Changing the World with Constructing Hope and Dave Dahl founder of Dave's Killer Bread - Around the House® Home Improvement

Episode 1347

Changing the World with Constructing Hope and Dave Dahl founder of Dave's Killer Bread

Constructing Hope's pre-apprenticeship program has been doing some amazing work over the last 15 years. The mission of Constructing Hope is to rebuild the lives of people in our community by encouraging self-sufficiency through skills training and education in the construction industry.

They take formerly incarcerated or homeless individuals and walk them though this program with support, life skills, and training.

In this interview we have Dave Dahl, Founder and former owner of Dave's Killer Bread, who has his own amazing story about turning his life around. We are also jointed by Pat Daniels, the Executive Director of Constructing Hope.

You can find out more about them here: https://www.constructinghope.org/

If you would like to help them out you can donate here: https://courtneyj.givecloud.co/LTPF

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Transcript
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[00:00:26] Eric Goranson: Now we've got Dave doll on here as well. You might have seen him with Dave's killer bread. His face has been on that bread as the founder and, uh, former owner of that company. Now he is a little bit under the weather in this episode with his voice. So he will be a little harder to hear, but we wanted to get this out in a timely manner, cuz we're in the middle of their fundraising season and these people are doing so much to help people.

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[00:00:56] Eric Goranson: comes to remodeling and renovating your home. There is a lot to [00:01:00] know,

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[00:01:02] Eric Goranson: This is

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[00:01:11] Eric Goranson: Thanks for joining us. Hey Caroline, how are you today? Hey, Eric, how are you? Excellent. I am so excited to. Two of my favorite people back on the show again, the first time with you, Caroline. Yeah. I'm excited to meet them. Yeah, this is gonna be great. We've got my buddy Dave doll. You've seen him across the country, his picture on a loaf of bread called Dave's killer bread.

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[00:01:42] Pat Daniels: Thank you, Eric . Thanks for having us, Eric.

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[00:01:48] Eric Goranson: that's okay. You've been rocking and haven't your brother. Yes. Yeah. Aw,

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[00:02:03] Dave Dahl: I feel cold

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[00:02:12] Caroline Blazovsky: Explain why he's in my freezer cuz people don't know why he is in my freezer.

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[00:02:36] Eric Goranson: It seems. Or the same effort from Dave's killer bread when you founded that company?

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[00:03:01] Dave Dahl: And then, uh, I met pat and, uh, I was so excited to see what she was doing. So I've been involved ever since.

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[00:03:14] Pat Daniels: year? Yes, Eric. We were celebrating 15 years this year and I was excited to meet Dave because he didn't know that in 2010, I didn't meet him until 2017, but in 2010, he was on my bucket list of people to meet.

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[00:03:54] Dave Dahl: you see.

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[00:03:59] Eric Goranson: there [00:04:00] are, there are pat, so let's, let's, let's do the way back machine here. Let's talk about constructing help so we can get all of our listeners up to speed here on what you're doing here in the Portland area.

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[00:04:16] Pat Daniels: And we target formally incarcerated, which we have changed that now to returning citizens. I just looked at my paperwork and I was thinking, there we go, we have a new name now. so, um, we target returning citizens. We're 100% low income, but what we do is we actually go into the prisons. We go into the jails and we go into high schools and just community, um, other community organizations.

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[00:04:55] Pat Daniels: And if you are, we will pay you a living wage. That [00:05:00] was the thing that interests us. A lot of times when people get out of incarceration, the only thing they could get is that low income job at the gas station, the gas station can't pay your rent. It doesn't move you forward. And it creates that revolving door for going back into incarceration.

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[00:05:37] Pat Daniels: So as we built this relationship, um, with the unions and non-union. We offer a 12 week program at the end of the 12 weeks, we have direct entry into most construction trades, whether it's union or non-union not only do we walk you to the door and hand you off after you complete the training, we have support services.

