Press Release Article


Date: Apr 01, 2004
Press Release Number: 38-2004

Money Will Be Used to Continue Funding Successful Skilled Trade Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized funding $200,000 annually over the next three years to New York and New Jersey programs that prepare high school students and eligible adults for valuable trade union apprenticeships. The agency has supported these programs since 2001 and participated in the development of pre-apprenticeship programs since 1995.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Pre-apprenticeship programs have proven to be very successful in providing participants with the personal, academic and vocational skills needed to become apprentices to skilled professionals working in the construction industry. We are pleased to support these programs so that citizens of this region can reap their benefits.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “These types of programs go a long way in addressing the shortage of skilled workers required to meet the needs of the construction industry in this new millennium. A skilled workforce is extremely important to our economy. Our commitment to this cause will help us achieve and maintain regional prosperity.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “With the Port Authority’s financial assistance over the last three years, 750 residents were provided classroom training; math and reading tutorials; and on-the-job instruction in specific trade skills in preparation for the opportunity to apply for apprentice positions with highly skilled professionals working with regional construction companies. We believe that this is proof that pre-apprenticeship programs give ambitious people the help they need to improve their lives. Their success helps to improve the region’s economy which benefits all of us.”

In New York, the Port Authority will provide $100,000 each year to Construction Skills 2000 – a nonprofit organization established by the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and the Building Trade 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 agency also will provide $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 from April 2004 until March 2007.

In New York City, vocational high schools that participate in this program are The High School of Cooperative Technology; Chelsea High School in Manhattan; Queens Vocational and Thomas A. Edison high schools in Queens; Ralph McKee High School in Staten Island; William E. Grady, George Westinghouse and Harry Van Ardsdale high schools in Brooklyn; and Samuel Gompers and Alfred E. Smith high schools in the Bronx.

The participants in the New Jersey programs are Essex County Building and Construction Trades Council; Building Contractors Association of New Jersey; Newark public schools; Essex County vocational schools; New Jersey Department of Labor; New Jersey Department of Education; several construction industry labor unions; and community organizations such as the Essex County College Wise Women’s Center, the Newark Community Development Network, and La Casa de Don Pedro.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail 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 also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

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