I. P2A Mission
Pathways to Apprenticeship, Inc. (“P2A”) is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to end intergenerational poverty by providing access to opportunities for transformational apprenticeships in the building trades that lead to solid middle-class careers. We recruit, train, and mentor people from low-income communities – including, but not limited, to the formerly incarcerated, people on public assistance, and people who live in public housing – to be accepted into and succeed in construction union apprenticeship programs in New York City.
II. Current Work
P2A assists people in applying for apprenticeship openings in a number of ways. Generally, P2A has five program areas.
First, P2A conducts Information Sessions on building trades opportunities for the general public and clients of community organizations and public agencies throughout the City. In these 90-minute sessions, P2A Peer Mentors – people who went through the P2A program and are now successful, working building trades apprentices and journey workers – explain building trades careers, recruitment processes, and the apprenticeship experience, and review safety protocols on construction worksites. P2A also sends out a monthly email update on classes, events, and current apprenticeship openings to individuals and representatives of community organizations and public agencies (the P2A has an email list of more than 1,000 people – both individuals and representatives of community organizations and public agencies).
Second, 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 Laborer, Local 79 recruitment, P2A makes 80 computers available in two locations – in Manhattan and the Bronx – for people to try to obtain an application. Then, P2A holds an 8-week pre-apprenticeship class to prepare people who obtain applications to Local 79 for their interviews and for 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.
Third, P2A conducts a four-week (140 hour) Direct Entry Pre-Apprenticeship Training and Placement class, certified by the NYS Department of Labor, the graduates of which may be accepted directly into building trades apprenticeships. P2A has a contract with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to train and place residents of NYCHA housing and has conducted this class for other community organizations and public agencies as well. P2A has conducted 8 classes since 2017:
To date, P2A has graduated 136 people from its direct entry programs. As the Yonkers class is currently in process, the 22 participants in the Far Rockaways just completed the program, and 18 people were voluntarily dropped out of the program for personal reasons or were terminated from the program, P2A has successfully placed 53% of the total with the remaining participants either awaiting entrance exams or interviews for a particular trade.
Since its founding by a small group of volunteers in the Spring 2013, P2A has assisted 217 people from low-income communities (66% of whom were formerly incarcerated) to be admitted into a building trades apprenticeship program. More than 85% of these graduates are still working in the building trades and many of them become P2A Peer Mentors, teaching classes and conducting information sessions.