City’s Construction Training Program Seeks Applicants

Deadline to apply for first cohort is May 21

By Michael Garcia

As the deadline nears to apply to Syracuse Build’s Pathways to Apprenticeship construction training program, Mayor Ben Walsh gathered community partners last week to announce the initiative.

This has been in talks for some time, with Walsh mentioning the program during a Jobs to Move America press conference back in March. Syracuse Build has now held five informational sessions to inform the community of this 11-week paid training program.

This apprenticeship readiness training program targets women, people of color and veterans. The 11-week paid program is designed to prepare a local workforce for construction jobs being created by federal, state and local infrastructure investments, including I-81. | File Photo

“This community is aligning like never before to prepare for the I-81 opportunity,” Walsh said in a press release. “Major project sponsors, local labor, elected leaders and community advocates are working together to create opportunities, where there have been barriers to entry in the construction trade.”

Walsh met with Ryan McMahon, Onondaga County executive; Dominic Robinson, vice president for economic inclusion at CenterState CEO, and others to introduce the program.

Helen Hudson, Syracuse Common Council president, who was also singled out during the Jobs to Move America press conference for her effort in pushing this program forward, spoke on behalf of the program.

“This is an enormous opportunity for our community, and this partnership has taken a long time,” Hudson said. “The trades and the Syracuse Build Steering Committee hear the need to bring more residents and more diversity into the hiring pipeline.”

Syracuse Build, which was introduced in 2018, aims to connect participants with local union-sponsored apprenticeship programs, to learn from construction professionals and to earn industry requirements.

The minimum requirements to be accepted into the program:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Live in the city of Syracuse
  • Desire a career in construction
  • Be authorized to work in the United States
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to read, write and speak in English for training and safety purposes
  • Be physically capable to do construction work

Some residents had voiced concerns about the start of the program, which is June 14 and goes until Aug. 26, in relation to high school seniors possibly missing the deadline due to graduations set for mid-June. Syracuse Build reassured that there will be additional cohorts moving forward.

The program is a collaborative effort between Central and Northern New York Building Trades Council (CNNYBTC) and teaches the nationally recognized North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Multi-Craft Core Curriculum.

“This program is unique because it was co-designed and will be led by members of the CNNYBTC,” said Greg Lancette, president of CNNYBTC. “Trade unions offer access to high paying, family-sustaining careers in construction. We look forward to providing opportunities for Syracuse residents, especially women and people of color, to have successful careers in the union construction trades.”

“It is complex and challenging work that requires selfless teamwork,” Walsh added. “The Syracuse Build Pathways to Apprenticeship program is a demonstration of a collaborative partnership committed to diversifying our trades and engaging neighborhoods in building our city and region. We are preparing for the future of our city today.”

The deadline to apply for Pathways to Apprenticeship is May 21. You can apply here. Follow Syracuse Build: Pathways to Apprenticeship’s Facebook page here for updates.

Michael Garcia is a Newhouse School master’s student

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