Our Approach

Since its inception, Tradeworks has focused on providing services and support to residents living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area known for its rich history and diverse neighbourhoods. Over time, the area has changed as the number of low income residents has increased and vulnerable people living in the community are often left without support. Thus, the demand for our services has grown significantly as residents struggle with many complex challenges such as homelessness, poverty, unemployment, mental health issues, addictions and finding affordable housing. While Tradeworks still places an emphasis on serving the Downtown Eastside, we also consider program applicants from across Metro Vancouver.

Tradeworks takes a “hand-up” rather than a “hand-out” approach by using carpentry as a vehicle to assist some of Vancouver’s most deserving residents. Our carpentry training program allows participants to rebuild their lives and find meaningful employment. Our unique approach combines life and employment skills development, along with carpentry training, to help individuals realize the capacity within themselves to turn dreams into possibilities and reach their full potential.

Tradeworks also operates a social enterprise called Tradeworks Custom Products, which employs program graduates. Graduates are given an opportunity to create custom work for clients such as BC Housing, CIBC, BC Technology Industry Association, and others. This important first work experience assists individuals in building their skills and is often the first step in their career journey.

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission: Tradeworks assists individuals with barriers to employment by developing the skills they need to secure meaningful employment and rebuild their lives.

Vision: A community where all members can overcome barriers, achieve their goals, participate in all aspects of civic life, and live full and rewarding lives.

Values: Tradeworks is committed to helping all community members realize their own capacity and improve their lives. In doing so, Tradeworks values compassion, accountability, educational equity, collaboration, second chances, and possibilities.