Safety and Security Enhancements Create Job Opportunities for NYCHA Residents
When an advertisement for Brooklyn Networks, a free six-week cable installation training program hosted by Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI), arrived in the mailbox, Diego Cifuentes knew it was the perfect opportunity for him. “I’d seen advertisements for other training programs in my development,” says Mr. Cifuentes, a resident of Woodside Houses in Queens, “but I knew that this training would be a great match for my interests and long-term career goals.”
|NYCHA residents attend cable installation class. (Photo by LETICIA BARBOZA)|
This opportunity for Mr. Cifuentes is a result of NYCHA’s work, through the Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability (REES), to leverage its resources, including its spending power, to create economic opportunities for residents.
Thanks to funding from the New York City Council and New York State Legislature, NYCHA is implementing safety enhancements to building entrances that also will create employment opportunities for residents. These enhancements are an outgrowth of NYCHA’s Safety and Security Task Force, a collaborative effort amongst residents, the Authority and the NYPD to improve safety in NYCHA developments and the quality of life of residents.
In keeping with NYCHA’s commitment to increasing resident access to a multitude of community, educational and recreational programs, as well as job readiness and training initiatives, NYCHA has required that the contractors hired to do this work employ qualified residents. Contractors are looking for workers with the skills to do cable pulling, pipe bending and basic electrical work.
To ensure that residents are prepared for these opportunities, REES teamed up with BWI, a leading non-profit training provider, to offer the training that Mr. Cifuentes and other NYCHA residents are now obtaining.
BWI works closely with the NYCHA contractor, Security Management Systems, to customize their cable installation training program, Brooklyn Networks. “We are committed to hiring qualified NYCHA residents and ensuring that they have meaningful opportunities at our company,” says Craig Albrecht, Vice President at Security Management Systems. “The collaboration with BWI gives us the opportunity to hire workers that we know have been trained in the skills we need."
“I’m very impressed with the quality of the program,” said Mr. Cifuentes. “The certifications we’re working toward will put me and my classmates a step ahead of the competition. The other training programs I’ve looked into at this level were way too expensive. I’m so grateful that NYCHA and BWI are offering this for free!”
REES led a citywide recruitment effort to identify interested residents to participate in the program. The classes will prepare many residents for opportunities with NYCHA contractors and other private sector partners over the next two years.
For information on more training opportunities with REES, call the REES Hotline at (718) 289-8100.
View photos of the REES cable installation program