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About BuildingWorks

BuildingWorks is a pre-apprenticeship training program housed at the NYC Carpenters Training Center. Since 1995, the program has served over 1,000 residents from low-income communities in the New York City and surrounding communities. The training prepares individuals for careers in the skilled trades. Ideally, successful graduates enroll in unionized apprenticeship programs.


The free training includes technical coursework preparing candidates for a union apprenticeship.  The training is conducted on site at the Carpenters Training Center. Students have access to the same state-of-the-art facility and instructional staff as apprentices and journeypersons. During the training, students gain experience from classes in four main categories: career guidance, introduction to apprenticeship, worker health & safety, and environmental worker training.  Participants may also receive a variety of formal certifications specific to the industry, such as: OSHA construction safety, scaffold awareness, and hazardous waste worker training.

Community Partners

In order to ensure we are reaching targeted communities, and providing opportunities to diverse populations, BuildingWorks partners with community organizations who assist with outreach, recruitment, screening and critical wrap-around support services. We work with many organizations throughout the Metropolitan Area.

Program Outcomes

BuildingWorks has successfully graduated over 1,000 individuals. The program has a successful placement rate of 80% and the average wage for program graduates is $20 per hour.

BuildingWorks is a NYS Department of Labor approved pre-apprenticeship training with Direct Entry Status allowing program graduates to access apprenticeship opportunities with the NYC District Council of Carpenters. In previous program cycles, approximately 70% of program graduates began Unionized Apprenticeships, the majority as Carpenters.

In the 2016 program year, we found a substantial increase in income for program graduates. Prior to enrollment, participants were earning an average of $9.06 an hour with an average annual income of less than $10,000. For that same cohort, the average placement wage post program was $20/hr with estimated annual earnings of $50,000, resulting in dramatic economic increase for the families served.

Our Supporters

The CTC is funded largely through contributions from participating employers to provide training to apprentices and journeypersons. To comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), funds from these contributions can only be applied to services for union members (apprentices and journeypersons). Building Works, the pre-apprenticeship training, must raise support from separate sources. These sources currently include a grant from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) through Rutgers University, NYS Department of Labor Pre- Apprenticeship  grant and Robin Hood Foundation. BuidlingWorks also participates in the Jobs to Build On (JtBO) program supported by the New York City Council.