FRESH START ACADEMY
We referenced the start up of a new formalized training program in the last report. We are excited to report that we have been approved for funding of a newe initiative called the Fresh Start Academy. This program will dramatically increase our capacity to train an addtional 24 individuals a year, with an opportunity to increase that number in 2022. The Academy will be launched in August.
Given the need in the community to find trained individuals with carpentry skills this program is consitant with creating opportunities for a trained workforce who will be available for community employment as the economy recovers from the pandemic and futher our goal of "Building Furniture / Rebuilding Lives". We will continue to keep our friends, donors and volunteers updated on the growth and outcomes of the new Fresh Start Academy.
Trends on the workshop floor: Over time sales of our furniture has evolved to building more custom products. Two contracts are significant in a couple of ways, one size and design and secondly, design and buyer. Below there are pictures of two products that illustrate the growing skills of our team and how the addition of more sophisticated equipment plays a role the outcomes. These products also illustrate the importance of grants to support specific needs.
Building large projects can be expensive, but improving the sophisitcation of our equipment not only widens our training capacity but also allows us to be more efficient and price competitive in the market place. The bookcase pictured (unpainted at the time of the photo) is the largest custom piece we've produced and one of the most complicated. A generous grant provided the funds to purchase and install a new sliding table saw that insures we are cutting large pieces of wood within close tolerances. (see pic of new saw) We want thank NINA, a local noprofit focusing on affordable housing, and a corporate partner to Fresh Start for their generous donation.
Second is a newly designed and robust set of Arbors for another corporate partner, Cape Cod Fence Company located in Avon, Ct. We have been under contract with Cape Cod for several years and this year we have been able to expand this relationship by providing a variety of backyard furniture like wooden benches, chairs, and tables. We are excited to expanded into selling them this new product pictured below.
We want to close with a thank you to our donors who supported us during GlobalGiving's most recent on-line giving event, the July Bonus Day. The generosity of our donors is a conorstone to our continued work.
In our next report we will share the story of a current project with Grace Lutheran Church located in Hartford, Ct as they pursue a large restoration of the grounds of the Church including a large variety of our outdoor furniture as they pursue an effort to create a new look and inviting space for the community.