Building Futures celebrates 200th apprentice placed

Event Near South Street Landing Celebrates Building Futures’ 200th Apprentice Placed in the RI Construction Industry

Rhode Island’s Senior Elected Officials, Developer of South Street Landing, Other Leaders Celebrate Building Futures’ 200th Graduate Placed in Registered Apprenticeship in the Building Trades

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo, joined by U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin, U.S. Congressmen David Ciciline and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza were present with Building Futures’ director Andrew Cortés along with other state leaders to celebrate the milestone of 200 low-income Rhode Island residents being placed into employment in the building trades as registered apprentices. At the South Street Landing project of CV Properties and Gilbane Building Company, people are finding economic security through careers in construction, made possible by high quality apprenticeship programs offered through the RI Building and Construction Trades Council and construction employers. While recognizing an important achievement in the work of Building Futures, and celebrating the role of public/private partnerships in growing the Rhode Island economy, the event also highlighted the need to expand apprenticeship training in Rhode Island.

“This Apprenticeship program is delivering job training that meets employers’ demand and helps workers find family-supporting jobs,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “It’s a learn-while-you-earn model that works. Through this collective, intentional effort, we are addressing both economic and workforce development simultaneously, helping everyone make it in Rhode Island.”

Building Futures’ mission is to help the non-residential construction industry meet its current and future needs for skilled labor, while creating career opportunities for low-income residents in quality registered apprenticeship programs. Building Futures operates a nationally-recognized pre-apprenticeship training program, and works to promote apprenticeship as the solution to workforce development needs in the non-residential construction sector. Building Futures is an initiative of The Providence Plan, a nonprofit public-private partnership.

This event recognized the work and accomplishments of the first 200 graduates of the program placed in registered apprenticeship, including Orlando Correa and Brittney Young, who were the featured honorees. The event took place near, and highlighted the positive impact of South Street Landing, a multi-million dollar project that will house the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center, Brown University offices, graduate student housing and a parking garage. A groundbreaking ceremony for construction at South Street took place at the end of 2014, and was attended by the Governor and other state leaders. Now hundreds of construction workers are being employed at this important redevelopment project, including ten graduates of Building Futures who are currently on-site apprentices and journeyworkers representing six of the skilled trades, and earning family-sustaining wages.

Senator Reed was unable to attend but sent a congratulatory message, “Building Futures has achieved an important milestone – 200 Rhode Islanders are now on the path to successful construction careers as a result of this program. This partnership is a great example of how federal and state government, working closely with community organizations, can help individuals connect to opportunities and build stronger communities.”

Senator Whitehouse, also not able to attend the event, echoed Senator Reed with these words, "Building Futures is teaching young people the skills they need to get a foothold in a good-paying career in the trades. I congratulate the students and staff at Building Futures on achieving this milestone and playing an important role in major developments underway in Rhode Island."

"As co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, we see that the skilled trades are some of the hardest jobs to fill in the United States. That’s why Building Futures’ efforts have been and continue to be so important; ensuring that Apprenticeships are operating at the needed scale to meet our employer’s needs – this is part of the solution to train a competitive workforce to fulfill these 21st Century demands.” stated Congressman Langevin.

“Since the launch of Building Futures’ Apprentice Utilization Program and comprehensive pre-apprenticeship program, more than eight years ago, the program has yielded impressive results,” stated Congressman David N. Cicilline. “Building Futures demonstrates the power of apprenticeship, tying workforce and economic development together seamlessly, and providing an excellent model for other programs to follow."

“Good jobs and opportunities to build a strong career are essential for strong neighborhoods to grow and thrive,” said Mayor Elorza. “Building Futures has helped lift more than 100 residents from poverty and continues to create opportunity through apprenticeships and job training programs that will help bolster a strong economy.”

Orlando Correa, a 2012 graduate of Building Futures, addressed the gathering on behalf of his fellow graduates. A Providence resident, Mr. Correa successfully completed Building Futures’ pre-Apprenticeship training, as well as the program’s welding certification training. Orlando was accepted as an Ironworker Apprentice with Local 37 in 2013, has worked on a variety of projects including steel work for the Deepwater Wind turbines, and currently works for Capco Steel Erection Company on the South Street Landing project. Mike Caparco, Sr., CEO of Capco, while unable to attend the event, extended his congratulations, “Building Futures should be very proud of what you have accomplished. Orlando and the other students that work for us now have a chance for a good future thanks to you.”

Through his success as an ironworker apprentice, Orlando is now looking forward to becoming a homeowner. Mr. Correa thanked Building Futures and the audience for their support and then, to great applause, Brittney Young was introduced as the 200th graduate to be placed in Registered Apprenticeship.

Ms. Young was recognized for beginning her career as a Carpenter Apprentice. A mother of four children and also a Providence resident, she worked for some years as a CNA but wanted a career change. She came to Building Futures last year and graduated in December with the 2015 class. She was accepted by the New England Carpenters Local 94 Apprenticeship Program this spring and was recently placed with Ruggieri Flooring, the start of her career in commercial construction.

“Our graduates motivate our efforts and demonstrate the importance of Building Futures – transformative changes are made possible through Registered Apprenticeship and it is happening on this project right now,” said Building Futures’ Director Andrew Cortés, “These results don’t happen by accident, but through effective partnerships – that’s what it takes to meet the economic needs of our residents, businesses and industries.”

(release from Building Futures) 

The CW