Simpson Strong-Tie held its second annual Trades Support program with Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley. The program’s goal is to promote interest in the trades as a viable career path for youth and for individuals who have recently been out of the workforce.

“We’re so grateful for the longstanding and wide-ranging partnership we have with Simpson Strong-Tie,” Janice Jensen, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, said in a news release. “Through the Trades Support program, Habitat is able to offer real-world classrooms, while Simpson Strong-Tie brings the expertise and industry leadership to nurture the next generation of skilled tradespeople. It’s a fantastic way to address the present labor shortage, promote viable career opportunities, and, ultimately, contribute to building a world where everyone has access to decent housing.”

At the event, 32 students from Making Waves Academy, a charter school in Richmond, Calif., attended a half-day workshop to learn more about the typical workday in various trades careers. The students also learned about how different roles within the building industry interact with each other. Students participated in a panel discussion with an architect, general contractor and director of operations at a national home builder and took part in hands-on activities, including installing joist hangers and driving screws.

“We look forward to expanding and deepening this program for those students who have expressed interest in pursuing a career in the trades to put them on a path for success,” Simpson Strong-Tie CEO Karen Colonias said. “It’s vital that we develop programs and opportunities to support our industry partners and invest in growing the labor pool of talented tradespeople.”