Get To Know The HabiCorps Team: Meet Simeon

In a few short weeks Simeon Ainsworth, Carpentry Trainee, will celebrate his successful completion of HabiCorps, Habitat Chesapeake’s construction training program. With graduation in sight, the Habitat Chesapeake team had the opportunity to sit down with Simeon to find out what led him to HabiCorps, what he’s learned and where’s he’s headed next.

Simeon credits his involvement with HabiCorps to the Project JumpStart program. A partnership between Jobs Opportunities Task Force and Associated Builders & Contractors, Project JumpStart is a 14-week construction-training program.

Unable to find adequate employment after completing JumpStart, and unsure of just what type of construction work he desired to pursue long-term, Simeon pursued a Traineeship position with HabiCorps to find “more than just a job, a career” as he puts it. 

Pursuing a career in construction came as somewhat of a surprise to Simeon. “Before JumpStart and now with HabiCorps, I never saw myself doing home improvement trades as a career but because of these programs I now feel more comfortable, “ explains Simeon, “I was never put in front of a box of tools and told “Build something!” I progressively learned the little things to the big things, and I have never been more confident.” As HabiCorps Carpentry Trainees, Simeon and his peers have spent the last 9 months learning how to build a house, from tape measure-reading and basic power tool use to completing task-specific projects.  Simeon’s team has worked on a variety of projects, moving from Annapolis to Pigtown to the Woodbourne-McCabe neighborhhod in North Baltimore.  They’ve built front porches, decks, exterior walls, installed windows and doors, hung drywall, tiled and learned many other tricks of the trade. It’s been a busy 9 months!  

Just weeks away from graduation, Simeon is excited to begin his apprenticeship in construction, confident that he can have a prosperous career in the industry. “I like working with my hands now, and I enjoy seeing a task transform from nothing, to something. It feels like victory every time we finish a project.”

HabiCorps Trainees are sometimes the first on Habitat Chesapeake construction sites and play a key role in taking homes from framing through to completion. Creating these transformations have given Simeon, and other HabiCorps Trainees, the confidence that he speaks about. “It could be anything from constructing stairs to installing windows. When it’s done, I feel a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I took something from its raw state and built a piece of someone’s home.”  

“I used to think that construction was just tools” Simeon admits, “but thanks to HabiCorps,  I now understand that there are more components such as measurements, accuracy and precision and I am ready to take my skills into a career that I am excited about.”

Simeon, who will be graduating in late August, is looking forward to applying everything he has learned over the past nine months to the opportunities he will be met with after graduation. “I’m looking forward to staring my career, being financially stable, and pursuing my next major goal of purchasing a house for my family.” We are excited to see the impact of the HabiCorps experience on participants like Simeon, and know that this is only the beginning of their success in construction. We not only look forward to graduation day but the start of the next 10-month session with a new round of HabiCorps Trainees in September.

If you are interested in learning more about the HabiCorps Program or know of someone who may be interested in participating as a Trainee please contact Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake as 410-366-1250 or email habicorps@habitatchesapeake.org


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