In the 1990’s, Irvington Covenant Church members saw firsthand the negative effects that gentrification and dwindling housing affordability had on its members, neighbors, and especially the large minority population in North/Northeast Portland.  To address these concerns, church members created Irvington Covenant Community Development Corporation (ICCDC) in 1995.  The organization built and sold 11 homes in Northeast Portland, to provide low-to-middle income families with decent housing, plus provide hands-on construction experience for participants in the organization’s Constructing Hope Training Program.  As the housing industry changed, ICCDC focused on the Constructing Hope Training Program and targeted people coming from incarceration and people with a legal history, to empower them to get a clean start as productive, self-sufficient members of the community.  In 2007, the program was approved by the Bureau of Labor and Industries as a state-certified pre-apprenticeship program, and in 2010, the Constructing Hope Pre-Apprenticeship Program became an independent non-profit organization separate from ICCDC.

Today, Constructing Hope gives men and women the skills necessary to begin a career as an apprentice in the construction trades.  Having expanded to serve a broader range of people, including low-income individuals, the long-term unemployed, and minorities, in addition to people coming from incarceration and people with a legal history, Constructing Hope helps these individuals attain in-demand careers in the skilled construction trades.  Constructing Hope also provides case management services to help address any issues that might impact a participant’s ability to thrive in the program.  Beyond that, Constructing Hope provides career placement services and employment retention support, and tracks graduates’ employment progress.  Relative these activities, Constructing Hope has developed relationships with numerous partners to ensure that the program provides quality training that benefits both participants and potential employers.  These partners have worked with Constructing Hope to ensure that its training meets the partners’ needs for workers who have excellent vocational skills and valuable life skills.