August 19, 2021
Read EST Joseph Geiger’s Letter to the Editor of the Gotham Gazette on How to Really Prepare Workers for the Construction Industry and Good Middle-Class Jobs
A recent op-ed published at Gotham Gazette, co-authored by David Meade, executive director of Building Skills New York, was riddled with classic smoke and mirrors. One might be tempted to believe that Building Skills offers a chance to build public infrastructure with skilled training, safe career pathways, and incredible pay and benefits. Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth. In reality, Building Skills is a developer-backed organization churning out cheap labor for New York City’s multi-million-dollar private developers, even if it means putting those workers in danger with less training and unsafe job sites.
There is of course a need for skills-training and helping ensure that New Yorkers are ready for available jobs in the construction industry. But the details really matter. The apprenticeship programs of the New York City District Council of Carpenters (NYCDCC) Training Center are all registered with the New York State Department of Labor. A carpenter trained at our Training Center earns union wages and benefits that increase regularly. Meanwhile, our internal investigations show that Building Skills graduates struggle to earn little more than minimum wage.