NYC program placing 2,300 low-income workers in construction jobs

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New York Construction Report staff writer

New York City Pathways to Industrial and Construction Careers, a new program, will help 2,300 low-income workers get into construction jobs across NYC and help with  recruitment and training, job placement, retention and advancement. The initiative aims to place workers in high-wage and/or union jobs like tradesperson, construction project manager, diesel mechanic or general utility worker.

“The construction industry offers stable careers across a wide variety of jobs and is always seeking qualified construction managers and skilled tradespeople,” said Eric Macfarlane, first deputy commissioner, New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

“DDC, through its Office of Diversity and Industry Relations, has numerous programs to nurture emerging construction firms and connect jobseekers in the industry to employment opportunities.”

An $18.6 million grant will fund the project. It comes from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, in response to a winning proposal to the Good Jobs Challenge under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

PINCC engages through all three phases of the employment cycle: recruitment and training, job placement, retention, and advancement. The program projects to train nearly 2,300 New Yorkers and help place them in high-wage and/or unionized jobs with benefits in roles like diesel mechanic, general utility worker, tradesperson, or construction project manager.

“Hard working, highly skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen are at the core of successful public works projects,” said Nicole Bertrán, executive vice president, The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills. “Investments in the Apprenticeship Readiness Collective (ARC) programs preparing New York City residents for these roles unleash the economic growth that these projects create. ARC programs help New Yorkers enter union apprenticeships and with significant funding from the American Rescue Plan, the Good Jobs Challenge will contribute to a highly skilled workforce. These opportunities are life changing.”

Participants will be targeted for specific interest in construction and industrial careers, matched with training appropriate for their skills and ambitions, and placed and provided ongoing support through an extensive set of employer relationships. Key partners on PINCC include two “catalyst” organizations: the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development and the nonprofit Consortium for Worker Education. Both organizations will engage with employers, while the New York City Human Resources Administration will be responsible for recruiting participants.

“The Pathways to Industrial and Constructions Careers will transform the way New Yorkers begin building careers in the industrial and construction fields,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) president and CEO Andrew Kimball. “I applaud Mayor Adams for spearheading this initiative that will be crucial to equitably rebuilding New York City’s economy. NYCEDC is pleased to support the preparation of the next generation of young New Yorkers in these professional careers.”

The initiative will align the nearly two dozen city agencies and offices that administer workforce training and job placement programs. The new approach will integrate the city’s historically siloed education institutions, including the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and The City University of New York (CUNY). The Office of Talent and Workforce Development Interagency Cabinet will coordinate operations, prepare an annual plan with clear objectives, define key performance indicators, and measure progress against goals.

“The Department of Transportation is constantly looking to attract new and diverse talent to our agency. We will continue to work with Mayor Adams to ensure we’re cultivating homegrown talent into the city’s workforce,” said New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.

The order will also create a Future of Workers Task Force to consider and inform every aspect of the city’s strategy for empowering New Yorkers to secure and succeed in family-sustaining careers.

“The Consortium for Worker Education is thrilled to partner with Mayor Adams to launch PINCC,” said John McDermott, director of strategic partnerships, Consortium for Worker Education. “This project supports the CWE’s core mission of providing New York City’s workers pathways to high-wage careers in union jobs. In its powerful partnership of city agencies, unions, employers, and educational institutions, PINCC also provides a blueprint for the city’s new approach to delivering workforce services for families and communities.”

“P2A is proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development to successfully implement the community hiring goals set out in the Project Labor Agreement and continue to grow pathways into middle class building trades careers for justice-involved and low-income communities,” said Mike Hellstrom, president, Pathways to Apprenticeship (P2A). “With Mayor Adam’s support, the good jobs challenge can be a model for the transformational power of local hire when tied to union jobs.”

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