PadSplit Provides the First Affordable Tulsa Welding School Housing

In Jacksonville, Florida, the dream of pursuing a trade education at Tulsa Welding School was becoming increasingly challenging for out-of-town students. The soaring rent prices were a formidable barrier, leading to a decline in student enrollment. However, the arrival of Karen Yeats as the school’s new admissions director marked a turning point, as she sought […]

December 01, 2023

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In Jacksonville, Florida, the dream of pursuing a trade education at Tulsa Welding School was becoming increasingly challenging for out-of-town students. The soaring rent prices were a formidable barrier, leading to a decline in student enrollment. However, the arrival of Karen Yeats as the school’s new admissions director marked a turning point, as she sought innovative solutions to address the housing crisis faced by prospective students.

The Quest for Affordable Housing

Karen’s search for an alternative housing solution led her to PadSplit, a platform revolutionizing shared housing. Collaborating with Quentin Wendt, General Manager at PadSplit, they aimed to provide a more flexible and affordable Tulsa Welding School housing option for students compared to the existing arrangement with EDUrent, a company leasing apartments to students.

“We were losing students in our welding school and HVAC school. [Our programs are] seven to 10 months that will change their lives, but we couldn’t find housing for them, so that means they couldn’t come,” says Karen. “Their obstacles were the big upfront money for the security deposit for the first and last month’s rent. That just wasn’t affordable and feasible for our students.”

PadSplit’s Flexibility

PadSplit proved to be the perfect match for the trade school, offering flexibility that accommodated the students’ needs. The first PadSplit, featuring 10 rooms, quickly reached full occupancy within three weeks.

“All of the rooms stay full. The students like to be together and enjoy a sense of community. There’s camaraderie and a lot of relationship building,” says Jack Avera, Market General Manager at PadSplit. “This opens up a huge opportunity because there are a lot of other houses that could be a good fit in that area.”

Expanding to Meet Demand

Recognizing the success of the initial PadSplit, a second home was added on the northwest side of Jacksonville in October. With 10 additional rooms, it aimed to cater to the growing demand for affordable housing for Tulsa Welding School students. The popularity of PadSplit even led to overflow arrangements for students who booked spaces outside the designated houses.

“There’s always a need for more housing. It’s a matter of finding the right fit for the right investor. If the school continues to scale the way they do, I imagine adding a new PadSplit house every few months because the school is in a constant rotation with its students,” says Jack.

Communal Living: A Game Changer

The communal living experience provided by PadSplit proved to be a game-changer for students. Notably, one graduate requested to continue living in PadSplit, showcasing the appeal of the model and the low rates.

“You cannot find $600 rents in Jacksonville where students feel safe and where they’re connecting with a designated house. They’re connecting with each other; that’s an emotional, social, and spiritual journey for them that they’ve maybe never had available,” says Karen. “We’re so excited for this option; we cannot wait to get more PadSplits because we’ll fill them and will keep them full!” 

Empowering Graduates to Become Hosts

Quentin envisions a unique opportunity for graduates with Tulsa Welding School degrees who could become PadSplit Hosts themselves. With an impressive 90% employment rate and an average salary exceeding $80,000, graduates could not only benefit from affordable housing but also invest in properties, continuing the cycle and serving as an inspiration for others.

The Value of Secured Housing and Partnerships

PadSplit’s commitment to providing secured housing goes beyond its collaboration with Tulsa Welding School. Partnerships with companies like 1-800-Flowers demonstrate the broader impact on employers, helping reduce attrition and rehiring costs by offering stable housing options to their workforce.

“Our Members live with us for an average of 10½ months and work with 1-800-Flowers. When I asked the hiring director what their average tenure is, they said 31 days, which was an eye-opening conversation,” says Quentin.

“If today’s large 2 million distribution facilities are the coal mines of the 1930s, where are people making $15 to $20/hr living? When they were out in the middle of the country, they had to provide housing. In our world, when you drop a manufacturing or distribution facility 30 to 60 miles outside of a metro area where the land is available, we’re much more agile as a platform to afford and drop in workforce housing,” says Quentin. 

Many entrepreneurs and Hosts on the PadSplit marketplace are starting to do just that. They’re looking for single-family houses close to major employment areas where there isn’t large multi-family construction that’s available. That’s where you see PadSplits popping up in non-traditional areas outside the metro.

“This is a no-brainer around finding people who use our platform from a value-add perspective. As we reach out to individual employers, this makes a lot of sense,” says Quentin.

Looking Ahead

As PadSplit continues to expand its footprint, the company plans to create a job board in 2024. The platform will connect members with employment opportunities, showcasing the quality of PadSplit’s members to potential employers. The success of the Tulsa Welding School model serves as a blueprint for engaging new employers and contributing value to cities.

“Anyone [from PadSplit] I’ve spoken to in this process has been unbelievable. The response, the communication. As far as a partnership is concerned, we could not be happier. Tulsa Welding School is just going to benefit,” says Karen.

PadSplit: A Beacon of Hope

In the face of high rent prices in Jacksonville, PadSplit Jacksonville emerges as a beacon of hope for Tulsa Welding School students. By addressing the housing challenge, sites like PadSplit not only provides affordable living spaces but also cultivates a sense of community and empowerment. The innovative approach of turning graduates into future hosts sets a precedent for sustainable success, creating a ripple effect that could positively impact communities and businesses alike.

If you’re interested in partnering with PadSplit to provide affordable housing to the Tulsa Welding School or in another city in the U.S., reach out to an account executive today at PadSplit.com/hosts.

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