Harmonic Connections PLUS

"An educated individual is an empowered individual."


3H Intro to Pre-Apprenticeship

More and more I hear high school students say, “I'm not college material; I think I’ll just go do a trade.”

My first thought? “Man, I hope they don’t bring that energy and attitude to a construction site, because they’ll be a danger to themselves and everybody else around them.”

Many people think that skilled craftwork requires minimal intelligence and less discipline to be successful.

The truth is that skilled craftwork requires competency of academic knowledge as well as the ability to work with your hands masterfully. It also demands that individuals have the commitment necessary to complete their educational program and work well with others.

For over two decades I have been committed to exposing young people to construction craftwork as a way to “restore the dignity of labor” and teach skills that can serve them for a lifetime.  Skill sets are not an option, they are neccessary.  Skill sets are the building blocks to unlocking one's crafted talent.  We specialize in assisting youth with unveiling their many crafted talents.


REGISTER FOR THE NEXT 3H Intro to Pre-Apprenticeship

3H Intro to Pre-Apprenticeship is hands-on training in basic construction safety, craftwork and technology for youth 12-17 years old. Our sessions are an introduction to self-sustaining skill sets and indigenous values that promote a responsibility to honor, respect, care for and protect self, family, environment & culture.  

We choose to use construction and safety as a tool to reshape the narrative of LABOR and build sustainable pathways for future generations.  We Build Legacy!!!    

3H Intro to Pre-Apprenticeship our mission is to promote and restore pathways that anchor next generation professionals - no matter their career choice - into the fundamental indigenous practices of UBUNTU.  Ubuntu is an isiZulu word based from South Africa philosophy meaning "I am because we are".  It highlights a symbiotic relationship - between people, their livelihoods and their ecosystem - that involves solving local issues while not compromising the needs of future generations.

3H Intro to Pre-Apprenticeship supports resourcefulness at a local level in South Chicagoland that benefits people’s everyday lives in the development of individuals’ practical skills in apprentice development in construction and basic homeowner maintenance. After participating in a 3H Intro to Pre-Apprenticeship Workshop, participants will have exposure to basic construction tools, safety, knowledge and skills. There is also an emphasis on professional competency that deals with:

  • learning strategies for the job site that cultivate respectful work environments
  • bringing energy to your work that allows others to work to their highest potential
  • learning appropriate communication styles with other professionals 
  • understanding the importance of having respect for self, others, the job, and the environment.
  • discussing the importance of documentation, competency, knowledgeable completion of a job
  • developing an attitude of excellence in temperament 
  • maximizing each day, charged and ready for daily challenges
  • looking to glean from more seasoned professionals

All of these objectives help cultivate individuals who understand the connection between "Head, Heart, and Hands" who are able to function well in there chosen careers and pass on a legacy of competency and hard work through their families.

REGISTER FOR THE NEXT 3H Intro to Pre-Apprenticeship

The importance of having a COACH and a MENTOR...

Everything I have ever experienced and known has involved a coach or a mentor of some kind. I was fortunate to have a father who was committed to raising and nurturing his sons. He was my first coach. As children, me and my brothers' main activities consisting of school and sports, with the only stipulations to remain active on the team being to model behavior of upright and responsible young men. That included respecting elders, completing chores, respectable behavior amongst siblings and friends, and maintaining  good grades. These practices were embedded into our head, and became a part of our hearts as we practiced them with our hands. We learned to responsibly live out these principles and understand the benefits that resulted from work hard, sacrifice, and love.

That's me, Geno, on the far right during my college days 
at Tuskegee University.

I was introduced to the construction industry as a high school student working for our next door neighbor's construction company during the summer months. In high school I took an interest in drafting class which lead me to pursue architecture in college. While I was accomplishing my final thesis - a farmers market in Montgomery Alabama - I realized working behind the drawing board did not suit me. I was more fascinated with how I could work with my hands.

After I graduated, I pursued work in the field of construction management. I worked as a laborer and apprentice for a year with a construction company until I landed a job as project maintenance manager for a non-for-profit in the South Chicago Suburbs. I had an opportunity to play an integral part in the rehab of a building in Chicago's South Loop. While participating in that project, I apprenticed with journeyman carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc. After three years, my passions of working with my hands were stronger than ever, along with wanting to move forward in life as an entrepreneur.

I went into business with a carpentry contractor where we specialized in small interior residential renovations. Our business partnership was unique. I was still young, so many experiences involved his mentorship regarding the details of customer relationships, inventory maintenance, and a sense of pride in one’s craftsmanship as an individual and a business person.

These types of experiences continued when I later collaborated with another individual who was a proficient tile setter. I had opportunities to work custom marble jobs as far north as Lake Geneva and Downtown Chicago in the Merchandise Mart. Because of the tough competitive market of being an independent contractor, I decided to return to field of  construction site supervision as an employee for residential and commercial general contractors in Chicago.  

Those mentoring relationships provided me the firm foundation to build upon a successful career in the construction industry as a laborer, an apprentice, project superintendent, and entrepreneur. With over 25 years of experience in the construction industry, in various capacities, these relationships have given me solid principles to live by in my area of expertise.

I am still recognized and acknowledged for my strong sense of technical, management, and leadership skills. To add to these accomplishments, in recent years I have continued  to develop myself professionally by attaining the Leadership of Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional / Interior Design and Construction (LEED® ID+C) and earning an MBA in Sustainable Business with a concentration in Green Development.

All of these experiences have shown me the importance of mentorship and coaching. This is what has led me to create 3H Intro to Pre-Apprenticeship for young people seeking individual and professional guidance in construction trades. I realized early that it takes many committed individuals to show responsible emerging professionals how to adjust their perspectives and position themselves wisely, so they can be successful in their careers.

~ Coach Green Gene