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Skilled Trades Institute at Emerge set to officially open this fall

Longtime local trades educator takes the helm as director 

XENIA — With classes officially set to commence this fall, coming to teach at the Trades Institute at the Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative campus on West Enon Road is like coming home for Kevin Moore. 

Moore, 60, of Xenia, is a longtime educator with decades of experience both working in the field and teaching classes in the skilled trades. Because he once taught in the same building nearly 20 years ago, the opening of the Trades Institute feels like coming full circle. Currently an adjunct faculty member at Clark State College, he says he looks forward to the official opening this fall. 

“This place is close to home for me,” said Moore, who is the director of the Trades Institute. “I’ve been teaching HVAC for the last 20 years — first in this building when this was the Greene County Career Center. I did that for 12 years. Then, I taught at Clark State College for eight years. I left a full-time position there to start the Trades Institute.” 

Moore is an NCCER Certified Instructor (National Center for Construction Education and Research) who will also be teaching plumbing and electrical in the near future. 

“I started in the trades in 1983, in HVAC,” he said. “I went to school in 2002 and 2003 because there was a new refrigerant certification. Then, I went from taking the class to teaching it. I took the class here and taught it here. Coming back here feels like I’m coming full circle. I don’t live far from here. The church I attend is right around the corner. When I was a kid growing up, I lived across the street on West Enon Road.” 

Elaine Bonner, director of philanthropy at Emerge, said the Trades Institute will be a stand-alone entity — a for-profit school — partnering with Emerge and Five Star Home Services. 

“Skilled trades are such a viable option, as opposed to going to college for four years,” Moore said. “You can make as much money in the trades as you can with a college degree. Currently, there are a lot of technicians out of the field retiring and we don’t have young people to replace them so there’s a tremendous need for HVAC technicians, plumbers and electricians.” 

In addition to the school being state-of-the-art, Five Star Home Services CEO Kip Morris said it is also cutting edge because the curriculum involves lecture, lab and practice in the field — with co-ops embedded in the course because of the partnership with Five Star. 

Although classes officially begin this fall Moore said they have already taught classes in the space at Emerge for Five Star employees. 

“We’ve had three classes so far already for training Five Star employees,” Moore said. “Each class is a certificate class. There’s an EPA certification, and an OSHA 10 Certification. Plumbing and electrical will have certifications as well.” 

Although it’s a nine-month program, they are working on providing mini certifications that are stackable. 

“We have anything and everything you would see in the field,” he said. “Everything is state of the art. We have a mixture of newer and older equipment.” 

Moore said soft skills are also imbedded in the in-class work curriculum. There will be two semesters starting out. The nine-month course will have three terms totaling 600 hours. Classes will be Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

“Students get a mixture of classroom, lab and field experience with instruction,” he said. “Future options will include six-week certificate programs, specialized for trades. We currently have state-of-the-art labs for HVAC, plumbing and electrical. “ 

“Having the trade school on site is part of Emerge’s innovative model where all services will be under one roof,” Bonner said. “Gaining certifications in the skilled trades will allow the residents we serve to have success in long-term recovery. The vocational pathways we offer through the trade school will contribute to their long-term recovery by giving men the skills they need for good-paying job. We are also building the workforce, which is declining in the skilled trades, and helping a population that’s often overlooked.” 

Although many of the clients completing the Trades Institute will be able to go to work for Five Star Home Services, organizers say they won’t be able to hire everyone. Because of this, they are seeking to form partnership with area businesses and contractors to place candidates in career paths. 

For more information, to donate or get involved contact Elaine Bonner, Director of Philanthropy at Emerge at 937.974.6120 or visit https://www.emergerecoverytrade.com/ 


What is Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative?  

Located at the former Greene County Career Center on 45-acres of rural land, Emerge is the world’s first vocational community for people in recovery and youth aging out of foster care.  

Once the facility is fully operational, Emerge will have 50 beds for men, 50 beds for women and 25 beds for youth aging out of foster care on site with wide range of transitional housing options available off-site. The men’s side opened officially in June with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house that community leaders throughout the state attended. 

Emerge will serve people from all over Ohio. People successfully completing the programming at Emerge will leave with state-certifications and sustainable careers in the skilled trades sector from the Trades Institute. 

Emerge started in 2021, when Kip Morris, CEO of Five Star Home Services partnered with Chris Adams of Narrow Path Plumbing and Doug Van Dyke of Van Martin Roofing to purchase the property and form the nonprofit.  

Five Star Home Services has dozens of smaller, local companies throughout Ohio; it is one of the state’s most exemplary second-chance employers as well as one of the fastest growing home services companies in the Midwest. 

Numerous businesses operate out of the campus today, with a growing number of partnerships.  

For more information, to donate or get involved contact Elaine Bonner, Director of Philanthropy at Emerge at 937.974.6120 or visit https://www.emergerecoverytrade.com/