Success Stories



Chris S. & Shawn T. are employed as crew leaders at the Mt Washington Emerald Trail Project; these young men now interview Breaking the Chains graduates for positions at the Mt Washington Community Development Corporation.

Charles Strothers

After Charles Strothers graduated from the BTCP program, he was accepted into the IBEW Apprentice Program. Charles has strong leadership skills and determination―as a single parent he was determined to have a career that would provide a secure future for him and his daughter. He believed the pathway to that goal would be a good union job with family-sustaining wages. Charles believes that the Breaking the Chains of Poverty program enabled him to do that by providing him with the skills he needed to secure a decent entry-level job.

Chuck Jacobs

Charles “Chuck” Jacobs was referred to the BTCP program by the Labor – Management Clearinghouse. While he had working experience in a variety of occupations, he wanted to be trained for a career. Using his skills and determination, he successfully completed the program and applied for building trades apprentice positions. In early 2013, Chuck accepted a cement mason’s apprenticeship. He is using the skills he learned in the BTCP program as a stepping stone toward new educational and employment opportunities.

Tyronn King

Tyronn King is enthusiastic, a quick study and is driven to succeed. King was referred to the BTCP program from the Labor – Management Clearinghouse. After graduating from the program in 2013, he was accepted into the International Brotherhood of Carpenters – Pile Driver’s apprenticeship. Tyronn credits the BTCP program with not only providing the technical training skills he needed to get into the construction trades but also providing the life skills needed in order to make wise and informed decisions for achieving his dreams.

Charlene Jones

Charlene Jones completed her GED at Pittsburgh Connelly Trade School. A resident of public housing, Charlene credits Pittsburgh APRI for “giving me my life back.” Initially she did not meet the BTCP program entry requirements, so she utilized the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s (HCAP) internal program, built her skill sets, and then reapplied to the BTCP program and was accepted. She was one of our most committed participants―always willing to take the extra step to learn and build her skills.

Chris S. and Shawn T. are employed as crew leaders at the Mt. Washington Emerald Trail Project; these young men now interview Breaking the Chains graduates for positions at the Mt, Washington Community Development Corporation.

Yvonne J. is a war veteran who could not find work after coming home and is now in the final stages of joining the Pittsburgh Police Academy as new recruit.