Welcoming a Revolution
In the past decade, more than 1.5 million workers nationwide, thousands in Chicago, have left trades careers, while the remaining labor force is aging. After experiencing the carpentry labor shortage first-hand and having witnessed how much learning a skill like handcrafted woodwork can transform lives, partners Scott Simpson and Tom Kenny had the idea to start a focused training program. Dan Miller, a client whose home Scott Simpson Design + Build built in Northbrook in 2017, was excited about the idea. With his background in starting non-profits, Dan joined the force and brought on Manny Rodriguez and Sequane Lawrence, both of whom have been involved in workforce training and social justice programs in Chicago for years.
Together, the team founded Revolution Workshop, a social enterprise structured to provide the unemployed with carpentry and woodworking training, while addressing the dire need for more laborers in our trades. Through a demand-driven approach and in partnership with potential employers for the trainees, Revolution Workshop will provide 15-week cohorts in carpentry/woodworking focused on the creation of unique custom furniture and supplemented by job readiness skill training. It is our sincere hope that our trainees will leave the course feeling more confident, inspired and employed!
On June 16, 2018, the team hosted an open house at the official Revolution Workshop site in Garfield Park to celebrate being one step closer to bettering our city! To find out more, visit: www.revolutionworkshop.org.