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Building Ability

Built by hand. Crafted by heart.

Visit our new Building Ability website and online store at buildingability.org!

Building Ability is a work-based social enterprise of Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati teaching valuable woodworking skills to individuals with disabilities.

Woodworking trainees, patient supervisors

By the time a trainee starts constructing pieces for retail sale, he or she is working through a rigorous 10-level curriculum including measuring, selecting materials, sanding, drilling, planing, joining, sawing and finishing. Before graduating to “the floor,” each employee completes a personal project from design to finish. During their progression through the curriculum, our workers are closely supervised. Each shop leader has a proven track record in construction and training adults with disabilities.

If the Buildling Ability training program sounds like a great opportunity for you or a loved one, contact Callie at 513-347-1567.

More about our workshop:

Repurposed Lumber

A lot of our materials are donated, a great thing for both the environment and our customers. Wood that would go to the landfill is made into beautiful, functional furnishings.

  • We get century-old wood in excellent condition from Building Value’s deconstruction projects that would be impossible to buy on today’s market 
  • Some of our wood comes from trees in Cincinnati Parks that have been struck by lightning or disease 
  • Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, which has a goal of zero waste, donates high-quality wood from shipping containers 

The combination of woods we use makes each finished piece unique. Many items are similar, but no two are exactly alike!

Emphasis on Quality

Because our focus is on training, we take the time to do things right. Every item in our catalogue is hand-made with great attention to detail. There is more hands-on supervision than any commercial shop could provide, and greater quality control. Working here is a dream come true for our employees. They come as much for the camaraderie and the chance to make things as the paycheck, and take great pride in exceeding customer expectations.

Building for Cincinnati

If you’ve been to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, you’ve seen the quality that goes into everything we make. We built the 3-compartment recycling bins in the restaurant and the 2-compartment bins around the park. If deserted houses are coming down in your neighborhood, chances are Building Value deconstructed them as part of an ongoing Keep Cincinnati Beautiful grant, and donated the salvageable materials to us. Building Ability built the picket fences surrounding the cleaned-up lots.

Building Ability also serves as a job-training site for participants in the Summer Youth Program and provides participants with a working knowledge of woodworking including proper use of power tools and safety precautions.

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