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[00:06:15] Pat Daniels: We have some assistance with paying your bills. This has happened since COVID. So I can't say how far this is gonna go, but our relationship with other organizations. When we're in prison, we help you come out into organizations like bridges to change, um, volunteer of America, Oregon, central city concern.

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[00:06:43] Eric Goranson: crazy guy.

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[00:06:50] Eric Goranson: We love it. And you know, something that's interesting too, Dave, and, and, you know, you started out, you know, You getting out of your time being incarcerated and starting Dave's killer [00:07:00] breaded. And you did so much for this community here that I live in, in giving back to getting people that first job coming out and putting a lot of great hardworking people back to work.

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[00:07:31] Dave Dahl: That's what it's about to me.

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[00:07:48] Eric Goranson: hope and pat, this is something that, you know, I, I see this growing every year.

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[00:07:57] Pat Daniels: Well, I hope it's gonna go nationwide down the road. [00:08:00] Mm-hmm but for right now, mm-hmm, here in Portland. We're looking to expand our numbers. So over the last years we've been having classes of 25. We're hoping to move to classes of 45 within the next year. It was our goal prior to, uh COVID.

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[00:08:35] Caroline Blazovsky: So I have a question. I have a question for both of you. How does someone qualify for this program and how do you determine if somebody is going to benefit from them? Are there, are there any parameters that you guys look at when you're looking at people that are coming into the program and then also I'd love to hear like a, a success story from either one of you about just an amazing story.

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[00:09:01] Dave Dahl: That's that's fast question. That's good.

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[00:09:16] Pat Daniels: But what we do is, um, for everybody coming into the program, we work with the state employment office and we have them take what is a national career readiness? That also confirms that they're low income. So we don't have to do the proof of incomes. Cuz everyone that comes into this program is, is low income.

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[00:09:52] Pat Daniels: So we started adding and subtracting fractions and we moved them all the way up to algebra in a little bit of geometry, depending on the trays that they're gonna go into. [00:10:00] So all of it really is based on their desire to get into construction. And then we are basically tutoring you from there. Um, and it's about being hundred percent low income.

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[00:10:21] Eric Goranson: First test

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[00:10:26] Dave Dahl: takes good attitude for

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[00:10:49] Pat Daniels: Gone back and structured our program for you to exceed. So we make sure that you have all the credentials that you need to get in driver's license. Sometimes they have a vehicle, but if you don't have a vehicle, we have a [00:11:00] plan to get a vehicle. Because if you can get to class at six 30 every day on the bus, we know that you can get to work until you get that car or that transportation.

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[00:11:30] Caroline Blazovsky: I would be sitting there going, wow, this is amazing. I can completely turn around and these people are gonna help me do this. I mean, it doesn't get much better than that. Honestly. It's fantastic.

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[00:11:54] Eric Goranson: through something else.

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[00:12:22] Pat Daniels: Well, you know, I'm gonna share the first one and I, and I, and so I'm gonna share a couple, one Kon Kayvon. We have a summer youth program. So this is not just about formally incarcerated. This is also about sharing, um, what the construction trades have to offer for youth. So we have a summer youth program, um, 29, 2009, when we first moved into this building, we didn't, we, our, we weren't ready for our adult program.

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[00:13:08] Pat Daniels: If that's what you choose that young man was 18 today, he is a journeyman electrician. Yeah. He did not have a formal background. When he moved out of his home, he was making more than his. And so that's the story that I always love to tell, cause this is not about formally incarcerated, but now when you look at my formerly incarcerated people, they're coming through it with absolutely no income and they're starting work.

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[00:13:59] Pat Daniels: I wanna [00:14:00] tell you today, Jenny was formally incarcerated. She was homeless when she came through the program and stuck to it and was here every day at six o'clock, rather than six 30. Jan is now the, um, joint apprenticeship training coordinator for the laborers in fifth, in that short period of time from 2015.

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[00:14:34] Dave Dahl: period of time. I get warm and fuzzy. Yeah.

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[00:14:42] Caroline Blazovsky: that's amazing.

