NYC program to help 2,300 low-income workers find trade

Dive Brief:

  • A new program will help place 2,300 low-income workers in new jobs in New York City’s construction industry.
  • New York City Pathways to Industrial and Construction Careers will help job seekers with all phases of employment including recruitment and training, job placement, retention and advancement. The initiative aims to place workers in high-wage and/or union jobs like tradesperson, construction project manager, diesel mechanic or general utility worker, according to a press release from New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
  • An $18.6 million grant will fund the project. It comes from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, in response to a winning proposal to the Good Jobs Challenge under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Dive Insight:

The PINCC will specifically target participants who have an interest in construction and industrial careers.

“This is a dynamic new approach to workforce development and a major shift from the previous way jobseekers and employers were served,” Adams said when announcing the program. “And this isn’t just about a single program — we are applying this same philosophy to revolutionize our approach to talent development in New York City by signing an executive order to streamline the efforts of nearly two dozen city agencies and offices that administer these programs.”

In 2020, New York state had the fourth largest construction sector in the nation, but also the highest job losses, according to the office of the state comptroller. Much of those losses resulted from the pandemic.

Still, most firms employed fewer than 20 people, and more than a quarter of workers earned above $80,000 annually.

“The construction industry offers stable careers across a wide variety of jobs and is always seeking qualified construction managers and skilled tradespeople,” said Eric Macfarlane, first deputy commissioner, New York City Department of Design and Construction. “We look forward to working with the Office of Talent and Workforce Development to develop more comprehensive methods of directing people to these opportunities for a lucrative and rewarding career.” 

Construction still faces a career gap, though it has added jobs this summer, including a “shockingly high” increase of 32,000 employed workers in July. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in construction has decreased, indicating that many jobs will remain unfilled unless new people join the industry.