TK always knew he was interested in construction. As a child in Tonga, his grandpa was a carpenter. He would work side by side with him, handing him hammers and nails. On school breaks, he also worked with his uncles in the concrete and masonry trade. Learning to build homes while using his own skill and creativity has always been a dream for him.
By 18 years of age, TK had his first strike in the state of California under the 3 strikes law.
Fast forward to 2019 – Having just lost his job, and with a bit of soul searching, TK decided he wanted to become a Contractor. As he was sitting outside waiting for his girlfriend to pay her car note, he did a google search for construction apprenticeships and Constructing Hope was the first that popped up. He called and spoke with Bobby and the team and scheduled his first interview. A few weeks later TK was accepted into Constructing Hope’s Spring 2019 Class.
Unfortunately, a parole violation led to his incarceration, forcing him to miss the beginning of the Spring Pre-Apprenticeship Training Class. A couple of weeks later he was released, and reached out to Constructing Hope to inform us that he was arrested. He was invited back for another interview and was later accepted to the Winter 2020 Class.
Constructing Hope Winter 2020 Class
The Winter 2020 term started January 7th and finished March 12th. Unfortunately there wasn’t a graduation ceremony due to COVID-19, but certificates were mailed to all graduates at their homes.
Even with the pandemic, Constructing Hope successfully put previously unemployed program graduates to work. The Winter 2020 term concluded in March with 18 graduates. Of these, 15 are employed with an average starting wage of $21.53.
(showed up to a class)
as of Sept 23, 2020
People of color
How Constructing Hope Impacted TK’s Life
Constructing Hope provided resources and information that TK needed to get started on a career in the construction industry. “They opened the doors for me and other students to plenty of local unions. Also, they will help you get your driver’s license back if it’s suspended. They will pay for your classes to get certifications to help you land a career job. While attending Constructing Hope, they also offer paid daycare for students who have little ones of their own. While I was attending, Bobby even wrote me a recommendation letter to the courts because I was going through custody courts at the time. I highly recommend people to tap in with the Constructing Hope program. They’re awesome and a great program!”
“Anybody who feels left out or not wanted at any workplace, or feels like they can’t get a job because of their background – Constructing Hope is where it’s at!”
Overcoming His Past
“Despite growing up with tattoos, and a criminal background, my work ethic shows and proves I am not the person who I was yesterday. I live for the moment, and what I do now is the results for tomorrow.”
Life After Graduating from Constructing Hope
After graduating, TK got full custody of his daughter. He continues to work, continues to save, and continues to learn and study. Today, TK is a licensed, insured and bonded contractor for Worldwide Construction, LLC (CCB#232464). He is attending Northwest College of Construction, working on getting his Journeyman card as a Carpenter.