Frequently Asked Questions

(click on question to reveal the answer)


Exactly how does membership work?

  1. A member (Trade Schools, national Trade associations, Apprenticeship programs ) posts a need of donation of material, tools, or equipment for their Lab class of one of the Trades they teach. This could be a large quantity of small items (e.g. tape, wire nuts, welding rod, wire, etc) or one large item (e.g. a welding machine, an ice machine, a pipe threading machine, etc).
  2. We (Trade Aids) allow the post to stand for as long as the posting school wants to keep the requested need posted. This allows for someone to see the item and volunteer the donation by contacting you directly.
  3. If after a reasonable time of no response the school has not received what it needs via a voluntary donation from site visitors (contractors, wholesalers, manufacturers, individuals), Trade Aids gets involved directly and begins to network for the school (locally and nationally) to get the school their requested need.
  4. A Trade Aids rep will first talk to the teacher in need directly to get the details and the possible acceptable variations of the need (i.e. quantity, new or used, size)
  5. The Trade Aids Rep will stay in contact with the school on the progress and will report feedback from contacts as well as possible lead time on acquiring the product.
  6. The school will always have the option of pulling down the posted request if efforts have been exhausted to the point that the school and the Rep feel the school cannot wait any longer for the donation.
  7. If it is a posted request that is more of a ‘wish list’ than an immediate need, the school will leave the post up for as long as they wish and the posted item will stay on the list of the Rep as items continually seeking.

Who is allowed to be a member of this website?

Any school as a whole or a Trade school teacher individually (vocational, community college, private or public) who have paid the membership fee, can be a member. This site was built to specifically help Trade school teachers make sure they have what they need to teach the curriculum.

How can the user best benefit from the site?

  1. Teachers of all Trades are constantly running through consumable material in lab class. Often there is no more money in the budget, for the current financial quarter, for more to be purchased. Sometimes the administrative aspect and time line of requesting purchase orders is complex and the class finds itself without what it needs for months. Post your need on this site for the donation of such materials.
  2. Another way is if your Lab needs equipment for a greater diversity of education, post those needs on this site. Let the manufacturers see your Lab needs and decide whether or not they can donate new equipment. Ive personally seen 30-40k brand new equipment come off a mfg line and into the dumpster because it wasn’t built to customer spec. At a minimum you can get used equipment to expand the students horizons. Either way your students get to see and learn more while at your institution.

How will posting our needs on this site help us get what we need?

The benefit is the human element (i.e. our efforts that will follow your post). We monitor the post of needs. When we see a post of needs that are not getting any responses, after a reasonable amount of time we go into action. We start with your geographic region and contact the contractors, wholesale suppliers and manufacturers that are in a position to provide your needs locally. If we don’t find the help you need close to home, we expand the region and keep on keepin’ on until we find someone interested in helping. Yes, we are a poster board, but we’re a poster board that steps into action when we are notified of your post.

We’ve previously had people tell us that there is no monetary advantage to the donor giving the items to us vs them just throwing the material in the trash. Why would they want to help us with our material needs?

This comment is true and we wish fewer people felt that way. There are companies who don’t care whether or not Trade schools get what they need and it’s just easier for them to throw things in the trash can. But, that’s why we’re here. That’s why we built this site. To push through the ‘throw it in the trash group’ until we find the ones who have an interest in playing a role of turning out better students, knowing the students had what they needed to learn to master their craft. There are those who don’t care and there are those who do. We established to find out for you which ones do and which ones don’t care and to get the two of you connected.

There is a menu item for people to list what they have to donate to schools. Can those items come from anyone?

Yes, from anyone. We specifically left that on the menu because it has been our experience that those who are of the donating mindset often have a large quantity of the same item and want to get rid of all of it. It’s easiest for them to give everything to one school. That leaves the school in possession of a large quantity of one item. More than they need. We wanted that school to be able to offer the quantity of ‘more than they need’ to other schools. But to reiterate, any individual or entity can offer items for donation at any time without there being a current posted need for that item.

What can we post in the picture area?

Anything you want (note: they are screened). Anything found of interest in Lab; you can post your amazing work, you can post pics of yourselves with new equipment or of people working on equipment. You can show off and use it for bragging rights , pics of graduating classes or challenge another school. Just keep it fun, clean and educational.

How long can a school leave a posted need on the site?

A posted need can stay posted indefinitely. The site offers options of times to leave your post up, but you can check a box to have it automatically renew. If you do that, your post will not come down until you take it down.

If the material is not acquired locally, who makes shipping arrangements?

Trade Aids does not get involved with the storage or the shipping at this time. Arrangements are made between the parties donating and receiving.