Friends and Supporters,
three decades, the Consortium for Worker
Education has dedicated itself to the development of New
York's workforce. Through partnerships with unions and community
organizations, CWE provides education, training, and job placement
for tens of thousands of workers every year. Please read on for the
latest news from the Consortium for Worker Education.
Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
work with men and women who have barriers to employment and give them
sector-targeted, credential-based skills training,” says Tammy
Burgess, Brooklyn Workforce
Innovations' Assistant Director. “We place graduates into
quality, entry-level positions where there is upward mobility.”
BWI offers several job training programs, all in skilled and
high-demand trades. Participants choose programs that range from
commercial driving and woodworking and fabrication, to TV and film
production and telecommunications installation.
Each BWI program lasts between four and seven weeks, and consists of
technical training in their chosen field as well as instruction and
role-playing exercises that help trainees prepare for situations they
will encounter on the job. Most programs culminate with an
industry-recognized credential. Participants also take classes with a
job developer, who has relationships with employers, prepares BWI
participants for interviews, and helps place them into a job.
BWI’s work is grounded in a commitment to empowerment and justice for
those who get left out of economic opportunity. “Helping somebody who
has been denied opportunity, whether it is poor education or having
served time, to get a skill that is recognized within an industry
that makes them employable,” says Burgess. “That creates empowerment.
That creates freedom.”
BWI also connects clients to pubic benefits, free legal counseling,
and free tax preparation. These services help bridge the gap from
unemployment to financial stability.
The relationship with students continues well after graduation. BWI
tracks participants’ progress for two years, through raises and
promotions, and graduates return to BWI for other services and
assistance advancing in their chosen field. “People come back five
years later. Often they are a supervisor and in a position to hire
other BWI program graduates,” says Burgess.
With inequality at the top of the political agenda, BWI is showing
how empowering workers is an important part of the solution.
Gutierrez was the ideal candidate for Brooklyn Workforce Innovation’s
"Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program.
“My passion has always been entertainment,” says Gutierrez, but he
was stuck in dead end jobs that were not paying the bills or
fulfilling his dreams. Gutierrez also had several barriers to
employment. He was orphaned at age 13, had not finished college, and
When his aunt told him about the program she had enrolled in at BWI,
it seemed perfect. “I was lost and I didn’t know how to get into the
entertainment industry,” says Gutierrez. “I just had no direction.
This is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
The "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program
trains New Yorkers for entry level jobs in the film and television
industry, as production assistants. He learned about the wide range
of duties that PAs perform, from managing pedestrians at outdoor
shoots to renting equipment.
BWI also advised students on various career paths available in the
film industry, so they could think about where they wanted to
specialize. After a few months as a production assistant, Gutierrez
decided he wanted to be a grip, which involves lighting and set
He has now been a grip for the last eight months and is a member of
IATSE Local 52, earning $35 per hour.
The job has allowed him to accomplish several personal goals,
including getting an apartment and saving for his daughter's Sweet
Sixteen, and he is looking forward to what the future will bring.
“I had a really tough life. Now I’m learning to enjoy it.”
Grads at JtBO Funded Program
Congratulations to the 84 newest graduates of Argus Community’s
Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor Trainee
(CASAC-T) program. Over 90% of these graduates are already placed in
full-time positions with benefits and are on their way to successful
careers in their field.
Community provides innovative programs to help severely disadvantaged
teens and adults free themselves from poverty and drug abuse. Those
living on the fringes of society will find in Argus a drug-free,
safe, and nurturing environment where they can build new lives based
on work, hope, and responsibility. Argus has 15 programs, including
residential and vocational tracks, which prepare individuals for
success in society and the workplace.
through the Jobs to Build On program has enhanced the Argus Career
Training Institute (ACTI) so that Argus is now able to train more
people to become substance abuse counselors. During ACTI, students
undertake 350 hours of classroom training and 50 hours of clinical
group experience. Over 1,600 participants have been certified over
the life of the program. The annual starting salary averages $28,000.
ACTI program at Argus Community is doing more than training substance
abuse counselors. It is giving graduates a sense of purpose and
direction through employment and unlimited opportunity for career