Aaron Frumin

Executive Director, UnCommon Construction

Aaron Frumin

Executive Director, UnCommon Construction


In 2005, Aaron Frumin dropped out of college to respond to Hurricane Katrina

with the Red Cross. Later that year, he took his first job in construction as the

least skilled worker at a day labor company in the Reno-Tahoe Area. On the

worksite, Aaron found himself profoundly surprised and rewarded by the

mental and physical rigor and satisfaction of a hard day’s work. So, when he

joined AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) the following

year, he was excited to sharpen his skills and apply them to a positive impact

in the recovery effort across the Gulf Coast. He went on to lead community

volunteers, AmeriCorps and partner families in the rebuilding effort for the next

three years as a House Leader with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity,

where he loved teaching people new skills through a shared and empowering

experience. After these rewarding experiences, Aaron went back to school

and earned his degree at Tulane University before spending three years as a

middle school reading and social studies teacher through Teach for America

in Colorado.

Through his journey, Aaron learned valuable lessons about teamwork and selflessness. He also discovered

how strong a collective impact could be and developed a more personal understanding of the deeply rooted

problems facing our communities.

Today, Aaron is the Founder and Executive Director of unCommon Construction – a New Orleans-based

nonprofit that uses the build process to empower youth to lead the workforce after high school or college.

Through unCommon Construction’s apprenticeship program, high school students apply to join

a diverse team to earn hourly pay and school credit for building a house in a semester. With the revenue

from each project, unCommon Construction matches apprentices’ paychecks with an Equity Award

Scholarship, which they can use for further education, industry certifications or the tools needed for a

full time job. Since founding, unCommon Construction has partnered with five high schools, building eight

homes in eight semesters, hired more than 80 students and paid them approximately $80,000 in earnings

and scholarships.