Rochester nonprofit YAMTEP bolsters workforce through job training program

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In a warehouse on Hollenbeck Street in Rochester, entry level workers attend a class on resume building and life-skills. It’s a first and second chance for these students, who also get hands on training in machine work, forklift licensing and more. It’s all thanks to a non-profit called YAMTEP launched by entrepreneur Tyrone Reaves.

“We’re going to help every adult, every person from 18 to 60 years old,” says Reaves. “If they truly want help we’re going to help them. You don’t have to have a high school diploma or be a top notch student. We take everyone.”

Long before he launched a job training program, Reaves founded a company called Truform Manufacturing. In 1992, Truform was a company of one. Today, it employs 110 people. Reaves runs the business guided by one basic principle. “We all have a responsibility today to do the very best we can, today, for each other,” he says.

Like companies all across the country, Truform has had to roll with the punches of the pandemic. It’s been tough on business, but they haven’t had to lay anybody off.

And the separate non-profit is going strong. When he started YAMTEP, Reaves hired long-time friend and manufacturer Chris Rapp to run it. They don’t just train workers, they help them find jobs.

“We’re all in trying to help create a no-excuse program for folks not to go to work every day,” Rapp says.

“We have to figure out a way to get every single employer get the skill set they need so they don’t even consider moving away from our community,” Reaves says. “We don’t sugarcoat it. Our program is based off how successful we are with placing someone with an employer. If we’re not successful with that, we don’t have a program.”

Since 2015, YAMTEP has trained 430 people and placed them in 350 jobs at 65 local companies. That’s an 82 percent employment placement rate.

“We need to get back to showing the rest of the world that we’re number one at what we do!” he says. Reaves’ commitment isn’t just to the workforce, it’s to his fellow manufacturers and the hometown where he built the company he loves.

For more information on YAMTEP, click here.

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