Finding Meaning

Justin Perkins was “seriously slacking” in his 20s, but once he began to raise his family, he knew he wanted to improve his life. He enrolled in Construction 101 in December of 2018 with the hopes of finding more stable and fulfilling work.


Before Justin’s time with ReSOURCE, he noted that his ADHD was a handicap in various dead end jobs and he was lacking a career with meaning. Through Construction 101, Justin gained a solid foundation in a variety of trades as well as hands-on and NCCER certification-verified training in hand and power tool use, job site safety, blueprint reading, construction math, and communication important for the jobsite. His experience culminated in designing, building, and installing a new shed for a nonprofit preschool in Williston, Vermont.


“Construction 101 helped me believe that I deserved a fulfilling career,” he said. “I didn’t think I had it in me until I met you guys at ReSOURCE. You showed me I could be more.”


Justin realized that his ADHD, which had previously held him back in other jobs, actually worked to his advantage in plumbing—“In plumbing it [ADHD] thrives with all the new technical data to be processed!”


Construction 101 provides students the foundational knowledge to enter any of the trades, and after completing the program, Justin became a Registered Plumbing/Pipefitter Apprentice working with E&M Mechanical. He’s currently working for Vermont Mechanical in their piping division and is also completing Plumbing Apprenticeship classes at Vermont Technical College. In four years, he will be a Master Plumber with an Associate’s Degree—all paid for by his employer.


“It doesn’t feel like work anymore. It’s rewarding getting paid for knowledge. You can’t beat getting paid to learn every day.” With his newfound technical knowledge and confidence, Justin is pursuing the rewarding career he’s been looking for. “My work has meaning for me now—making sure someone’s home will have heat and hot water for years to come.”

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Schedule a Donation Pick-up

Thank you for thinking of ReSOURCE for donations of your furniture and large appliances! We are proud to offer pick-up services in Chittenden County and Central Vermont. 





What is Career Start?

Career Start is a program designed for high school students to gain hands-on experience and technical skills in various departments at ReSOURCE’s Burlington or Barre locations.

High school students enrolled in school are eligible to participate in the Career Start program.

The program provides hands-on experience in ReSOURCE departments, technical skills training, and monthly personal and professional development classes.

There is a fee of $1500, but tuition is waived for qualifying Vermonters.

Departments include Customer Service & Retail, Office Administration, Computers and Electronics, Overlook Cafe, and Large Appliances, among others.

Yes, students earn a monthly stipend

Training covers Health and Wellness, Goal Setting and Achievement, Leadership Development, Career Planning, and Financial Literacy.

Interested individuals should contact ReSOURCE’s Training and Development Manager, Susan Uthmann, for enrollment details.


Please contact:

Susan Uthmann
Training and Development Manager
[email protected]

Partner Agency List

Our partners help us to provide $125,000 worth of goods to over 2,000 individuals/families in Chittenden, Lamoille, and Washington Counties, and the greater Vermont area.

  • Addison Community Action/CVOEO
  • Age Well
  • Agency of Human Services- Field Services Burlington District
  • Burlington Community Justice Center
  • Burlington Housing Authority
  • Chittendent Community Action/CVOEO
  • Clarina Howard Nichols Center
  • Committee On Temporary Shelter
  • Essex Community Justice Center
  • Howard Center Community Support Program
  • Howard Center Developmental Services
  • Howard Center School Service Program
  • Lamoille Family Center
  • Milton Family Community Center
  • Pathways Vermont- Housing First Program
  • Pathways Vermont -services for veterans and families rapid rehousing program
  • Safe Harbor Clinic
  • Spectrum Youth and Family Services
  • Steps to End Domestic Violence
  • The Janet S. Munt Family Room
  • U.S. Committee for refugees and Immigrants
  • U.S. Committee for refugees and Immigrants
  • Vermont Cares
  • Vermont Catholic Charities
  • Vermont Foundation of Recovery


Become a Partner Agency

For interest in joining our program please email [email protected] to learn more about the next application cycle or any availability in become a new partner agency.

We make award decisions each December for the next calendar year and notify partners so our clients can request vouchers.

Skip to content