Why We Started Garage82

Our Mission:

To link underserved, re-entry, minority, and women populations with employers.

Our Purpose:

Providing exposure to the trades through short-term trainings and pre-apprentice programs.

Our Process:

We implement curriculum designed by industry leaders to train individuals in the skilled trades. Then we leverage industry suppliers, employers and job placement programs to help job-ready candidates find the right employer.

Our Story:

Home economics? Clarinet lessons? College? No way! I wanted shop class; a drum kit; a stint in trade school. But “non-traditional jobs for women” weren’t a thing in the 1980s, so off to college I went.

After graduation, I got a great job at EDSI helping low-income, non-custodial parents, and ex-offenders train for and find employment in career pathway positions. I spent over 20 years helping people take control of their futures, and in the process built a great network of industry professionals who helped these individuals reach their goals.

Meanwhile, I logged thousands of hours in my garage, tinkering with vintage items and repurposing flea market finds. My treasures were items other people threw out. I spent time on the tools, feeling accomplished by mastering new skills. My garage became the trade school I never got to attend.

Then the coronavirus made its way around the world, and 41 million people lost their jobs. Many of these jobs are not coming back. I recognized an opportunity in the lack of young people pursuing the skilled trades, where jobs are plentiful. I thought to myself, “Why not merge my career with my avocation and help people find meaningful, sustainable employment in the trades?” Thus, Garage82 was born.

Let me explain the logo. The garage is my happy place, where I go to be creative and relax. “82” represents the 9-year recidivism rate of ex-offenders in the United States, a population I worked with throughout my career. This number is too high! Lowering it requires tapping into each individual’s potential and helping them find steady work with a living wage, something that is almost impossible given the hurdles this population faces upon re-entry.

Finally, the octopus intrigues me. Did you know the octopus has three hearts and nine brains? This sea creature symbolizes flexibility, creativity, intelligence, and expansion—qualities I seek to emulate through Garage82. Together, the name and the logo represent my experiences and my goals.

- Laurie Narciso, Garage82 CEO

Garage82 Quick Facts




Laurie Narciso

Company Based

Philadelphia, PA


100 S. Broad Street, Suite 650, Philadelphia, PA 19110

Our Core Values

Embrace, Educate, and Empower


LGBT Business Enterprise™ (learn more), WOSB-Certified, Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Capability Statement

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Our Core Values


  • I validate others by listening to them
  • I treat others with kindness and respect
  • I am open to other people’s perspectives


  • I ask questions to promote thought
  • I encourage and promote continued learning and growth
  • I connect people to the right resources


  • I allow others to be who they are without judgment
  • I ask questions that lead others to find their own solutions
  • I support others by promoting equal opportunities