The Trades Podcast

Ep 36 Laurie

Episode Summary

Helping job-ready candidates get connected to the right employer, Garage 82 and its CEO Laurie Narciso, sat down with Jeff & DJ Danny to talk more about the programs and options out there in the workforce. Follow us on Instagram @TheTradesPodcast

Episode Notes

Laurie Narciso



Our Mission:

To link underserved, re-entry, minority, and women populations with employers.

Our Purpose:

Providing exposure to the trades through short-term trainings and pre-apprentice programs.

Our Process:

We implement curriculum designed by industry leaders to train individuals in the skilled trades. Then we leverage industry suppliers, employers and job placement programs to help job-ready candidates find the right employer.

Our Story:

Home economics? Clarinet lessons? College? No way! I wanted shop class; a drum kit; a stint in trade school. But “non-traditional jobs for women” weren’t a thing in the 1980s, so off to college I went.

After graduation, I got a great job at EDSI helping low-income, non-custodial parents, and ex-offenders train for and find employment in career pathway positions. I spent over 20 years helping people take control of their futures, and in the process built a great network of industry professionals who helped these individuals reach their goals.

Meanwhile, I logged thousands of hours in my garage, tinkering with vintage items and repurposing flea market finds. My treasures were items other people threw out. I spent time on the tools, feeling accomplished by mastering new skills. My garage became the trade school I never got to attend.

Then the coronavirus made its way around the world, and 41 million people lost their jobs. Many of these jobs are not coming back. I recognized an opportunity in the lack of young people pursuing the skilled trades, where jobs are plentiful. I thought to myself, “Why not merge my career with my avocation and help people find meaningful, sustainable employment in the trades?” Thus, Garage82 was born.

Let me explain the logo. The garage is my happy place, where I go to be creative and relax. “82” represents the 9-year recidivism rate of ex-offenders in the United States, a population I worked with throughout my career. This number is too high! Lowering it requires tapping into each individual’s potential and helping them find steady work with a living wage, something that is almost impossible given the hurdles this population faces upon re-entry.

Finally, the octopus intrigues me. Did you know the octopus has three hearts and nine brains? This sea creature symbolizes flexibility, creativity, intelligence, and expansion—qualities I seek to emulate through Garage82. Together, the name and the logo represent my experiences and my goals.

- Laurie Narciso, Garage82 CEO