Gallery Furniture opens trade school to help Houstonians learn new skills and land job

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- At a time when Houstonians are looking for work, Gallery Furniture is now offering a new store section that could change their lives.

ABC13 got a look at a group of students who are learning skills from carpentry, construction and welding. Classes they hope will lead to a new career.

"Really good," said Connor, a student. "I'm having a lot of help from the teachers, and the teachers are great about welding. They know how to teach. They give us life goals too."

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Classes aren't only for young students. Adults can learn here too, and don't have to worry about their kid because there's a free daycare.

"You can not only change your life, but also change your family's life," Community Health Choice CEO Lisa Wright explained.

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Mattress Mack is known for giving back to the city he loves and now he's hoping to help more Houstonians find a job. Here's what he said about the store's first trade school.



But what sets the school apart: it's not located in a traditional building. It's set up in Gallery Furniture.

"We're probably the first retail store to have a daycare center, and a high school in it and a skills trade learning center," said Gallery Furniture owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale.

SEE ALSO: Mattress Mack to open 3 schools to help north side community

The store's newest addition couldn't come at a better time. On Thursday during his state of the city address, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner mentioned there are still a lot of people hurting during the pandemic.

"[About] 350,000 employees were laid off in March and April," Turner said. "Since then, we have recouped 142,000 jobs."

Which means more than 200,000 are still without work. If you're one of them, you might consider Gallery Furniture's new school.

"Work is life's greatest therapy," McIngvale said. "The more Houstonians and Texans we can get great jobs like welding and construction skills, culinary, auto mechanics, then the better we'll be."

Mattress Mack's motto is helping Houstonians at a time they need it the most.

"It's a great opportunity to come here," Connor said. "It's really highly recommended. You get to move at your own pace."

The school is at Gallery Furniture's North Freeway location. You need to apply, which you can do on its website. So far, more than 3,000 have inquired about the school. If it continues to do well, Mattress Mack said he might expand to his Fort Bend County location.

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