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  • Ellamae Arbuzinski

Seeking Workers for Community Construction


Community Action Duluth has launched a new work program and is seeking participants who are looking to learn a new trade. Community Construction is focused on providing a path to living-wage employment in the building trades to people facing barriers to employment, while at the same time addressing the affordable housing issue in our community. The program does this by offering transitional employment opportunities in which participants remodel homes for low income families and learn trade skills in the process. Participants will receive employment and financial coaching (as part of their paid work week), to assist them in reaching the goal of finding and transitioning into permanent employment, and they are expected to meet regularly with their coach.


Our community, like most of our nation, has a lack of skilled tradespeople to fill all of the trade jobs, which is known as the skills gap. Wage gaps also exist for multiple demographics. This program seeks to close both of these gaps by providing un- and under-employed people with a foothold into skilled trade jobs. Some of the skills we aim to teach with this program are:


  • Tool safety

  • Measuring

  • Construction math

  • Blueprint reading

  • Framing

  • Insulation

  • Drywall

  • Roofing

  • Window and door installation

  • Other project-dependent opportunities that arise


Participants learn hands-on skills by remodeling homes for the Duluth HRA and potentially other building and remodeling projects. They also learn soft skills for landing and keeping jobs like resume writing and interviewing. In addition to employment coaching, CAD also has coaches who will help them with transportation and personal finances so that they can make it to their jobs and use their wages wisely to improve their self-sufficiency.


Our goals for transitional employees are participating in the one year program, completing safety trainings, learning trade skills, and furthering their career upon completion of the program. They will also meet regularly with coaches in order to refine their resume and practice skills for getting hired. Ideally, participants will further their career path after completing the program by entering union apprenticeships, acquiring a permanent living wage, continuing on to higher education, or going into business for themselves. Anyone interested in getting involved with this program may contact (mark@communityactionduluth.org).



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Community Action Duluth

2424 W 5th St. Suite 102

Duluth, MN 55806

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