Detroit, Michigan—Tradesmen, women and those passionate about home building gathered together Thursday night to discuss ways they can collectively improve the standards of construction in their area and the cultural perceptions of those who build in their region.
Logan Bourne of Detroit based Bourne Building Co. partnered with Wall Woodworking and Fine Homebuilding to host the public event. Equal parts networking and brainstorming session, the event was positioned as a kickoff for an on-the-ground presence of KeepCraftAlive in the city. Executive Director, Rob Yagid explains, “KeepCraftAlive communities and groups are forming all over the country and we’re supporting these regional efforts to improve the narrative around what it means to be a successful craftsman, who pursues work in the trades and why.” The conversations amongst attendees Thursday night advanced that cause. “A lot of time was spent meeting each other, putting faces to Instagram handles, and beginning to share stories about stuff that happens in the field—dealing with architects or homeowners and day-to-day business.,” said Bourne, adding that, “By the end of the night the conversation had shifted towards what can we do to support the KeepCraftAlive mission in our area”.
KeepCraftAlive is Fine Homebuilding’s effort to recognize and address the skilled labor issues facing the construction industry, but Yagid is quick to clarify the organization’s mission. “This isn’t about solving a labor issue,” he says. “This is about supporting people and their passion for building things with their hands. It’s honorable work. It always has been and always will be and these communities embody those values.” He foresees active groups across North America that take a local, grassroots approach to welcoming newcomers to the trades and creating inspiring environments where experts can learn from one another to advance their work.
If you’re interested in being an on-the-ground leader for a KeepCratAlive group in your area, you’re encouraged to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos courtesy of Logan Bourne