Saturday, July 2, 2022
Skilled Trades 4 U Assists Former Gang Members and the Unsheltered
By Betti Halsell, Staff Writer
Published June 23, 2022

Student graduates (screen grab)

Reformed gang members and inmates that participated in Skilled Trades 4 U, have felt the joy of passing a nationally accredited exam to attain their Universal HVAC Licenses.  As a non-profit organization, Skilled Trades for You promotes a pathway to success for all walks of life.

Skilled Trades 4 U was founded by Ed Roche and Kiana Flemin. It started as a small foundation dedicated to providing a pipeline to success. Skilled Trades 4 You offers a free 10-week curriculum to people with complex backgrounds. They create an opportunity to master a skilled service, receiving their 608A Federal License in HVAC.

In an exclusive interview with Roche, he revealed the program launched in March of 2022, “to give an opportunity to inner city men and women.”


When asked of the most common traumatic experience the participants have seen, Roche stated, “Most of the students have been in the criminal justice system and haven’t had positive interactions with law enforcement. They are very skeptical, but we create a family-like environment.”

Roche shared that the Skilled Trades 4 U uses “top of line tools, books, and access to attaining a 608A license.” The program has collaborated with community pillars such as First AME Church.

One of the success stories that Roche highlighted was about a Skilled Trade 4 U participant, Adrian Martinez. Roche stated, “Adrian Martinez, found out he had stage 3 cancer and dropped out of high school. He underwent chemotherapy and began Skilled Trades 4 U and is now working for AC kings. He said, ‘Skilled Trades 4 U changed my life forever.’”

For More Information about Skilled Trades 4 U, one can go to or reach out to Mr. Roche at [email protected].


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