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[00:15:03] Caroline Blazovsky: Like, and knowing that someone's going to really benefit. I mean, do they kind of gravitate towards you when you go in to present? Or how do you. Kind of, um, maybe someone's shy and they don't wanna come forward or say they, maybe they think they can do it, but they're not sure. And our self confidence is always our, our worst enemy.

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[00:15:34] Caroline Blazovsky: So it's interesting. How do you bring them out of their shell and get them to sort of adapt and say, Hey, I can do. My

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[00:15:50] Pat Daniels: And that three minutes of fame is what gives the person in the seat. Confidence. When I'm looking at folks who have spent some time. Their confidence is, is not there. [00:16:00] And that's the one thing that we have to build up. We can teach them all the skills in the world, but when I first started this, people were still afraid to walk through the door because now you're leaving home and you gotta go outside the home.

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[00:16:38] Pat Daniels: that cheer them to, to having the confidence, to walk through the door to the next step. And then they mentor, we ask everybody to mentor and then Dave comes in.

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[00:17:03] Dave Dahl: the, at the beginning, you kinda in the

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[00:17:23] Pat Daniels: So just knowing how, how, um, stringent it is. But, uh, the other part of that is the job developers also. Uh, do a one on one assessments of each person's skills. So there is a plan for you to be successful prior to you coming in. So we've sat down with you. We've talked about your driver's license. We've talked about barriers, we've talked about childcare.

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[00:18:02] Pat Daniels: And those support services follow them for two years. So I would say the assessment from the case manager prior to coming in, we select people. If you're not ready, and this is gonna take you a while. We'll work with you to come into the next class. So we always have people ready for the next group. If you're not ready right now, we're gonna help you get prepared for the next class.

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[00:18:25] Dave Dahl: a waiting list for this right now? Is it, is it really hard? Always. It's hard to get into.

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[00:18:40] Dave Dahl: grow as you grow. And when you get to the point of five, five, uh, people in class, that's gonna be very exciting, isn't it?

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[00:18:54] Dave Dahl: and that's. Aw,

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[00:19:07] Pat Daniels: Not that I know of right now. That is the goal for me. I'd like to see as have more programs like this throughout the United States.

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[00:19:37] Pat Daniels: But right now we haven't gotten there. Right? There's there's dollars coming down to do other areas. But I think we're gonna be looking at how do we start training behind the walls and how do we partner with unions and other organizations to do more training behind the walls. So that folks who are formally incarcerated can still have the benefit of, uh, coming through constructing hope, even though you [00:20:00] may be released to another state.

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[00:20:09] Dave Dahl: You know, there is, there is one person, um, that I know is really about this sort of thing. And, uh, he's a nationally known worldwide known his name's, uh, Mike row. And, uh, he's done stuff like similar to this, like in Pittsburgh, but not quite.

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[00:20:45] Eric Goranson: how do you grow this? So if you've got in, in, just in a, the Portland area, so if you start hitting.

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[00:20:58] Pat Daniels: Yes, that means [00:21:00] that we're gonna have to have a little bit more fundraising. We'll have a little bit more grant writing. Mm-hmm and you know, I'm hoping that where this is gonna take us is we just got our first Portland clean energy fund grant.

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[00:21:28] Pat Daniels: And if we do that too, it'll give us a little bit more bandwidth to reach into other areas. Cool. And I think that's a big one.

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[00:21:52] Caroline Blazovsky: We don't have enough workers. We don't have enough people to cater to all the ventilation and filtration needs that we have. And, you know, there's billions of dollars [00:22:00] being given by the national government to be able to fund these things, but we have to have workers to do it. So I think that leads you in an awesome opportunity, pat, to be able to step in and say, look, we'll train some of these people we know they're needed.

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[00:22:19] Pat Daniels: Yes. And you know, the, and, and the fun part about this is giving the youth an opportunity. I'm so excited that now that COVID is over, we're having our first youth camp since 2019.

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[00:22:43] Eric Goranson: Oh, that's great.

