Senator Skoufis Announces Pre-Apprenticeship Program in Newburgh
Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) stood with local elected officials and members of the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council and the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) to announce $200,000 Skoufis secured in the 2019-2020 State Budget for WDI to implement a pre-apprenticeship trades program in Newburgh.
This program targets individuals who are at risk of a deficiency in job opportunities due to gaps in employment, lack of education, former incarceration, or other factors. Over the coming months, the Senate will work with WDI and the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council to develop the framework and recruiting methods for the program, which will come at no cost to the participants.
“While our economy may be strong for some families, many individuals continue to struggle with a low-paying job or persistent unemployment,” said Senator James Skoufis. “This pre-apprenticeship program will recruit local residents who need an opportunity and a second chance. I fought to bring this initiative to Newburgh because it'll put upwards of 50 families - who otherwise would likely be stuck in a cycle of poverty - on a career track with good pay, good benefits, and household stability. The program has worked in Rochester, it's worked on Long Island, and I look forward to working with organized labor to ensure its success here in our Senate District."
“I commend Senator Skoufis for taking this step,” said Todd Diorio, President of the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council. “I look forward to working closely with the City and Town of Newburgh in recruiting people for this program. We want to create opportunities for our community members and will be sure to work with local municipalities on projects. College isn’t for everyone, and this gives people another pathway to reach their goals.”
Joe Donat, the City Manager of Newburgh said, “The City of Newburgh is grateful for the endless dedication of Senator Skoufis, and all that he has done during his tenure in Albany. The City welcomes this program with open arms and looks forward to continued collaboration with the many stakeholders involved. The unity among our City Council, collaboration with our partners in the Trades Council, and efforts of Senator Skoufis and Assemblyman Jacobson will ensure that the City of Newburgh remains on the positive trajectory that it is on.”
"The Workforce Development Institute (WDI) is committed to expanding opportunities to not just jobs but careers,” said Mary Jane Bertram of the Workforce Development Institute. “When you enter a construction apprenticeship, you are entering a lifelong career path. WDI will work closely with the Hudson Valley Construction and Building Trades Council to develop a program that will better prepare participants for possible apprenticeship opportunities."
Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson said, “Unions are the key to the middle class in America. Trades jobs provide good wages, benefits, and pensions, and this pre-apprenticeship program will enable more people to take part in their dreams. I’m incredibly proud to have fought for this in the State budget and I’m thankful to Senator Skoufis for taking the lead on this in the Senate.”
Rochester and Long Island have introduced state-sponsored pre-apprenticeship program with tremendous success, boasting graduation rates of 95-100%. Newburgh's initiative will be hosted at the Laborers Local 17 training facility and is expected to launch this fall.