Q&A with Construction Trainee Joshua


In the fall, we shared that 24 young adults completed orientation for Hope Builders’ Construction Training Program. To follow up on their progress, we recently checked in with Joshua, one of the new trainees, to hear about his first weeks of training.  

How did you hear about Hope Builders?

My oldest brother and his wife met in the medical assisting program a few years ago. I’ve always been interested in construction so I applied for a welding program at a community college, but was waitlisted and wasn’t able to enroll.

I was feeling stuck pushing a mower and picking up trash working with a landscaping business. My brother encouraged me to check out Hope Builders for the opportunity to develop a more specialized skillset.

I was excited to learn about the construction program and thought this would be a great first step towards the career I want.

What have your first few weeks in training been like?

I wake up around 5:30AM. Until I achieve my goal of earning my driver’s license, my brother drives me and drops me off before his work shift.

Classes start at 7:30AM. Depending on the day we either start with employment readiness, math, or hard skills. We have a break and then keep going with either soft skills or hard skills work in the warehouse lab. Every day we get two or three homework assignments.

How is Hope Builders supporting you in making progress on your license goal?

Hope Builders helped me enroll in a driver’s education class. One of their partners comes to site and gives practice quizzes, reviews the DMV handbooks and helps you with your application. Two days ago, they helped me set up my behind the wheel learning. It’s very helpful. We just went over a video about the route I’ll take for my test. I feel ready!

What have you learned so far?

In hard skills, we’ve been learning a lot about how to properly use power tools like the miter saw, router saw and skill saw. Last week we had our OSHA 10 training to ensure we can help maintain a safe work environment.

In employment readiness we’ve been working on developing our resumes and securing references. I had to reach out to people that I know personally and professionally to see if I could use them as a reference for my future job search.

What do you think is most important about the training program?

The two things that are stressed the most are initiative and responsibility. It’s what employers want to see, it’s what your friends and family want to see, and what you want to see from yourself. I can already tell this program is helping me grow these skills.

What are you looking forward to?

I love working with my hands and I love building so I’m most excited about getting the opportunity to build more in the warehouse. We share the warehouse lab with a class that started a few months before us. Seeing their progress is very motivating, I can’t wait to do that myself.