XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) — Monday, Sept. 25 is the first day of school for students at the Trades Institute in Xenia.

The Trades Institute is located in the old Greene County Career Center. It earned accreditation and became an official school this summer.

It’s located on the campus of Emerge, which is a recovery center, and it helps people get back to work. 

While the new school is open to people in recovery, anyone can go here to learn a trade in high-demand industries. 

“As the students go through the class, they’ll do ride-alongs. Not only will they have lecture-lab, they can have ride-alongs actually in the field,” says Kevin Moore, director of the Trades Institute.

With classes in HVAC, plumbing, and electrical, students can get into entry positions within weeks. 

“We have what’s called stackable certificates, and they are four and six-week classes, and they focus on particular skills,” describes Moore. “They don’t have to go to school for nine months before they’ll get a job in the trade.”

By giving people the basics, the Trades Institute can take people from entry-level to expert.

“They can learn some essential skills, which will get them in the door. And they can come back and finish those skills and keep increasing their skill level,” says Moore.

“HVAC, plumbing, and electrical jobs are considered– they’re called in-need through the state of Ohio, and if you meet a certain criteria, they will actually pay for you to come to this class,” states Moore.

The school also partners with Five Star Home Services.

“I worked for Five Star Home Services for several years now,” says Brian Evans, who’s a public relations specialist and content creator for Five Star Home Services.

Evans knows the importance of helping people get on their feet. 

“Part of my recovery will always be helping the next person coming into recovery,” says Evans. “When you’re working every day and you’re bringing home pay, it really infuses a person in early recovery with self-esteem.”

The school helps fill that need for people, while also filling a need in in-demand industries. 

“Learning a trade is like going to college. It’s going to college for the average man,” states Moore. “Once you’re in the trade for a couple of years, an HVAC tech or a journeyman plumber will make as much as any college graduate.”

“Our society has really valued, over-valued the corner office job, while under-valuing the jobs that built the corner office,” says Evans.

The school demonstrates the value of the trades while giving people a purpose and a place to secure a job and earn a paycheck. 

School leaders are stressing the Trades Institute is open to anyone, not just people in recovery. 

They say they’re working on developing other programs and classes like auto-mechanics, culinary arts, and cosmetology.

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