LINCOLNSHIRE, IL – Knowing that one tool can make a difference in someone’s life, Klein Tools announced its support of Project H.O.O.D., a nonprofit organization on the South Side of Chicago that provides training and employment opportunities to deserving members of the community. At a press conference held today at Project H.O.O.D, Klein Tools unveiled its “Pliers Promise” initiative, which equips 15 students in Project H.O.O.D.’s construction program with over $10,000 worth of Klein Tools. As part of the new partnership, Klein Tools will also offer scholarships to the top graduates within Project H.O.O.D.’s construction program so that they can successfully move to more advanced electrical training alongside students at Chicago’s HVAC Technical Institute.
“As a long-standing Chicagoland company, the success of our community is very important to us,” says Mark Klein, president of sales and marketing at Klein Tools. “Project H.O.O.D., which is located in Chicago’s underserved Woodlawn and Englewood neighborhoods, creates programs that help empower Chicagoans to become leaders and entrepreneurs in their communities. By partnering with Project H.O.O.D., Klein Tools is able to connect with those who wish to enter the trades, but don’t have the resources to do so. Together, our organizations will provide opportunities for these neighborhoods and future tradespeople while helping to lessen the skills gap that we are facing today.”
Project H.O.O.D.’s construction program trains men and women between the ages of 18-24 for a career in the trades. In partnership with the Illinois Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC-IL), the 12-week construction program uses the organization’s nationally recognized training curriculum to teach students basic carpentry skills. Project H.O.O.D. also partners with the Preservation of Affordable Housing’s Woodlawn Resource Center (POAH) to provide employment coaching and financial services for each student. These partnerships help every student with placement into an apprenticeship program or an entry-level job after graduation. Project H.O.O.D.’s construction program also encourages students to explore different career paths within the construction industry in an effort to address the skills gap across all trade industries.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the leading manufacturer of hand tools for tradespeople,” says Pastor Corey B. Brooks, founder and CEO of Project H.O.O.D. “Our mission is to equip our community with the resources, skills, tools and experiences needed to be successful. As we continue our work towards ending violence and creating sustainable job and entrepreneurship opportunities in our community, we know Klein Tools’ donations of tools, equipment and scholarships will give our construction program students the opportunity for a bright future in the trades.”
Upon completion of Project H.O.O.D.’s construction program, two students from each 2018 cohort will be recognized for their top-performance and awarded scholarships for advanced technical training at Chicago’s HVAC Technical Institute. HVAC Technical Institute recognizes the need for qualified technicians and provides the necessary skills and knowledge for career growth. Available courses specialize in both electrical and HVAC work, helping aspiring professionals be successful in the trades.
“Each year, we are proud of the hard working students that complete our training programs and start their careers in the trades,” says Mario Recio, director of HVAC Technical Institute. “Our partnership with Project H.O.O.D. and Klein Tools will help us to provide the necessary skills and training to individuals who are looking to advance and succeed in the HVAC and electrical industries. By working together, we will help those who may not have otherwise had the resources to explore new careers and prepare for their own futures.”
Project H.O.O.D.’s construction program began in the summer of 2017 with its first cohort of students. In August 2017, six students, who Project H.O.O.D. specifically sought out due to traditional employment barriers, graduated from the program. All graduates have since received full-time careers in the trades with various Chicago organizations. Because of the program’s success in addressing the skills gap and helping local Chicagoans find careers, Project H.O.O.D., Klein Tools and HVAC Technical Institute plan to partner for future cohorts in 2018.
For more information on Klein Tools and the Pliers Promise initiative, visit: www.kleintools.com.