Organization Name: Building Skills NY
Project Title: Connecting New Yorkers to Employment
Project Location: Citywide
The mission of Building Skills New York (BSNY) is to connect unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers to construction jobs throughout the five boroughs. The purpose of BSNY’s initiative is to address underemployment and unemployment, one of the most intractable issues facing low income communities in NYC, particularly in communities of color. A second purpose is to engage with the construction industry, which includes affordable housing, market rate residential, and commercial construction firms, to develop a highly trained workforce that is representative of the City which it serves. BSNY-placed workers are employed on sites that are helping to build New York’s future, including a number of affordable housing projects throughout the boroughs. Many BSNY workers are even able to be connected with projects in their own communities, such as a number of local Bronx residents who are employed on the Bronx Commons site, a large mixed-use development which includes 305 affordable apartment units.
BSNY transforms lives and helps residents revitalize communities by growing a skilled construction workforce that represents the diversity of New York City. BSNY’s work has improved access to one of New York’s most lucrative sectors, placing over 600 workers in good paying construction jobs over the past few years. In 2018, BSNY made 235 construction placements. So far in 2019, BSNY has already made 257 construction placements, a record pace for the organization. As with last year, 100% of the individuals BSNY placed in jobs in 2019 are New York City residents (40% are from the Brooklyn, 35% are from the Bronx, 14% are from Manhattan, and 10% are from Queens). Of the individuals BSNY placed, 82% are Black or African American, 16% are Hispanic or Latino.
Manhattan resident Peter Phillips is just one example of BSNY’s commitment to long-term career growth. Phillips was unemployed until he found BSNY, who quickly connected him with a job as an electrical helper. With the help of BSNY’s ongoing career support, Phillips has advanced to a supervisor position after just one year of employment.
BSNY provides an efficient, convenient process to place underemployed and underserved New Yorkers in construction industry jobs. BSNY partners with the city’s leading workforce agencies to recruit and screen eligible NYC residents and provide them with necessary skills, safety training, and ongoing career support. BSNY has direct access to the industry’s employers through its board of directors, who represent a diverse cross section of well-connected leaders in the NYC construction industry.