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Build-a-Chair event at the Big Chair in Thomasville

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- There’s an effort to bring jobs back to Thomasville and two men are getting creative with how they do that.

Instead of putting out a “help wanted” ad, they are inviting the public to The Big Chair Saturday where they will show you how to make a chair of your own.

They say craftsmanship is becoming a lost art the community desperately needs.

“We have to teach our young folks how to build and work with their hands. There are opportunities, there are jobs available. We have to celebrate the trades, the skilled trades, like we do our athletes on Friday night,” Andrew Clement said.

Clement is the carpentry and construction instructor at Thomasville High School.

He believes that if you show people how, they can build anything and that could lead to a whole new career.

He is teaming up with Joel Leonard, a makerspace supporter, for the first of several pop-up maker events.

“We’ve got a lot of companies that put out want ads, and they say they struggle, well, let’s get them here, let them enjoy this, and see what’s going on,” Leonard said.

Students at Thomasville High School helped put the chair building-kit materials together.

“You can sit it on your front porch, on your back porch and relax and say, ‘I made this chair myself,’ so that’s kind of what I’m seeing out of Saturday for the people,” student Tavion Johnson said.

“We’re really doing this to raise awareness to the fact that we need this type of space here and we need to bring industry back to this area,” Clement said.

It is free to attend the event, but if you want to participate or pre-order a chair, you will need to register.

There will be sessions at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Proceeds from registration fees will help The Thomasville High School Craftsman Guild attend state and national competitions.