Charleston Job Corps Students Support Local Habitat for Humanity’s Mission of Changing Lives

Andy Blackwood, chief executive officer of the Kanawha & Putnam Habitat for Humanity, loves to show people around their ReStore location just outside of Charleston, WV. Here they sell donated items to raise money to build Habitat for Humanity homes.

Donations are pouring in, but they’re running out of room. So, they’re expanding right next door thanks to the hard work and skills of students at the Charleston Job Corps Center.

“Oh, my gosh. I’m so excited. Why do I want it? So we can fill it up with more fabulous donations from the Putnam community,” says a ReStore staff member.

These carpentry and painting students are serving and learning as they help expand the store to nearly double its original size.

“This is amazing work. Three days ago, this was office space,” says Andy. “Hands-on activities, real-world activities that prepare them for careers and other options, I think is just an amazing opportunity for them once they’re through the Job Corps program and [for those who] plan to go into carpentry.”

STILLS Habitat partnership
Job Corps students.

Andy is a big supporter of Job Corps and its mission to prepare young people for the job market and life.

“We hear all the time in the news that we need folks ready and prepared to enter the trades. It’s a very strong labor market right now, and so these students and the experience they get through the Job Corps program is just going to prepare them well to enter into the workforce and then be able to provide for themselves.”