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Construction & Design

Construction jobs creator hires 1,000th worker

Building Skills New York, a non-profit organization that provides underserved New Yorkers with good-paying jobs on local construction sites, is marking the placement of its 1,000th worker.

Harlem resident Tariq Butler (pictured top) was placed in a mason position on the Sendero Verde project, a nearly full-block affordable housing development on 112th Street in East Harlem two months ago. Butler was referred to Building Skills through Positive Workforce Inc., a Harlem-based minority advocacy and employment service organization.

Since Building Skills’ founding, the organization has doubled its number of total placements in just the past year and a half.

“We are incredibly proud to announce this exciting development in the history of the Building Skills program, which is meaningful not only for our organization, but also for its supporters and, most importantly, the many workers we assist and serve,” said David Meade, executive director of Building Skills.

 “We are more confident than ever before that the Building Skills model works. We look forward to continuing to grow our organization and assist even more New Yorkers in creating a solid career path in construction while contributing to the future of our great city.”

Butler was placed with Cosan Construction Corp., a masonry and self-leveling company that focuses on large-scale affordable and market-rate housing developments.

“We congratulate Tariq on this significant milestone, which is a testament both to his strong work ethic and the long-standing commitment of Building Skills to help individuals like him to get connected to good paying jobs,” said Terence Ferguson, Principal at Cosan. “We look forward to seeing Tariq continue to succeed, and also to keep working with Building Skills to generate future opportunities for anyone looking to get involved in a great industry and establish a strong foundation for both themselves and their communities.”

“We are proud to not only have Tariq join us on this vital project that will deliver much-needed high-quality affordable housing, but also to partner with Building Skills on connecting underserved communities with good-paying jobs,” said Matt Arbeit, Senior Project Manager at L+M Builders, which is developing Sendero Verde.

Sendero Verede rendering

“We congratulate Building Skills on reaching this important milestone and look forward to working with them to secure employment for under- and unemployed New Yorkers in this critical moment.”

Building Skills’ growth in its number of worker placements is largely due to a more robust worker pipeline, driven by strong referrals from workforce development partners and an increasingly efficient jobseeker intake process. Building Skills continually adds job candidates to its worker pipeline, all of whom have either been placed or are in the process of being placed in local construction jobs.

 “Expanding access to job opportunities in the construction industry is at the core of what we do,” said Vinny Torres, Executive Director at Positive Workforce Inc. “As New York City continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, this work is more important than ever. Together with organizations like Building Skills, we will continue to generate more local job growth and connect as many workers as possible to this important sector of our city’s economy.”

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