Sand and saw a new career with free woodworking classes

Deciding how to broaden the ol’ skill-set can be a daunting task. You could shoot forĀ ninja-like office chops to get back in the game, or even put in the time for a job-magnet of a three-letter suffix (Your Name, Esq.?). But you could also try your hand at something a little more… handy. Brooklyn Woods, a Gowanus-based woodworking shop and training facility, is recruiting for its free full-time training program to put some fresh woodworkers and cabinet makers out into the job force. If you’ve had blue and yellow dreams of designing the next Hemnes or Aspelund, this is your chance.

The eight weeks of practical training includes handy stuff like “the safe use and proper care of hand tools, power tools and state-of-the-art woodworking machinery… and shop production, wood technology, finishing techniques, cabinet installation, mechanical drawing and job search skills.” BK Woods even pitches in two years of job placement services, in case you don’t instantly land that master-track apprenticeship.

Given that the program’s a full-time, two-month commitment, it is only designed for certain individuals: namely the unemployed or those with low-income or on public assistance. But if that’s you, and you’re at least 21, the other requirements are pretty few (they’ll even take past substance-abusers and criminals).

To learn more and apply, just show up at one of the Wednesday morning orientation sessions (10 a.m. at 125 8th St. between Second and Third Aves.), and bring an official ID and resume. All the details are here.


  1. Thanks for highlighting this! I went to one of those “good” high schools where I lived in NJ where I didn’t learn a damned thing about making or fixing or creating anything with my hands, and while my family was by no means well off, the adults were mostly women who grew up in a time when women weren’t encouraged to work with their hands. I got zero instruction in anything practical.

    I’ve been putting off taking classes in this type of stuff because it would cost me money and was only going to be for hobby purposes. But since I’m out of work anyway, this is looking like a pretty damn good option!

    Thanks again.

  2. Ed. note: I hope I conveyed that the above was by no means meant as sexist, just that as a boy who grew up surrounded by women who were not encouraged nor showed any interest in woodworking, metal work, plumbing, etc, I was not exposed to it at all. I wasn’t really exposed to cooking or sewing either. I was just supposed to get good grades and play sports, and I guess be a doctor or lawyer or banker. I’m glad to have a good foundation of exercise in my life, but playing sports in high school and college doesn’t end for most people with a paying career or hobby. Woodshop at least lets you fix or make your own stuff.

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