Putting Tools in Kids’ Hands

“Managed by Allied Construction Industries, The Greater Cincinnati Construction Foundation (GCCF) works with Cincinnati community partners to provide educational programs that promote the construction industry and teach math and science through hands-on tool interaction. Since the foundation started ten years ago, a great deal of evolving has progressed GCCF’s initiatives. Lydia Burns, lead outreach and education advocate for GCCF, has expanded the organization’s initial programs, which now function as a workforce-development model for multiple school districts.

Lydia leads construction-based education programs at eight schools. For one individual, however, her role occupies a great capacity. This is where Cincinnati Community ToolBank steps in to assist Lydia with her program administration. Lydia’s engagement with the ToolBank braces her work at Roll Hill School, whose resource coordinator aspired to build a communiAllied Construction Photos (1)ty garden. When he spoke with Lydia about his concerns regarding resource accessibility, she suggested borrowing tools from the ToolBank to help make the project manageable and affordable.

“The ToolBank removes a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to performing workforce development,” says Lydia. She explained how contractors often desire to leverage the construction industry by educating children about job opportunities. Unfortunately, schools generally lack the quantity of tools necessary to make such instruction possible. By having access to the ToolBank, Lydia can equip her students with the proper tools for lessons that she teaches at an extremely affordable rate. Thus, the ToolBank’s services simultaneously support the development of future construction leaders, as well as allow the program to expand to more schools.
In addition to borrowing tools for their community garden, Roll Hill has also utilized the ToolBank’s equipment for special events such as honor-roll functions and parent-teacher conferences. Through her programs’ partnerships with the ToolBank, Lydia hopes that she can help eliminate stereotypes about the construction industry, as well as assist children with finding employment in the field. “ToolBank is the partner you need for peace-of-mind,” affirmed Lydia. “My relationship with ToolBank allows me to do my work better than anyone else.”