Monday, January 11 marked the first day of a special course conducted by the Columbus Technical College Adult Education division and other community partners. The new community project known as Truth Spring TradeSchool started its first day of class in the Fox Community Center at 3750 5th Avenue. After a brief kick-off ceremony, 21 residents of Columbus’ North Highland community took their first step into a full year of training and job-readiness education known as Truth Spring Trade School. The first eight weeks will be a combination of high school equivalency prep, digital literacy certification, soft-skill training, forklift safety training, OSHA safety training, and CPR provided by Columbus Tech. Each of the participating agencies (Columbus Technical College, Goodwill Industries of Southern Rivers, Columbus Parks and Recreation, Highland Community Church, Right from the Start, Mercy Med, and the Food Mill Farmacy) will give students the opportunity to achieve educational, personal, and financial goals.

Truth Spring Trade School kick off group
January 11, 2021 – Participants and organizers for the first class of Truth Spring Trade School pose for a quick photo before hitting the books.

Truth Spring Trade School will not only provide workforce training and experience but will also educate students about the purpose and beauty of work and how it provides a wage as well as a path toward self-respect and dignity. By the end of the year, students will both understand the purpose of work and have the skills/training necessary to gain employment that provides a livable wage for their families.

Vice President of Adult Education at Columbus Technical College April Hopson said, “This is such a great community program with unprecedented support. I know this will be the first class of many who will complete this program, gain valuable training, and be able to give back to their community. Columbus Tech is honored to be a part of the Truth Spring Trade School.” In 2018, the non-profit organization Truth Spring (located in the North Highland) held a community meeting and invited its neighbors to attend. The #1 rule at Truth Spring is: listen to the community. In this meeting, they asked the question, “In what way can Truth Spring help rebuild this community?” The neighbors unanimously responded, “Jobs! We want to work!” The leadership of Truth Spring left that meeting and began the process of figuring out how to get people working in the North Highland neighborhood.

For a recap, check out this video.

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