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Founder of construction training center wants to help students build a solid future

Andy Evans helps students install door at Rochester Construction Training Center
Beth Adams/WXXI News
Andy Evans helps students install door at Rochester Construction Training Center

Some Rochester residents who dropped out of high school, served time in prison, or simply struggled with establishing a career, are learning the skills of the construction trade.

Andy Evans, a master builder with years of experience, is offering classes in a former church on Buffalo Road in Gates. Evans said someone once taught him how to do this work when he was younger.

"I was at a part of my life where I could have gone down the wrong road," he said.  Now, Evans wants to help young men who haven't found a good paying job or a career they like.

Lenzy Blake dabbled in construction a while ago, but had to give it up when he hurt his arm.  Now that he's recovered, he wants to start over and find a job in one of the trades where there's a labor shortage.

"We're learning everything here," Blake said. "We're pretty much building a house from the ground up. We're starting from the basement all the way up to the roof and electricity. It's going to get us well-rounded for the future."

Andy and a couple of his partners used their own money to start the training center. Some local companies have donated supplies and the tuition for some of the students was covered by a local program.

The Rochester Construction Training Centerwould welcome more community support. 

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear more. 

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.