Making A Difference

Local organization aids women and people of color with opportunities in construction

Revolution Workshop offers free job training programs,  with many of the graduates finding gainful employment

NBC Universal, Inc.

A local organization is working to expand opportunities for women and people of color in the construction industry.

Jessica Miller is in week nine of a 12-week pre-apprenticeship construction training program at Revolution Workshop

“All I needed was a foot in the door. It’s kind of hard for women in this industry," Miller told NBC Chicago.

For Tavaris Dodson, he feels pride when he creates something out of nothing.

"I can frame a wall, frame a floor, I can put a roof on a house, install plumbing, dry walling, like really everything," Dodson said.

Elvert Berry, Dodson’s dad, also works at Revolution Workshop. He decided late in life to get into the construction business, and encouraged his sons to do the same.

“My lifelong desire is to inspire my sons and so to be that example, I had to put my first foot forward," Berry told NBC Chicago.

Revolution Workshop's workforce development program teaches people entry-level technical skills, and those people need the capacity to do much more.

“People here are doing complicated math. They are doing geometry, trigonometry, sometimes physics on some of these trades.  This is not for anybody that’s not smart.  You have to be hard working, ” says Manuel Rodgriquez, Revolution Workshop’s founding executive director.

Manny Rodriguez co-founded Revolution Workshop in 2018, as a way to break some of the barriers women and people of color face in the construction business.

“It’s critically important for us to not think of this as just 12 weeks, we place them and good luck. We have robust alumni services so we continue to serve them," Rodriguez told NBC Chicago.

To sign up for an in-person or virtual informational meeting, click here.

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