The concept for Trade Aids started on an island in the Caribbean, when attempting to start a program to help local troubled youths learn a trade. Starting with nothing, the toughest part of starting the program was acquiring materials and equipment for Lab / Shop class. It was grass roots, underfunded and unorganized, but we did the best we could.
With other teaching opportunities during my career, as a Service Manager, at Vo-Tech school and at Community College, the theme continued to repeat itself. There was never enough equipment, tools or materials for Shop class. Most often there were 5-10 students per Lab station. A very discouraging and disappointing scenario for those standing around in a groups of 5-10 while one person performs the task. I knew this was something I was supposed to do in life. To make the trade schools better for the students and help the people trying to start schools in rural areas around the world by providing supplies that most often are considered trash by manufacturers, contractors and wholesale suppliers. Left over job materials, returned factory merchandise, old tools when new ones are purchased, discontinued items and tons of other teaching aids that Ive personally seen thrown in the trash.
Not knowing how to start down this mission road, I thought to create a website for networking. A site for matching what industry considers trash with the needs of the schools. In exchange, we wanted to offer something of value on the site to each of the groups of people who were needed to help with this mission. Looking into the outstanding industry needs of those who could help with the mission, the website is a result of our best effort to give something of value that can be used daily by those that we need on our team. We hope that manufacturers, wholesale suppliers and contractors will gain from the opportunity of branding and name recognition in the school systems by contributing to the cause. Though not available at this time, our first growth goal is to find warehouse space to receive materials that are not collected fast enough from site postings so that they will still be available in 6 months when needed.
All trade industries are very well aware of the future dilemma of a shortage of students going into the trades. Its been the topic of discussion for years now. If we can help make the schools more attractive with more consumable materials so that EVERY student gets to work with their hands during EVERY Lab class, it might just be a step in the right direction.