NCCTI Student Uses Building Trades Specialist Program to Launch Career After Incarceration

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NCCTI Student Uses Building Trades Specialist Program to Launch Career After Incarceration

Andre Moore is currently enrolled in the Building Trades Specialist program at New Community Career & Technical Institute and will be graduating in the spring.

New Community Career & Technical Institute (NCCTI) helps students of all ages and circumstances reach their goals. Andre Moore is 47 years old and is currently residing in a halfway house. While others living in the facility were looking for jobs, Moore decided he wanted to enroll in a trade school to learn valuable skills that could help him launch a career after his release date.

Moore is currently enrolled in NCCTI’s Building Trades Specialist program with aspirations to use the knowledge and skills he gains to become a business owner in the construction industry. He began the program in October and is on track to graduate in the spring. His release date from the halfway house is Oct. 27, 2023.

Ever since he was in his early 20s, Moore has wanted to gain the skills to build his own house. While in prison, he learned masonry and wanted to build upon that with a trade school, which is how he settled on the Building Trades Specialist program at NCCTI. He enjoys the program and is learning a lot.

“I love it here,” he said.

Moore said that his instructor, Yusto Awich, is one of the best teachers he has ever had. He said Awich makes learning fun and challenges his students to help them reach their full potential. Awich has even helped Moore look up civil engineering programs, which he is researching for potential enrollment after graduation.

Awich said he is happy to have Moore in his class.

“Andre’s dedicated, on time and willing to learn and explore more than he’s taught,” Awich said.

As a Building Trades Specialist student, Moore is also part of the Rising Stars program, which is a partnership between NCCTI and Tremco that aims to introduce students to a variety of aspects of the construction industry and connect them to job opportunities. Rising Stars, run by Tremco employee David Hutchinson, brings guest speakers from the industry to the class weekly to discuss their areas of expertise and answer questions.

“It shows you what you’re capable of doing and what’s a possibility,” Moore said of Rising Stars.

Moore said the earning potential in the building trades industry is unlimited.

“The income you’re capable of generating within the industry that this class teaches, there’s no ceiling to it unless you put a ceiling on yourself,” he said.

NCCTI aims to help individuals, regardless of their circumstances, fulfill their goals and put them on a path to success.

“NCCTI sees its students and believes in its students. In our ability to fully see students, we are able to tailor instruction or address needs accordingly. We see Mr. Moore as the purpose-driven person that he has displayed himself to be upon starting the program,” said NCCTI Director Dr. Sylvia McCray. “We will continue to teach, expand and challenge him to meet his goal of obtaining a Building Trades Specialist diploma.”

The mindset of providing individual assistance comes through. Moore said staff members have gone above and beyond to help him sign up for the program and address any issues he has had.

“The staff has been there for me every step of the way,” he said.

According to NCCTI staff members, Moore has shown that he is serious about his studies and completing the program.

“Mr. Moore is an enthusiastic, polite and devoted individual who has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve,” said NCCTI Financial Coach Akeen Downes. “He exhibits a positive attitude both inside and outside of the classroom. We are proud that he continues to be resilient and motivated while working towards his certification.”

In addition to becoming a business owner, Moore has a plan to offer more affordable housing in Newark, where he was born and raised. With his skills, he would be able to convert dilapidated and abandoned houses owned by the city into usable homes, which he says would be a win for families in need of affordable housing and for the city, which would be able to collect taxes on the properties.

Moore plans to maintain a relationship with NCCTI after graduation and use it as a source for workers.

“When I do make it, I know NCCTI’s a place that I can pull prospective and future employees from because I know what Mr. Yusto offers to a student who’s enrolled in the program,” he said.

Moore is optimistic about the future. He looks forward to completing the Building Trades Specialist program and putting his plans into practice.

“Now I can move forward in life and become the success that I was always meant to be,” he said.

NCCTI is an accredited post-secondary career and technical institution that is currently enrolling for the following programs: Automotive Technician, Building Trades Specialist, Medical Assistant Clinical, Patient Care Technician and Culinary Arts Specialist. NCCTI also operates a comprehensive Financial Opportunity Center and Bridges to Career Opportunities Program sponsored by the local and national Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) offices. For more information, call 973-824-6484, log onto or visit 274 South Orange Ave., Newark.