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[00:22:47] Pat Daniels: Yeah.

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[00:22:51] Eric Goranson: Got some time. Is that already filled up? Is that already jammed up already? Big waiting list for that as well?

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[00:23:05] Eric Goranson: Mm-hmm all right, everybody let's fill that up.

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[00:23:29] Eric Goranson: We were taking a look at, uh, and talking on TV, but, uh, I remember at that point you were just moving into the new building. If I remember

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[00:23:39] Eric Goranson: sorry. See that been three years ago, or you you're, you were moving something with the classrooms. There was something that was moving around if I remember, right?

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[00:24:12] Pat Daniels: And COVID just, yeah, COVID just started right after that.

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[00:24:23] Pat Daniels: so everything came to a halt, but now we were just starting the remodel. That was where we were. And then our remodel take that's taken four years and we are just getting into that, to this space now.

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[00:24:54] Pat Daniels: Yes. Yeah. Um, so this year leveling the playing field leveling the playing field for [00:25:00] a constructing hope is about, um, making sure that historically excluded job seekers, find constructing hope. It is about providing skills for low income people in workforce and making sure that they're workforce ready.

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[00:25:40] Pat Daniels: So we con we provide an ongoing mentoring so that they can work through issues that may be challenging. And then it's also about education and advocacy, um, to meet hiring goals. Right now, we know that in the construction industry, Just like most places are around the world today. [00:26:00] Our, um, our workforce is aging and there's a huge demand for people in the construction industry and especially with all of the infrastructure dollars or infrastructure projects that we have coming down.

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[00:26:37] Pat Daniels: After that 12 week training, we're not just throwing you into a job and leaving. We're staying with you for those first two years. When we talk about having a safety net of that, if you think about someone low income, my car can break down today and I've missed work for three days because I need to get it repaired that can end your job in construction.

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[00:27:15] Pat Daniels: It is a hand up. And so that's really what constructing hope is about.

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[00:27:23] Caroline Blazovsky: It's like a family, you know, it's a lot of these people don't have stable families or upbringing. I mean, just because you're born into something doesn't mean that's your destiny. Right.

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[00:27:45] Caroline Blazovsky: So I think we all need this support. I mean, no matter what, and I think, I think it would be just, it's a blessing to have it, no matter what, they're, they're kind of lucky cuz we don't get that right. We're they're they have a little extra something that allowed them to get this opportunity where we didn't.[00:28:00]

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[00:28:03] Pat Daniels: You hit it right on the head, cuz that's what we call ourselves in the office. We're the family that you didn't have. We're your new family. And we like to be your family for life. So this is not just a relationship while you're here in the class, just to, um, a student stopped in yesterday that was a 2016 graduate and he now lives in Arizona and he was saying how wonderful it was, that the day that he got outta prison, he came here.

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[00:28:46] Eric Goranson: that's the, that's the great part of that.

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[00:29:09] Eric Goranson: And it's such a huge thing. And what I, what I like too about this program is it's not. A replacement for any of the big training programs. You're not competing with the unions. No, you're not competing with the trade schools out there. You are giving them great candidates to work with, to take to the next step.

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[00:29:30] Pat Daniels: And that's union. And that's, what's

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[00:29:59] Eric Goranson: Wow. I can [00:30:00] provide for my family and live well,

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[00:30:09] Pat Daniels: Yeah. Yes. I think we got more than a couple that are making six figures because I have people who are foremans. And, and I mentioned Jenny in this, uh, trainer position.

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[00:30:33] Eric Goranson: And you're not working as many long hours. yeah. That's the great part. That's the great part. Well, Dave, can you imagine, and I've never asked you this question before, and it might be a long one.

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[00:31:00] Dave Dahl: Well, um, you know, being who I am, I probably wouldn't be top, top of the list on candidates, but, um, I was fortunate to go to work with my family, but I probably would've chose this because.

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[00:31:31] Eric Goranson: Well, attitude is everything. And Dave, you are the poster child of that because on paper, you didn't have a chance out there with our current system.

