ZCAF Launches Mobile Woodshop
Ribbon Cutting, Thursday, November 18th @ 3pm
Washington, DC – November 12, 2021 The Zenith Community Arts Foundation (ZCAF) is celebrating the launch of the mobile woodshop with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday November 18, 2021, at 3 pm at 1429 Iris Street, NW Washington, DC 20012. The Mobile Woodshop is an experiential classroom in a 20-foot truck to teach students the fundamentals and skills of woodworking. ZCAF launched its first training program in September 2021 – the Pre-Apprenticeship Carpentry Training (PACT).
PACT is being offered to DCPS’ Ballou STAY Opportunity Academy in Ward 8 to young adults (ages 18-24) considering a career in the building trades. The mobile woodshop is an integral part of the training where students have the opportunity to learn and practice their skills from math to handling tools and making projects. The PACT is a rigorous certificate program for participants seeking employment in union apprenticeships or other local construction companies. Upon successful completion, students will receive certificates making them eligible for more competitive in union-sponsored apprenticeships or other building trade jobs.
The anchor for the mobile woodshop program is a 26-foot truck to transport a woodshop-on-wheels. This truck is especially equipped with hand and power tool laid out for operation within the truck itself. It will also house lumber and other supplies. Because the workspace is limited to 160 sq ft, however, a ten by twenty-foot canopy and a classroom at Ballou STAY HS has been added.
ZCAF’s educational platform is focused on a dual track. The first track is focused on teaching professional skills for individuals interested in pursuing a career in Finish and rough carpentry; home improvement projects. the second will be oriented to individuals interested in doing artistic applications and furniture building at the permanent woodshop. and “Carpentry is the number one endangered trade in this country according to the National Association of Home Builders,” said Margery Goldberg, Founder and Executive of ZCAF. “We conceived the woodshop to focus on general carpentry and our focus toward the rigorous training that would support a career track due to the demand for carpenters.”
“There is incredible demand for carpenters today and this project presents an opportunity to expand residents’ exposure to wood working and career opportunities, especially for those interested in the trades,” said Ron Nesson, President of the Board, ZCAF “Skills in wood working can lead to a profitable career, and the industry is aging out even though demand is rising.”
The Mobile Woodshop has been a dream of Margery Goldberg for years. “Our goal is to teach skills to a new generation, specifically woodworking and finished carpentry. Additionally, we will raise public awareness about community involvement, the value of our urban forests to the city, local economy, and the environment,” said Margery Goldberg. Access to a woodworking education is getting harder and harder to find, as wood shops are removed from schools. Our motto is “Made in DC Grown In DC”, thanks to DDOT and our Urban Foresters they are milling DC wood for our classes.
Background / Mission Statement
Zenith Community Arts Foundation (ZCAF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It is dedicated to promoting art and fostering alliances between artists, businesses, non-profits and public-sector organizations, using the transformative power of art to benefit community. We are committed to arts advocacy and career building in the visual and industrial arts. Each participant becomes a potential maker in the larger world.
Our goal is to teach skills to a new generation, specifically woodworking and finished carpentry. Our key target demographics include DCPS high school students, community college students, veterans, and seniors. Woodshops have been removed from schools, making it hard to learn wood working at any life stage. By learning to use their hands, cohorts will build confidence, strength of character, and problem-solving capabilities, as well as transferable skills that can be applied to well-paid careers filled with a great sense of accomplishment and pride. Remodeling a home that has been in the family for years, is affordable, sustainable, and extends pride of ownership across generations. Renovating a home is also a vibrant direction in home ownership in DC, as housing prices soar.
By bringing the tools out of the classroom and into communities in need, our cohorts can practice their skills, learn with experienced woodworkers and artists, improve their communities by helping with neighbors’ home or larger neighborhood projects, develop entrepreneurial skills, and foster a sense of accomplishment and pride. The project also includes a permanent woodshop located at 1429 Iris St NW, WDC, which will also serve as the headquarters for larger equipment, larger project storage, and raw wood storage. The Woodshop will be available to DC Residents Ward 4 residents, serving ZCAFs immediate neighbors.
Sponsors to date include: DC Commission for the Arts, Events DC,
DC Department of Transportation Division of Urban Forestry, SGR Investments.