Frequently Asked Questions
1.Can you help me find a job?
P2A helps people get into union apprenticeship programs (not jobs) and these apprenticeship programs will lead to careers - not just a job. In the meantime, we suggest that you get into a workforce development program. If you live in Harlem or the Bronx, you can call West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) at (646) 476-3394 or Northern Manhattan Investment Corp. (NMIC) at (212) 822-8300. If you live in other boroughs, you can call St Nick’s Alliance at (718) 302-2057 or Rebuilding Together, New York City at (718) 488-8847. You should also sign up for trainings through the New York City program called Workforce 1-http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/wf1/html/register/register.shtml
2.Do you charge for your classes or assistance?
No, our services are totally free of charge to our participants.
- Can I get into a union construction apprenticeship if I don’t have a high school
Most union construction apprenticeships require that candidates have their high school diploma or a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma (an HSE is a test that used to be the GED, now it is called the TASC). There are many agencies that can help you prepare for and take the TASC test. The TASC test is a challenge but if you pass one section and fail another section, you can re-take the section that you failed on a subsequent day. A few of the building trades (such as the Cement and Concrete Workers) require only the 10th grade.
- I have a criminal record. Will a construction union still accept my application?
The building trades unions are looking for members who are timely, honest, reliable, and who work hard. There are many successful building trades workers with criminal records - this is not an obstacle in any way.
- English is not my first language – how fluent in English do I need to be?
The building trades unions vary in terms of the fluency they require. As workers need to be able to communicate with each other on a work site, basic communication skills are necessary but there are many building trades workers from other countries who do not speak English fluently. We can help you sort out which opportunities may be best for your particular situation.
- How often do apprenticeship open up?
Each building trades union has its own apprenticeship program and these programs open up at varying times throughout the year. Some open up only once per year – others open up once every 2 or 3 years. Building trades unions only admit new apprentices when they know that there will be enough work for them. P2A issues an update on apprenticeship openings about once per month and this update is posted on the website.
Construction can be dangerous work. Whether you are working on a union or non-union work site, you need to keep yourself safe. You should be properly trained for all the work you do and there are safety protocols that contractors are required to have in place.
These are just a few of the rules, but always remember and do the following:
- Just wearing a harness is NEVER enough, you must tie off
- Never mount a lean-to ladder if it does not extend 3 feet or more beyond the ledge you are climbing on to
- Never mount a scaffold that does not have an inspection tag
- Never enter a confined space (a space with a single egress) without supervision
- Always wear safety glasses when operating power tools