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.
ParentJobNet Welcomes East
Harlem Community to New Headquarters
ParentJobNet, a CWE partner, welcomed the East Harlem
community to its new facility at PS 50 this month. After a decade
serving Uptown parents from its headquarters on the Upper West Side,
ParentJobNet leaders saw a growing need for their services in East
Harlem and moved to fill that demand.
ParentJobNet is a one-stop shop for public school parents seeking to
gain skills, learn English, or reenter the workforce. Housed in a
public school, and providing its classes during the school day,
ParentJobNet is engaging parents where they are comfortable and
empowering them to provide financial security for their children.
The grand opening event brought together new and old friends –
parents who had graduated from ParentJobNet’s diverse range of
programs with East Harlem parents who are excited about what the
organization has to offer. Foundations and partners were also
With the new office, and new full time teachers provided by the
Consortium for Worker Education, ParentJobNet is looking forward to
expanding it services in East Harlem and launching its new HELP
Initiative, which will provide vocational training for living wage
Opportunities for Sandy-Impacted New Yorkers
New York City undertakes a monumental rebuilding effort in the
aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, career opportunities are emerging for
residents in impacted neighborhoods.
The NYC Housing Recovery Office and the Building & Construction
Trades Council of Greater New York (BCTC) agreed to create a pathway
for 100 residents to apply for and enter world-class apprenticeship
programs jointly sponsored by union affiliates of the BCTC. These
opportunities are accessed through direct-entry programs and lead to
meaningful careers where workers earn high wages, benefits, and
retirement security. As Gary LaBarbara, President of the BCTC states,
“These opportunities enable residents of Sandy-affected areas of the
city to not only rebuild their neighborhoods but to go on to lifelong
careers in the building trades.”
The four participating direct entry programs are the Edward J. Malloy
Initiative for Construction Skills (Construction Skills),
Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), Building Works, and
Helmets to Hardhats (H2H). Construction Skills, NEW, and Building
Works are all Jobs to Build On partners.
Impacted residents are recruited through local Workforce1 centers in
Sandy-affected areas. Each program has 25 slots to fill. The
Construction Skills program, for which CWE has provided
pre-apprenticeship training instruction since 2001, completed its
initial five week program in August. The program exceeded
expectations, entering 27 Sandy-impacted residents into various
The overall success of this initiative has allowed Mr. LaBarbara, who
also serves as President of Construction Skills, to negotiate an
additional round of pre-apprenticeship openings with the City. Nicole
Bertran, Executive Vice-President of Construction Skills states,
“Construction Skills is proud of its nationally acclaimed training
model that provides training and direct entry access to residents of
New York City. We are excited to partner with the City to expand our
services to adult residents of Sandy-affected communities.”
Further information on program start dates will appear in future
Participant Profile: Duane
Duane Reina’s family lost a lot in Hurricane Sandy.
The storm surge flooded his grandmother’s basement and destroyed his
personal documents, photographs, and clothes.
Like many New Yorkers impacted by Sandy, Duane was already facing a
lack of economic opportunities. He had worked for a non-union
sanitation company and at several retailers, but was longing for a
job with good pay, benefits, and an opportunity to grow.
He found just what he was looking for in The Edward J. Malloy
Initiative for Construction Skills (Construction Skills), through its
pre-apprenticeship training and direct entry access to unionized
“This program gave me a career. The benefits are great, the pay is
great, and it made me a better person.”
Construction Skills prepared Duane for a unionized building trades
apprenticeship, through math classes, other classroom instruction,
and hands-on training that included basic building projects such as
hanging sheetrock and taking precise measurements.
Construction Skills counseled Duane to select a career he would
enjoy. Duane is now an apprentice with Roofers, Waterproofers and
Allied Trades Local 8.
“I get to work with my hands. I love it,” Duane says.
Construction Skills enabled Duane to access a middle-class career in
the unionized building and construction trades, but that’s not all.
Duane also has a new confidence in what he is capable of. “If I had
never got into Construction Skills, I never would have considered
furthering my education. Next I want to go back to school for my BA.”