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[00:31:49] Dave Dahl: He's important to, to point out that, uh, the things that I learned in, in drafting and, and I drafted for constructive construction people. Um, the, the [00:32:00] things that I learned in there, I was able to apply to just about everything that I did with Dave, Brad.

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[00:32:14] Caroline Blazovsky: Dave, I don't know your history. So like Eric does, but, um, What I mean, I guess the, the bigger question is how, or how did you end up where you were, that you were incarcerated and was it a family? I mean, was it something, was it family oriented?

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[00:32:39] Dave Dahl: I grew up, um, with very low self esteem. And, uh, my, I didn't get along. I didn't, I didn't like, I didn't wanna be in the family. I was in, I didn't like, uh, what they did.

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[00:33:14] Dave Dahl: And they were all like anything from burglary to arm robbery to salt, um, things like that. Yeah, fascinating. So though there, there, there needs to be a really big change in my life. And, uh, the drafting was a huge

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[00:33:45] Eric Goranson: It got you your mindset into a positive thing of I'm gonna do something different out there. And yeah, I think you're one of the best success stories that I've seen in the world out [00:34:00] there of. You had every darn excuse that you could have used while you were going to fail. Yeah. And you quite frankly, gave it the finger and said, Hey, I'm gonna do it my way.

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[00:34:14] Dave Dahl: brother.

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[00:34:33] Dave Dahl: uh, and grow and learn. Um, once you learn that it's a very uplifting and powerful thing.

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[00:34:54] Eric Goranson: I mean, you've got some big industry partners out there that I see that are helping spread the word, which I like seeing [00:35:00] on your front page, but it's people like our listening audience out there that can really make that difference and help people, um, and fill the need for trades because I tell you what with.

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[00:35:37] Eric Goranson: So what's the best way for people to track

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[00:36:02] Pat Daniels: So just know that if you do donate, we have matching funds. Mm-hmm and Dave, I can't tell you how much we appreciate that, because again, your support does so much, um, for our guys. And again, we said that just the average cost of sending them through is about $12,000 per person. And think about times 20. So our goal is to just, um, train a hundred people per year.

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[00:36:43] Dave Dahl: Yeah, you can't and it, it can't, uh, you simply can't, um, uh, You, you can't really fault or come up with anything that works better for making a difference in lives and the community than this program.

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[00:36:58] Eric Goranson: just no doubt. There's [00:37:00] just no doubt. I, I agree with it because you know, This is one of those things that I see this going nationwide. And of course people can reach out to pat that are wanting to do that as well. I'm sure you'd love to get a bunch of phone calls on, on something like that, but this is really something, I think that is a great case study to show how a program works.

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[00:37:36] Pat Daniels: Yes. And you know, the last thing I wanna share is a lot of times people is like, okay, so how many people come through the program and how many people are really successful?

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[00:38:08] Pat Daniels: So I just can't tell you the need. Is there the demand for the folks as well as the, as, as folks going to work? It's not that they're just graduating and waiting. So I'd like to just share that. And I was so happy that it was our first year of a hundred percent placement, and I can say we've been averaging 80.

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[00:38:42] Eric Goranson: There you go. . There you go. And Dave, man, I just, I wanna say thank you from, you know, speaking for our whole community here and including the construction community and what you're doing and helping these guys.

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[00:39:24] Dave Dahl: I'm passionate about it because of my own experience.

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[00:39:33] Pat Daniels: pat. Jump in here. No, I wanna say, you know, giving Dave kudos, it's not just his dollars. Look on our website. You're gonna see him actually working

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[00:39:57] Eric Goranson: Dave's never afraid of hard work, [00:40:00] no hard work. exactly. ,

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[00:40:06] Eric Goranson: Well, you should, you need to, we need to get you to rest that voice, cuz you still got another interview today, but pat, thanks for coming on the show today, Dave.

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[00:40:28] Dave Dahl: Thank

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[00:40:29] Dave Dahl: Thank you for having us, Eric.

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