NYCHA Tenants Get Chance to Apprentice for Union Jobs Under $26M Program
By Kathleen Culliton | October 25, 2016 2:05pm
MANHATTAN — A $26 million apprenticeship program will provide an entry into civil service construction work for New York City Housing Authority residents, officials announced Tuesday.
The four-year Civil Service Apprenticeship program will offer 100 people the chance to earn membership in District Nine of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades over the next three years, union organizers announced in City Hall Park Tuesday afternoon.
“The Civil Service Apprenticeship Program not only has the potential to lift hundreds of New Yorkers into the middle class,” said Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of New York City Council which is funding the project.
“It will also provide training for sustainable long-term jobs in high-skilled trades, helping to reduce unemployment.”
District Nine has been offering construction apprenticeships for several years, but Tuesday’s announcement made official the city’s pledge to provide funding to train apprentices and offer NYCHA positions to graduates, said IUPAT Political Director Davon Lomax.
“It’s just an example of how we can get middle class jobs to people who aren’t in the middle class,” said Lomax.
The new NYCHA apprentices will learn basic construction skills — such as dry-walling, sign painting, lead abatement and basic glasswork — by working alongside IUPAT union members in their own neighborhoods, Lomax said.
First-year apprentices earn $17 per hour with full benefits and can expect to earn up to $42 per hour once they earn the status of journeyman or journey woman, said Lomax.
The mission of the program is to provide middle-class employment to diverse and lower income New Yorkers. Of current apprentices, 86 percent are women and 96 percent are minorities, according to Lomax.
Sixty new apprenticeship positions are expected to open within the next month when a wave of existing apprentices graduate, according to Lomax.
“They’re soon to be members and they’re really excited about it,” said Lomax. “They’re going to work in their communities and support their families.”
The city council will provide funding until at least 2018.