New York, NY – On Wednesday, September 28th, the 2017 Building Futures Awards Reception will be held at the New York Hilton Hotel in Midtown, on behalf of the Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills. The event’s purpose is “honoring the unionized construction industry’s commitment to opportunity and diversity in New York City.” Honorees are Kevin Connors, President and Business Manager, Sheet Metal Workers Local 28, John O’Hare, Managing Director, Building Contractors Association, and Daniel A. Zarilli, PE, Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs, New York City Office of the Mayor. The Event Chairs are Gary LaBarbera, President, Building and Construction Trades Council, and Craig W. Noller, Director of Member Services, Building Contractors Association. Officers are Patrick Dolan Jr., Board Chairman, and Nicole Bertran, Executive Vice President.
Construction Skills is a pre-apprenticeship program that prepares its graduates for union apprenticeships within the construction trade. It began in 2001, and is now a nationally recognized model for addressing training and employment issues in the industry. It has opened doors to real careers with good wages and benefits, and through that, strengthened communities. Those it trains come from diverse communities throughout the five boroughs, and the program has resulted in African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians becoming the majority of new union members in the industry. Training imparts skills needed to work on New York City’s skyline, roads, bridges and tunnels, along with other infrastructure, jobs that require the best-trained, safest construction professionals in the world. At last year’s awards ceremony, it was announced that the non-profit program has, as of October 2016, placed 1800 New York City high school students and others into the construction trade. Students take a weeks-long course and are then contacted for apprenticeships within the trade.
LaBarbera says, of the upcoming event, “We’re honoring the efforts of individuals that have worked tirelessly to help the unionized construction industry’s commitment to opportunity and diversity in New York City. Because of the Construction Skills program, meaningful long-time careers that pay good wages and benefits are more accessible to a diverse population of hard working men and women across the five boroughs.”
Bertran adds, “This event is a brief moment to celebrate individuals who are helping make a more diverse and accessible New York City construction industry. The Construction Skills program has opened doors to career opportunities in the building and construction trades available through union apprenticeship programs and is helping to strengthen New York City’s middle class.”