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Construction group set to supercharge worker skills as labor shortage threatens recovery

Building Skills New York (BSNY) is partnering with Bronx Community College to help construction workers dial up their skills and help stave off a labor shortage caused in part by a lack of skill workers.

The new Construction Career Accelerator (CCA) Program will enable workers already registered with BSNY to pursue advanced electrical, plumbing and carpentry training.

The program comes as the construction industry enjoys a rapid recovery after being hit hard in the pandemic-induced economic downturn.

A labor shortage that existed prior to the COVID crisis has been exacerbated over the past year, with construction industry experts predicting that companies will need to hire 430,000 more workers than they employed in 2020.

DAVID MEADE

“We know that New York is going to have to build its way out of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, and also that the construction industry has many opportunities to offer the thousands of individuals who remain unemployed as result of that crisis,” said BSNY Executive Director David Meade.

“Together, BSNY and its partners like BCC are working to assure individuals in some of most vulnerable communities are able to benefit from all the construction industry has to offer by learning critical skills that will help propel them along the path to success.” 

Founded in 2012 by leaders in the affordable housing industry, BSNY is a not-for-profit organization that helps provide New York residents with jobs at local construction sites in underserved communities.

The organization works with developers including Arker Companies, BFC Partners, L+ M Development and Related Companies and has placed underemployed local residents in hundreds of jobs on their sites and others.

The Construction Career Accelerator (CCA) Program, made possible by a grant from the New York State Department of Labor, will help BSNY participants already placed on construction jobsites across the five boroughs to gain the necessary skills to advance their careers.

Scholarships have already been awarded to BSNY workers who have proven themselves in the field and expressed an interest in pursuing advanced electrical, plumbing and carpentry training.

Each class will participate in up to 200 hours of technical skills training provided by BCC, which offers the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum, a nationally recognized certification system for skilled construction trades. The credentialing process follows a series of stackable training courses that facilitate a progression of skill acquisition. This summer’s classes will include a NCCER core, NCCER electrical, NCCER carpentry and NCCER plumbing.

“We are excited to launch this unique skills training program with Bronx Community College, which will provide best-in-class instruction to help take BSNY participants to the next level in their respective careers,” said Meade.

“The CCA advances our mission to help traditionally underserved New Yorkers gain access to economic mobility and professional development while also contributing to the revitalization of their own neighborhoods.

“We look forward to replicating this program to elevate workers and bolster the construction industry at a critical time in the city’s history.”

“Bronx Community College has a long history of providing skills training to the New York City workforce, which benefits both the workers and the industries in which they work,” added BCC President Thomas A. Isekenegbe. “We are greatly pleased with this opportunity to collaborate with Building Skills New York and bring fresh talent to the construction companies that help develop our city.”

“Building Skills is helping individuals in all five boroughs establish successful, good-paying careers in New York’s growing construction industry. I’m thrilled this program is providing my constituents with access to high-quality education courses that will allow them to build their resumes and increase their opportunities to enter – and grow in – this sector, while contributing to the growth of their own neighborhoods,” said Council Member Oswald Feliz.

“As our post-pandemic economic recovery continues, it’s critical that we provide individuals with the skills they need to succeed in the long term and that they can carry with them from one jobsite to the next.”

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