Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 7, 2016


The Authority Releases Request for Proposals for Pre-Apprenticeship Training and Placement Programs; Improving Economic Opportunity by Creating Pathways to Union Jobs & Increasing Access to Quality Careers

Pre-Apprenticeship Training and Placement Programs

NEW YORK––On Thursday, September 8, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) will release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for pre-apprenticeship training and placement program providers to connect NYCHA residents to promising careers in the construction industry. Providers will give residents access to job training and direct entry into skilled trade unions working on Sandy construction projects at NYCHA developments. The programs will be funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program.

These programs will advance Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mission to connect Sandy-impacted residents with high-quality careers in the unionized construction industry so they can benefit from the recovery and rebuilding effort in their communities. To date, more than 5,400 workers have been hired by the City’s construction industry partners to work on Sandy-related projects. The majority—more than 3,700—are from Sandy-impacted communities.

NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly said, “Collaboration is key to creating more connected communities – and these job-training and placement programs will help our residents connect with quality careers. Through this initiative, residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy will have more opportunity to participate in the recovery effort, rebuilding and preserving their homes while achieving greater economic mobility.”

“The recovery from Hurricane Sandy has created economic opportunities that can benefit those impacted by the storm,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director, Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer at the NYC Mayor’s Office. “NYCHA’s commitment to job training and job creation for its residents is putting this vision into practice by providing them with the tools to create new life-changing career pathways – just another way that we are delivering on our OneNYC commitment to build a more sustainable, more resilient, and more equitable New York City.”

NYCHA’s recovery efforts reached a major milestone when, last year, the Authority was awarded nearly $3 billion—the largest single FEMA grant in history. The funding will repair 33 developments damaged by Sandy while also creating jobs for NYCHA residents. Pre-apprenticeship training and placement programs will be a key part of how NYCHA will help residents participate in the construction effort while also forging a career path that will be life-changing for many of them.

Pre-apprenticeship programs teach basic construction safety and the skills necessary to become an apprentice in a union. Graduates from these programs receive help getting placed into a union apprenticeship, which provides them with a pathway to union construction jobs. NYCHA expects to recruit and place up to 100 residents in Sandy construction jobs through the selected pre-apprenticeship programs.

Providing job-training and connections to career opportunities is a priority of the Authority’s long-term-strategic plan, NextGeneration NYCHA. In 2016, the Authority has helped place more than 1,000 residents in the workforce – and more than 120 residents have been employed through Section 3 on Sandy-related contracts at NYCHA developments to-date. Section 3 is a federal mandate that requires employment and other economic opportunities generated by federal assistance to public housing authorities to be directed, whenever possible, to public housing residents and other low- and very-low-income individuals.

"By launching this initiative, NYCHA will create life-changing opportunities in New York's thriving construction industry for its Sandy impacted residents. Throughout the City's recovery efforts, the pre-apprenticeship model has been a proven success in connecting New Yorkers to careers in union construction. NYCHA has been a meaningful partner in Build it Back's work to ensure that Sandy impacted residents have access to jobs created by the City's recovery work, and we look forward to continuing that partnership as they embark on this innovative program.” said Amy Peterson, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery.

“Too often, as buildings soar into the sky in communities, the economic opportunities of long-term residents diminish, which is why I applaud NYCHA for prioritizing tenants in their forthcoming Request for Proposals for placement program providers for Sandy-related rebuilding work,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Economic opportunity begins at home and providing opportunity for residents to earn a living by working on their homes is an important stepping stone to economic independence.

“NYCHA’s Pre-Apprenticeship Training and Placement Program is a great opportunity for residents to receive on-site job training and start their career. Education is an important equalizer and something that everyone in our community should have access to. I look forward to continuing to partner with NYCHA and provide more educational and employment opportunities in the district,” said Assembly Member Pamela Harris.

“Pre-apprenticeship programs provide public housing residents with an important stepping stone to future good union jobs that can grant a stable livelihood for NYCHA families. These programs can set residents on a career path and will help rebuild developments impacted by Superstorm Sandy, ultimately having a lasting impact on public housing residents. We look forward to the RFP process yielding pre-apprenticeship program providers that want to work collaboratively with NYCHA residents,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the City Council Committee on Public Housing.

“I strongly encourage local residents to take advantage of these programs. Together with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, my colleague Council Member Ritchie Torres, and community leaders and activists, we held a historic 2014 City Council hearing in Coney Island, which helped secure $3 billion from FEMA for much-needed upgrades and repairs to ensure safety, security, resiliency, and quality of life for residents here. This work will also allow residents to be active participants in their recovery, rather than just witnesses. Programs like this will help local residents get on track for valuable jobs and union placement,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the City Council Committee on Recovery and Resiliency.

“Construction is hard work, but it’s a great opportunity for anyone willing to work hard,” said NYCHA resident and Local 79 member Jesus Lopez. “This is a ticket to get into any kind of union you want to get to; this is an opportunity that could open doors that could change your life.”

All recovery and resiliency work underway and planned at each Sandy-impacted development can be viewed and tracked through NYCHA’s Interactive Sandy Transparency Map. Additional information can also be found on NYCHA’s Sandy Recovery webpage.

Residents interested in connecting immediately to other training and employment opportunities can contact NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability (REES) at 718.289.8100 or visit