Date: Feb 08, 2005
Press Release Number: 6-2005
To help New York and New Jersey residents find well-paying jobs in today’s competitive marketplace, the Port Authority is sponsoring a preapprenticeship training program to provide valuable skills for those pursuing careers in the construction industry.
During the past three years, more than 750 people have successfully completed the program.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “By providing students with the skills necessary to get jobs in the construction industry, we are helping to keep this region’s job market strong and its economy growing. This program provides students with the personal, academic and vocational skills they need, and graduates often have the opportunity to become full-fledged professionals.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Programs like these are important to ensure that the region has the skilled workers necessary to handle construction projects throughout this new millennium. With so many critical construction projects under way and planned for the future, a skilled, competent workforce is vital to the maintenance of a strong regional economy.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Port Authority support for these programs has resulted in many wonderful success stories where high school students and eligible adults were provided classroom training, math and reading tutorials, and on-the-job instruction in specific trade skills. These courses prepared regional residents like David Elam and Courtney Allen with the opportunity to apply for apprentice positions in regional construction companies.”
The New Jersey program made it possible for Mr. Elam, a 42-year-old Newark, N.J. resident, to join the Tile, Marble and Terrazzo Union Local No. 7 – doubling his income. He previously was employed doing maintenance at a church.
“I am tremendously grateful to the Port Authority for funding this program,” said Mr. Elam. “It has greatly improved my financial situation and given me opportunities that only a few years ago I did not imagine were possible.”
In 2004, Mr. Elam’s church pastor told him about the Newark Essex County Construction Careers Program, a preapprenticeship program administered by the New Jersey Institute of Social Justice, and he immediately applied. Once accepted in the program, he was offered courses in subjects like English, mathematics, carpentry and basic electricity. Upon graduation, he was accepted into the Local No.7 apprenticeship program and is now a first-year apprentice.
Courtney Allen, a 23-year-old resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., enrolled in the Construction Skills 2000 program while attending the School of Cooperative Technical Education in New York City. After completing the program, Mr. Allen was accepted as an apprentice in the summer of 2001. Mr. Allen is now a journeyman ironworker earning top wages and benefits.
“Without the Port Authority’s funding of this program, it would have been difficult for me to afford the kind of professional training that has made my career in the construction industry possible,” Mr. Allen said.
The Port Authority provides $100,000 annually to Construction Skills 2000 – a nonprofit organization established by the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and the Building Trades Employers’ Association of New York City – to administer a preparatory training program for high school students, giving them preferred access to apprenticeship programs in the building and construction industry. In New Jersey, the Port Authority also provides $100,000 per year to be split equally between two similar programs operated by the New Jersey Institute of Social Justice and the Construction Industry Advancement Program of New Jersey. These programs will be funded through March 2007.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan.
The agency is self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.