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Direct Entry Recruitment

Our current recruitment cycle is full. Please add your name to our mailing list at the bottom of the page for updates about our next recruitment cycle in 2021, as well as general recruitment information for the trades as they become available.

What makes P2A different from other workforce-development programs is that we help people get, and remain in, actual union apprenticeships

We were gratified to learn that the community organization, Community Voices Heard, will be honoring us with its Lights of

Pathways 2 Apprenticeship

P2A seeks to end intergenerational poverty
by providing access to union opportunities in
transformational building trades apprenticeships
that lead to solid and rewarding middle-class careers

What We Do:

P2A assists people from low-income communities to access union construction apprenticeships, which are pathways to safe, secure, middle class careers. We strive to serve justice involved individuals, residents of public housing, and the under-employed. P2A serves as a link between community organizations that assist these communities and the building trades industry.
P2A seeks to help the building trade unions become richer, more diverse institutions by ensuring that career opportunities are available to people from low-income communities. P2A not only assists candidates to access these career opportunities, but also to develop their voices and leadership potential so that they can become peer mentors and leaders in the building trades and in their communities.


Mission and History

Pathways to Apprenticeship, Inc. (“P2A”) recruits, trains, and mentors people from low-income communities – including, the formerly incarcerated, people on public assistance, and people living in public housing – to be accepted into and succeed in construction union apprenticeship programs in New York City. Careers in the building trades lead to solid middle-class incomes, ending the intergenerational poverty that holds low-income New York families hostage.
Since its founding by a small group of volunteers in 2013, P2A has assisted over 400 people from low-income communities (60% of whom have a justice involved background) to be admitted into a building trades apprenticeship program.  Our graduates go on to become successful journey workers, foremen, P2A peer mentors, shop stewards, and leaders in their unions and their communities.


Here is how P2A works:
Information Sessions: P2A conducts sessions on building trades opportunities for the general public and clients of community organizations and public agencies throughout the City.  In these sessions, P2A Peer Mentors – people who went through the P2A program and are now successfully working in the industry – explain building trades careers, recruitment processes, and the apprenticeship experience.
Application Process Mentoring: P2A assists people with their applications by reviewing resumes, conducting interview preparation sessions, and hosting pre-apprenticeship and application test preparatory classes for apprenticeship applicants.  For example, in connection with the annual Laborers Local 79 recruitment, P2A makes computers available in two locations for individuals to obtain an application. We then hold an 8-week pre-apprenticeship class to prepare individuals for their interviews and the apprenticeship experience in general.  Some unions require applicants to take an aptitude test (in math and reading comprehension) in connection with an application, and P2A conducts refresher classes with practice tests for applicants to prepare for these exams.
Direct Entry Pre-Apprenticeship Training and Placement Class: P2A conducts a four-week (140 hour) classes, certified by the NYS Department of Labor, the graduates of which may be accepted directly into building trades apprenticeships apart from general recruitment.  This class consists of work readiness training, building trades hard skills training, math skills such as fractions, algebra, and measurement, reading comprehension, NYC building industry information, labor history and civil rights, budgeting and money skills, power and conflict resolution, worker rights under law, discrimination and harassment, and OSHA 30. Participants also tour building trades training centers and receive a tool bag with many of the tools that they will need to have to begin work.
Obstacle Loans:  There are often upfront costs to starting work and many participants need assistance in covering those costs. P2A offers no-interest loans for expenses such as union initiation fees, steel toed boots and specialized tools that unions require apprentices to purchase before they can work.
Outreach and Partnerships: P2A works with community organizations like Strive, St Nicks Alliance, Fortune Society, Osborne Association, West Harlem Development Corp, NeON (Neighborhood Opportunity Network of NYC), Red Hook Initiative, Fifth Avenue Committee, Jobs Plus, Urban Upbound, GOSO and more. P2A also assists the unions diversify their workforces. P2A sends out a monthly email update on classes, events, and current apprenticeship openings to individuals who have attended information sessions and representatives of community organizations and public agencies.

P2A assists people in getting into Construction Union Apprenticeship programs in 2 ways: in General Recruitments and through a Direct Entry class.
In connection with the annual Laborers Local 79 General Recruitment, P2A makes over 80 computers available to our partners and community organizations and holds an 8 week class to prepare applicants for their Local 79 interviews. Since 2013, P2A has placed over 200 people into Local 79 through this process.
P2A is also designated as a “Direct Entry Pre-Apprenticeship” program by the New York Department of Labor and conducts a full-time 5-week class (8:00 – 3:00 p.m.). Graduates of which are eligible for interviews in most of the building trades apprenticeship programs. Since we began the Direct Entry class
in October of 2017, P2A has trained and placed hundred of New Yorkers into local building trades unions. Some of our partners include:
– Laborers, Local 79
– Laborers, Local 731
– Cement and Concrete Laborers
– Laborers, Local 60
– Electricians, Local 3
– Plumbers, Local 1
– Steamfitters, Local 638
– Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 21
– Bricklayers Local 1
– Tile, Marble, Terrazzo Local 7
– Ironworkers Local 361
– Ironworkers Local 580
– Ironworkers Local 46
– Sheetmetal Workers Local 137
– DC 9
– Heat and Frost Insulators Local 12
– Teamsters Local 456
– Roofers Local 8
– Operating Engineers Local 137

What We Do

P2A provides information to community organizations throughout New York City about union construction industry opportunities and, with its community partners, recruits...

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Our History

P2A was started in 2013 by representatives of construction-industry labor unions and community organizations in New York City to recruit,...

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Our Team

Staff Melissa Shetler Executive Director 917-983-8830 Alvin Banks Program Director ‭347-501-2416‬ Duane Townes Peer Mentor/Instructor (347) 235-2880 Shi Greene Lead...

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Frequently Asked Questions    1.Can you help me find a job? P2A helps people get into union apprenticeship programs (not jobs)...

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P2A Leadership Awards Reception | May 9, 2019

THANK YOU to Breslin Strategies!

P2A extends its sincerest gratitude to Breslin Strategies for its generous donation of several hundred industry-related books to our program! These resources will be invaluable to our students as they prepare for careers in apprenticeship programs and beyond!

P2A Direct Entry Class Fall 2018 Graduation

P2A Video

Passing of Construction Safety - Training Bill

P2A is grateful for, and commends, the leadership of City Council Members Jumaane Williams, Carlos Menchaca, and Melissa Mark-Viverito, for leading the sponsorship of the Construction Safety - Training bill, Introduction #1447, which was signed into law in a unanimous vote on September 27, 2017.
This law specifies “certain training and qualification requirements” for all construction workers engaged in the construction and demolition of buildings over 4 stories tall and will require 40-55 hours of training. This law has been enacted to ensure the safety of constructions workers throughout NYC and prevent on-the-job casualties.