1. What is your main goal with Pro Trade Job Development, and where are you located?
Pro Trade is a construction training program based out of Milwaukee, WI. Our main focus is returning citizens (ex-offenders), helping them get their lives on track.
2. In addition to helping people gain job skills, how does your program help people build self-esteem and other skills beyond job-related training?
Our focus is personal development, life assessing, association assessments, what inputs are going in you (news, bad music, media), and barrier assessment, as well as job coaching, asset building, and more importantly, community building. Our curriculum is industry recognized, and our students get tools when they train with us because we want them to be ready when they go out seeking job opportunities.
3. Have some of the participants in your training gone on to start their own businesses?
We have had a few individuals start their own painting business or construction business. We try to support them with all the resources and connections we may have or know of.
4. As a business owner yourself, how have you kept yourself motivated, especially when faced with setbacks?
That's a long question, but to sum it up, FAMILY... My wife and my kids are why I can't fail. It's because of them that I have to be the example that demonstrates how your life and future is in your own hands outside of God's purpose for your life. I think of the young black males that don't have many examples of success but many of failures, so I have to do it. I think of the elders that believe there is no hope for 30-year-olds, and I give them a breath of fresh air.
5. Based on your experience, what is your best advice to people who are looking to develop their job skills and/or start their own businesses?
You have to be willing to learn, be willing to take criticism, take all the classes, and read all the books. Become a good student of your craft. Work for a successful company that is doing what you desire to do. Get as many mentors as possible. You must have a balanced life in family, financials, spiritual, and business to deem yourself successful.