CHOICE Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship Program Continues to be a Success

CHOICE Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship Program Continues to be a Success

September 18, 2014

It�s been said that in the construction world, everyone speaks one language: LOUD.

The carpenters-in-training embarking on the beginning of a new career are also speaking loud about the great training opportunity provided to them through the CHOICE Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship program.

The 12-week program is a partnership between Carpenters Union Local 27, the YMCA and Toronto Community Housing. The initiative gives youth the opportunity to learn about the construction industry and gain important jobsite experience. At the end of the program, participants have the chance to pursue an apprenticeship.

CHOICE Carpentry student Milambu Kabeya paints the exterior of a house in Scarborough

Julia Gr�gorie, a participant from the Crescent Town community, started the program with no carpentry experience. �It�s great that this program gives people the opportunity to work under the supervision of journeymen. To know that you�re getting quality training and really good support is amazing,� said Julia.

Julia Gr�gorie gets hands-on training with carpentry tools

In addition to practical training, participants are also provided with the tools they need to be successful. �I�m very thankful for this program because they give us tools�literally and figuratively,� said Julia. �Tools to use on the job and tools to use in everyday life. We get the right tools to help us build ourselves, our careers and the overall community.�

Carpenter Clifton Donegal, one of several CHOICE program instructors, reflects back on how the youth he has worked with over the years have made tremendous progress.�

�Sometimes the change is immeasurable. The community gets the help because these people change,� Clifton said. �Once that change happens, it gives the person who has made that change the power and the credibility to say, �I�ve done this and you can do it�, too.��

�Through this program we get to participate in the development of our communities. We are doing things other than just training carpenters�we�re also changing people.�

CHOICE Program Instructor, Clifton Donegal, guides Adonai Tekleberhan, a CHOICE program participant.

Rakim McFarlane, a participant form the North Heights community, agrees that the program has made a positive impact. �This program has changed my life,� said Rakim. �It helps me make my Mom proud, make my family proud and I can set a better example for my younger brothers.��

Though the 12-week program is wrapping up, many of this year�s participants do not see it as an end, but a beginning to their careers.

Mattheu Dallaire, a participant from the St. James Town community, has developed a work ethic that he plans to continue long after the program.


Mattheu Dallaire finishes last touches in the bathroom

�My philosophy is this,� said Mattheu. �It can go one of two ways: you can either mess things up, or fix it. I just jump right into it. Two feet in the water.�

Now as Mattheu and his fellow colleagues transition through the program and into the workforce, they plan to keep up with the �fix it� type of approach.

For more information on the CHOICE program and other opportunities for residents, please visit the Opportunities for Tenants page.