Dear Friends and Supporters,

For 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.



JtBO Partner: Brooklyn Workforce Innovations“We 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.



Participant Profile: Jimmy Gutierrez 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 was homeless.
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 construction.
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.”



Dozens of 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.

Argus 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.

Funding 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.

The 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 advancement.