Second Cohort Graduates Syracuse Build Pathways to Apprenticeship Construction Training Program

Posted on December 19, 2021

Group Pic Cohort 2

Program Helps Prepare City Residents for Careers in Construction Field

City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, CenterState CEO and Central & Northern New York Building Trades Council Partnered to Host Program

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, CenterState CEO and other community partners celebrated the graduation of the second class of Syracuse Build’s Pathways to Apprenticeship program. Sixteen City of Syracuse residents participated in the second cohort of the paid 11-week program that readies Syracuse city residents for careers in a broad range of construction fields. These graduates join 15 others who graduated from the program’s first round in August.

The comprehensive apprenticeship readiness training program focuses on preparing women, people of color and veterans to help them gain access to the Building Trades’ registered apprenticeship programs. Eleven of the graduates from the first cohort are in active apprenticeships with unions, more are expected to join in March 2022 when additional unions accept new classes.

“Congratulations to the graduates of the second cohort of Pathways to Apprenticeship program and for their commitment and success during this in-depth training period,” said Chris Montgomery, director, Syracuse Build. “The graduates' hard work and eagerness to join a local trade union speaks to the robust and inclusive workforce pipeline of Syracuse Build. I am grateful to Ebony Farrow, manager of the Pathways to Apprenticeship program, and all our partners who have been engaged and focused on ensuring this program is successful. I am excited to see the progress and opportunities that await these graduates as they begin the next stage of their careers in the construction industry.”

“These graduates will join with those from the program’s first class and begin the next steps in their careers locally which will impact not only their lives but their families and communities as well,” said Ebony Farrow, Pathways to Apprenticeship program manager at CenterState CEO. “I am incredibly proud of each of them for their work and dedication throughout this program. They are proof that high-quality talent exists in this community and highlight that we can connect often marginalized groups to opportunities if we intentionally provide the right training and resources."

All graduates are now in the process of applying to apprenticeship programs or jobs in the construction field.  Throughout the Pathways to Apprenticeship program participants have gained physical and technical skills needed to be competitive and successfully apply to a registered union apprenticeship. Entering a union-sponsored registered apprenticeship can be highly competitive; throughout the program, participants received exclusive networking opportunities with local trade unions and coaching and preparation for the registered apprenticeship application process.

“I’m excited to see another class completing Syracuse Build Pathways to Apprenticeship and taking the next step toward careers in building and construction. This cohort demonstrates the strong interest our City of Syracuse residents have in these career pathways,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “I thank all of our community partners in workforce development and organized labor and congratulate all of the graduates. I’m especially grateful to Common Council President Helen Hudson whose vision and leadership has helped make Pathways to Apprenticeship a reality."

Syracuse Build is a community initiative launched by Mayor Walsh to support local construction activity by connecting job seekers from Syracuse’s historically marginalized communities with career pathways in construction related fields. Syracuse Build’s goal is to align local government, unions, anchor institutions, and construction firms in a coordinated network of community, training and workforce partners. Work Train at CenterState CEO serves as an intermediary, bringing resources and partners to develop both the Syracuse Build initiative and the Pathways to Apprenticeship program.

“It is inspiring to see the community working together to ensure that all citizens in the City of Syracuse are given the full opportunity to prosper and thrive with the impact of Syracuse Build.” said Helen Hudson, President Syracuse Common Council.

County Executive Ryan McMahon said, "Today is an exciting day for our community and especially these graduates. These folks have now gained a strong foundation to apply for apprenticeships in a variety of different unions to further advance their physical and technical skills at a time when our local construction industry is constantly searching for skilled labor." McMahon continued, "Congratulations to these graduations and I wish you nothing but success in all your future endeavors." 

Funding for the Pathways program comes from a number of community partners recognizing the need to prepare the local workforce, including the City of Syracuse, Greater Syracuse HOPE, Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, North America’s Building Trade Unions, Central New York Community Foundation, United Way of Central New York, and the Alliance for Economic Inclusion.

“We are excited for this group of graduates to be able to take the skills and experiences they have gained through this program and move into the next phase of their training,” said Dominic Robinson, vice president of Economic Inclusion at CenterState CEO. “As we have seen through the success and advancement of the first cohort this program is an important resource to prepare people from our community for the in-demand jobs that currently exist in the construction fields. We know this demand will only grow and we look forward to being able to connect more people from diverse backgrounds to these opportunities and expand the impact of the program.” 

The next class of the Pathways to Apprenticeship program will begin accepting applications in January 2022.

Acceptance into the Pathways program is competitive. To meet the minimum requirements, applicants must:

●        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;

●        Read, write, and to speak in English for training and safety purposes; and

●        Be physically capable to do construction work.

About Syracuse Build

Syracuse Build is a mayoral initiative designed to support Syracuse’s construction industry by connecting capable job seekers from Syracuse’s historically marginalized communities with career pathways in construction related fields.  The primary purpose of the initiative is to increase the number of low income Syracuse residents -- particularly people of color and women -- working on public construction projects and successfully entering/advancing in union apprenticeship.  Syracuse Build aligns local government, anchor institutions, union apprenticeship programs and construction firms into a coordinated network of community, training and workforce partners. Syracuse Build is led by a steering committee and managed and staffed by CNY Works. CenterState CEO/Work Train serves as the intermediary to align these partners, provide some of the funding, and develop a strong pipeline of workers for these opportunities.

About Central & Northern New York Building Trades (CNNYBT)

CNNYBTC represents approximately 5,000 construction workers and 17 member unions that are highly skilled in a wide array of crafts. These men and women are an intricate part of New York’s workforce, our region’s economy, and future economic prosperity. Since 1958, the CNNYBTC has been in existence in NY to bring the needs of unions from all building-related trades together in an effort to protect the welfare of workers and learn from one another. Together, we’ve been able to have a voice in the State Legislature, fighting for local jobs, fair wages, funding for major infrastructure projects and more. We continue to fight for our members and their families every day, which is evident in our apprenticeship programs. We have 150,000 square feet of training facilities. Annually, we spend over $7.5 million on training. Over the last ten years, we have graduated over 1,735 students. We continue working every day to establish apprenticeship training at the state level. These programs allow us to continue great traditions of quality work into today’s industry, and improve construction across New York State.

About CenterState CEO

CenterState CEO is an independent and forward-thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. We serve as an advocate and resource for smart business, catalyze and facilitate regional growth, and promote community prosperity through results-driven partnerships, planning and

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