Everything we do here at the Building Trades Academy- including community service projects, internships and guest speakers, stems from one goal: to help people in our community find gainful employment in a fulfilling career and consequently a better way of life

We Change Lives

Over the last 36 years, the Building Trades Academy has seen countless lives changed.  Everything we do at the Building Trades Academy- including community service projects, internships, and guest speakers, stems from one  goal: to help people in our community find gainful employment in a fulfilling career and consequently a better way of life.  We aren’t just looking for “jobs” for our students, we find careers. These careers often come with full benefit packages and advancement opportunities.   Our history is full of stories of students who had exhausted all other options only to find the Building Trades Academy.  Many of those students are now gainfully employed, many have been promoted, and some are even business owners!

Our Methods

Internship ProgramCommunity Service ProjectsGuest Speakers
Over the course of each class, our students are assigned an internship with one of the Tidewater Builders Association’s member firms.  Tidewater Builders Association is our parent company and also the largest collection of businesses that represent the shelter industry.  Each student is placed with a maintenance technician or a maintenance supervisor, depending on the location of their internship.  Students work under the direction of their supervisor for one day each week for the duration of the program.  It is common for our students to get hired directly by their internship site.   Some students are even hired for part time positions during their internships, giving them the chance to earn an income while finishing the program.
Our students have completed numerous community service projects over the years.  From building houses with Habitat for Humanity to renovating homes in danger of being condemned,  our students have spent a significant amount of time giving back to their communities.  Click here to see a list of some of the most recent projects:

Submit your own project idea to our team here!

We have guest speakers come in and talk about a variety of different topics.   All of the topics are geared towards helping our students gain employment, keep their jobs once they get them, and handle the responsibilities that come with employment.  Many future employers come in and talk about what they look for in an employee. Former students will also speak to current students, discussing how they have become successful in their careers.  Bank representatives have come in and spoken to students about how to manage their money set up budgets and begin saving money.

The diversity of speakers allows our students to have access to resources and connections they may miss out on otherwise.  We aim to equip graduates from the Building Trades Academy with a full arsenal of life skills.