Green Jobs Training

By combining TRI deconstruction training with ongoing TRP deconstruction services and the distribution of salvaged materials, communities can accomplish four increasingly important objectives.
• Increase jobs through workforce development.
• Clean up blighted neighborhoods.
• Improve the business climate.
• Establish and enforce green building ordinances.

Reduce Unemployment! Create Sustainable Jobs Step #1

Every city has unemployed and underemployed workers. These populations include young adults ages 17 to 24, laid-off workers affected by company downsizing, and ex-offenders seeking to reenter the job market.

Today’s growing green building industry is a promising place to launch a successful career. Deconstruction training serves as an entrée to virtually every trade within the construction industry. With the skills they acquire, many students go on to become construction foremen, carpenters, electricians, painters and plumbers. Graduates of TRI deconstruction training are often hired by TRP-certified deconstruction contractors and others in the industry.

Deconstruction training for green jobs Deconstruction training for green jobs

Reduce Blight! Remove Abandoned Buildings Economically

Abandoned buildings are often ideal candidates for deconstruction. Even if vandals and scavengers have destroyed doors, windows, plumbing and electric fixtures, the most valuable commodity—lumber—usually remains intact.

Some old-growth lumber is rare and valuable, coveted by cabinet, molding and flooring manufacturers. More common varieties can be used locally to improve existing housing stock. Used lumber is great for building raised beds in community gardens and urban “ponds” used for Tilapia farming—practices designed to improve the diet and health of the community. In addition, removing abandoned buildings reduces the need for law enforcement surveillance and eases associated budget demands.   

Abandoned buildings make ideal sites for deconstruction training. Participants learn skills that are applicable within the larger construction industry, including jobsite safety, tool usage, teamwork strategies, and materials handling, preparation and shipping.

Deconstruction to remove abandoned houses Deconstruction to remove abandoned houses

Promote Economic Development!


Deconstruction training prepares workers for promising careers in the construction trades. The current excitement around deconstruction, materials salvage, restoration and adaptive reuse motivates workers to become part of the green movement.

Deconstruction training focuses on safety, tool usage, teamwork strategies, problem solving, and general construction practices. The skills and knowledge acquired in training position graduates several steps ahead of the typical day laborer. Workers gain self-confidence in their ability to successfully advance their careers.

Economic development funds can be used to help trainees further refine their skills by deconstructing abandoned buildings that contribute to the decline of entire communities. Materials salvaged from these projects can be used to train workers in furniture manufacturing, cabinet making, flooring manufacture and warehouse operations.

Deconstruction Is Green-building

Deconstruction Training Deconstruction training

Deconstruction is the logical first step in the green-building process. In urban environments, where deconstruction usually occurs, old structures almost always must be removed before new ones can be built. Traditionally this has been accomplished through smash-and-dash demolition. Perfectly good materials are crushed and sent to landfills, their embodied energy destroyed. The only products created by demolition are pollutants: noise and clouds of dust.
With deconstruction, materials are salvaged, embodied energy is saved, landfills retain a longer life, and pollution is reduced. Reclaimed materials become available to low-income homeowners and other local consumers, builders and designers. Lastly, green jobs are created, which may be the biggest payoff of all.

The materials salvaged from 50 houses per year (public and private) will generally be enough to keep a reuse store open and operating six days per week, employing from four to six workers and generating enough revenue to sustain itself after a brief startup period.

The value to the consumer of used materials is typically two-to-four times the purchase price. For example, a new 2x4 from the local lumber yard or home center sells for $1.25, but the reuse store sells it for $0.75. However, because the used 2x4 accomplishes the same thing as the more expensive new one, the value received is equal to $1.25. An even greater differential occurs with plumbing fixtures and appliances. A new cast iron bathtub sells for $300. The used price is $50.00, a difference of X6.

Learn more about deconstruction! Visit the TRP website at

Training for Trainers

If you are affiliated with a nonprofit organization, public agency or training organization and are interested in becoming a TRP-Certified Deconstruction Trainer, please contact Ted Reiff

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