Syracuse Build Program Connecting Residents to Trades, Family Services

Posted on June 1, 2022


With I-81 and other development and improvement projects on the horizon in New York, leaders desire to train a local workforce to win the jobs rather than laborers from out of state.

Syracuse Build creates support to Syracuse’s construction industry by connecting job seekers from 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.

Pathways to Apprenticeship is one part of Syracuse Build. Pathways is a comprehensive apprenticeship readiness training program. It focuses on preparing women, people of color and veterans to help them gain access to the Building Trades’ registered apprenticeship programs.

Shannon Thomas is a graduate of the 11-week Pathways to Apprenticeship program. The father of three heard about the program when it launched in 2021 and jumped at the opportunity to go into the electrical industry.

“I grew up in Syracuse, and no way better but give back to the community and help build,” said Thomas.

Ebony Farrow is the program manager of Pathways. The program has graduated two classes in less than one year and all graduates have been offered positions in one of the seven trade unions.

"Pathways works to remove as many roadblocks as possible. For Syracuse residents interested in employment, we help with things like licensed repair and if that means that we're trying to help someone obtain a license if we can pay some things off, like maybe some fines we have that we have representation for them in court if need be," said Farrow.

"We also help with childcare services. We have a family model here, where once we cross paths because we're talking about the next 20-30 years of one's life. setting them up for employment, then that means that we are family and we are here to help one another.”

Read more and watch on Spectrum Local News, here.

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