Local Trade School Helping Disadvantaged Students Find Jobs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —  For Frances Hall, running the Beatties Ford Vocational School is a labor of love.  

“This is ministry for me,” Hall said. 

What started as a mental health and substance abuse agency, turned into a vocational school for men and women looking for a way out of poverty. 

“When a person is struggling everyday just for survival and not having enough food, not having enough money, not having a car or a decent place to live and then on top of that having children to take care of,  it can cause mental illness and it can cause a person to start abusing drugs,” Hall said. 

The vocational school offers a way out of that cycle of poverty and opens the doors of   opportunity. 

“There is hope for change. I don’t care where you are and what you don’t have and the poverty you may be living in you can come out,” Hall said. 

The nationally accredited school offers courses ranging from heating and air, to construction, dry wall and masonry. 

Students can also take courses on IT and cybersecurity.

Donnell Dixon, teaches students about different aspects of construction like drywall.  

He said seeing the success of his students is rewarding.

“They get to wake up everyday with a smile on their face knowing that they accomplished what they set out to accomplish and they’re working every day now. That’s the main thing,” Dixon said. 

For Hall, who moved to Charlotte as a struggling single mother of four, it’s a way to offer a helping hand to those who need it most. 

“I’ve watched lives change and I really believe that if you give people true opportunities and work  with them and the barriers that they come in the door with you can see their lives become successful.”