Program provides opportunities to minorities seeing careers in the trades
The Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council, State Sen. Mark Grisanti and the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council today held a press conference to announce the first graduates of the new Buffalo Building Trades pre-apprenticeship program for minorities. Grisanti secured a $200,000 grant for the program, which expects to have 20 to 30 graduates by the end of the year. The program provides opportunities to minorities who are seeking careers in the trades, including painters, bricklayers, electricians and carpenters.
"Increasing the diversity of the construction trade workforce is one of our top goals," said Buffalo Building Trades President Paul Brown. "I am proud to support this pre-apprenticeship program for (minorities), because it is already producing highly skilled workers that will contribute to the economic vitality of Western New York."
"With the unprecedented growth here in Western New York, we need to be looking at programs like the pre-apprenticeship program for minorities to ensure adequate and well educated workforce for the area," Grisanti said. "Graduates of this program find well-paying jobs enabling them to support their families here and keep them in Western New York."
"The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council is striving to create a holistic approach to developing a diverse and talented workforce," said Christina Orsi, ESD Western New York regional director and WNYREDC executive director. "There is a growing demand for skilled workers in the region, and programs like the Buffalo Building Trades pre-apprenticeship program will support diversity and help us prepare workers for success."
The program pairs minority students with experienced journeymen. The students work for eight weeks and, if they pass several requirements, are directly hired into the apprentice program and then the appropriate trade union. The first two students in the program worked with a painter at City Hall.
Those interested in the Buffalo Building Trades pre-apprentice program are asked to contact Tracy Cardwell at [email protected].