While San Franciscans were simultaneously devastated by the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk or delighted by modern film classics such as Animal House and Every Which Way but Loose, AND began to offer training in construction as a way for individuals to take the first step on a true pathway out of poverty.
Created with funding from the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, the Employment Training Center (ETC) was established to provide vocational training to low-income youth and adults to attain necessary life and employment skills to achieve self-sufficiency. Since 1978, AND has trained over 2,500 individuals in carpentry and green construction and helped increase their earnings to an average wage of $20.85 per hour. In addition to learning these hands-on hard skills in the 14-week, full-time, certified program, trainees receive lessons in soft skills such as character development, self-esteem, financial literacy, anger management, conflict resolution and high school diploma or GED preparation. By the end of the program, the trainees can access job referrals, placement and retention aid for up to two years after graduation.
Over the years, AND’s ETC has specialized in cabinetry-making, computer-aided drafting and more recently, solar panel installation. With the help of Roots of Success, our ETC also teaches trainees about environmental justice. By weaving these ideas into our green job training, we empower students with the knowledge and ability to not only improve their lives, but take an active role in improving environmental conditions of underserved communities from which many have arisen.