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Program will put low-income New Yorkers on path to construction careers


The city is launching a training initiative that will provide opportunities for low-income residents in long-term careers in the construction and industrial sectors.

The program, called the New York City Pathways to Industrial and Construction Careers (PINCC), will recruit nearly 2,300 New Yorkers who live in Housing Authority buildings or receive benefits from the Human Resources Administration to participate in apprenticeship training programs for eventual placement in union jobs.

“This is a dynamic new approach to workforce and talent development and a major shift from the previous way we have served jobless job seekers and employers,” Mayor Eric Adams said during an Aug. 15 press conference at Bronx Community College. “Rather than just placing people in any job, New York City PINCC will be working to identify, train, and match New Yorkers with a job that will give them an on-ramp to a strong foundation to raise their children and families.”

The program will be funded through an $18.6 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which the city won with its proposal to the Good Jobs Challenge created under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

It will be administered by the city’s Department of Social Services, which will partner with two dozen employers and six unions. The jobs will predominantly be in the private sector, according to City Hall.

Tony Utano, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, said that PINCC would allow more New Yorkers to “receive training necessary to get good union jobs, and more transit workers in TWU Local 100 will get training to improve on their existing skills and secure promotions. Simply put, this is a very good development for blue-collar New York.”

The legislation that enacted the program also will create a Future of Workers Task Force, which will work with both public- and private-sector employers to “address current and projected future talent needs” in a range of industries, Adams said.

New York City has continued to struggle to recover the jobs lost during the pandemic, a significant number of them in the construction trades, alongside many in the retail and hospitality industries.

Construction jobs not recovered

There were 20,000 fewer people working in construction jobs last month compared to July 2019, representing about 14 percent fewer jobs than pre-pandemic, according to a report from the news site The City using data from the Mayor's Office of Management and Budget.

Construction, with an average annual salary of $87,200, was the fourth highest-paid sector in New York City in 2020, according to a report from the state comptroller’s office released last year. Just over a quarter of those employed in construction jobs earned more than $80,000 a year. The average income for NYCHA households is $24,531, according to the Housing Authority.

Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer said that these are “in-demand jobs” that will “run the gamut from diesel mechanics to building operators to trades people." 

"Many of the jobs that I mentioned have starting hourly salaries of over $20, and those double after certain apprenticeships. There's some real meaningful wages and pathways for participants,” she added.

Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, hoped that the initiative would develop “a world-class workforce that will be at the forefront of rebuilding New York into a global leader in development and modern infrastructure.”

The Department of Social Services is still finalizing the application and recruitment process, according to City Hall. The city expects to begin recruiting and training New Yorkers early next year.



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