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Trades Education Center tools

Our Story

It all started in when Chris tried to hire more plumbers for his plumbing service company. Sharing his frustrations with finding AND training new plumbing professionals with Tim, his plumbing supply partner, the two of them agreed something new had to be done to address the shortage of trade skill professionals in their little part of the world - Northeast Georgia. They decided a trade education center should be the next step. However, Chris and Tim were too busy to make it a reality.


Our Mission

To Educate, Grow, and Maintain a
Top-Tier Workforce in order to ensure
a successful future for our students,
local businesses, and residents.


So, the idea sat dormant for about a year until Chris was reacquainted with an old friend, Keith, who was a recovering public school teacher trying to start a local magazine. A couple of months later, Chris shared the vision of a trade education center with Keith and knew his background in education was the missing piece he and Tim needed to really make a go of it.


Chris, Tim, and Keith started making presentations to various industry members to gain support and funding to start Trades Education Center. The first group of apprentices, named Project 8, would start in the Fall of 2023 with eight aspiring plumbers and serve as our case study, helping us fine-tune the program for our first paid project of apprentices in 2024. In December, a 2-year lease was signed for TEC to have a space of its own near Athens, GA in a former elementary school.

Our Vision

Educate the next generation of trades professionals who will impact the next 30-50 years of the plumbing industry:

“Educate Through Experience”


The year started with a bang as in hammers, chisels, and all sorts of tools as the founders worked to make the new home for Trades Education Center not only a place for learning the trades – specifically plumbing, but also a showcase for those in the industry to share how skilled trades support our community and society at large. More to come!

Meet the Three Guys


Chris Griffin

Founder - Lead Tradesman

Born with a pipe wrench in his hands, Chris learned the ins and outs of the plumbing industry and many skilled trades at the feet of his father, Gregg, and many other tradesmen over the last 30+ years. Running a plumbing service with his father the past 6 years, he has seen the growing need for not only plumbers, but all skilled trades. With a mind and hands that never stop moving, Chris hopes to keep the skilled trades moving forward to help our families, communities and nation be a continued success.

Pipe Testing
Tim Davis

Chairman - Industry Expert

Though he makes running a plumbing supply house look easy, Tim did his time working in the trenches before moving into the warehouse. The son of a plumber, he was not allowed to work an "easy" job for his father, but had to start work on his own to learn the value of hard work and professionalism. Tim brings the knowledge and experience of a service contractor and a supplier to the world of educating the next generation of skilled tradesmen, knowing the whole industry is in need of hardworking professionals.

Stack of Books

Keith Dorton

Superintendent - Lead Educator

Coming from a long line of largely unsuccessful DIYers, Keith learned early on that he was more suited to academics than "hands-on" work. He worked as a graphic designer and art director in magazine publishing before starting his other calling in education. After 14 years of teaching middle school students, Keith was ready to get back into graphic design when Chris approached him about TEC. Jumping at the chance to make a real difference in education, he hopes to help learners become earners in the skilled trades.

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