June 4, 2019
By day, Michael Norman is an electrical contractor, one of his passions. Each weekday evening, Norman pursues his other passion: giving young people, including felons just released from prison, a way out of crime and into stable employment by training them in the electrician trade, then employing them in his own company or placing them with other Charlotte companies. Students learn free; each student’s six months in the training program costs about $7,000. By even later evening, Norman works with his nonprofit Sword of Spirit Outreach to accept donations that help support the training.
All that interconnectedness may be too cozy for some folks, but Forum participants were electrified by what they heard, possibly in part because of Norman’s personal story of arriving in Charlotte with 35 cents, staying in shelters, finding training, achieving a license, and overcoming the lack of transportation this way:
He promised customers he’d do as good a job as the guys with trucks, but at half the cost, if the customer would pick him up and take him home. He soon had some customers. And one of those customers paid for his electrical work by giving Norman an old truck. The business was off.
In the video below, Norman;s presentation begins at minute 2:30. The Q&A begins at minute 17:30.