asked, Carson describes his favorite part of participating in the NAHA program as, “Being able to learn at my own pace and make mistakes without the pressure of learning on the job. I have a job that I thoroughly enjoy, and I make a lot better money than I would have without the training!”
His advice to others considering the program:
“You should definitely do it, even If you have experience in construction. It will connect you with a lot of employers. Just being able to say that you went through NAHA can get you on at a higher pay rate and have people wanting to employ you.”
Another great thing about NAHA: If you get a job within 30 days of completion, they give you a tool bag or belt, and some tools with it to help get started!
Anyone that is around Carson can tell that he is proud of this accomplishment. He is happy to have a job that he loves and feels that he can support himself doing. We are happy to have been able to offer this opportunity, and we are hoping to be able to provide more employers with trained, reliable (and drug free!) employees in the future.
Learn More About His Way’s Programs
To learn more about the ways that His Way helps our residents turn over a new leaf, visit our website. https://hiswayinc.org/programs/residential/#highlights
To learn more about the North Alabama Homebuilding Academy, visit their website at www.gobuildyourfuture.com