Through Devastation Came A Career In The Skilled Trades

Laureston Hawley
Sr. Editor

Posted 08/09/2019

“You really don’t think something catastrophic can happen to you,” said Kelley Kurtz. The days leading up to Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, Kurtz was doubtful that she and her family would be affected by the storm. She was wrong. 

In 2017, Kelley was one of 13 million people impacted by Hurricane Harvey. “The water just kept rising and when that happens you go straight into survival mode. You wake everyone up, grab what you can and you get out,” said Kurtz. From her house to her car and all of her keepsakes, Kurtz saw her belongings disappear in an instant. 



Once the water receded, Kurtz knew it was time to start rebuilding. “Like anything in life, you have to push through and just do it.” And that’s what she did, she moved forward, started rebuilding her home and went back to work. That’s when her life changed. 

“In the midst of our rebuild, I went to an all-team meeting and learned about Lowe’s Track to the Trades program,” said Kurtz. Track to the Trades is a Lowe’s employee program that provides financial support and training to those interested in pursuing a career in the skilled trades. “Inside I thought, ‘Hey, maybe this will be beneficial to me rebuilding my house,’ so I wouldn’t have to hire contractors.” Kurtz is the first employee to complete the program and gain a job in the skilled trades. “So far it’s been a unique journey. It’s shown me and my daughter to not stereotype anything.”

Through the devastation that Hurricane Harvey brought to Kurtz and her home came opportunity. Kurtz was able to establish her career in the skilled trades and is currently working as a project manager for Trinity Property Works in Houston, Texas.