Free construction job training offered

April 24, 2018 06:06 PM

A new free training program aims to give people from low income households in Schenectady a chance to 
get into the ongoing construction projects that are happening there.

"Get up, get out and go talk to someone,” owner of Happy Electric Michael DeOrio said. “Because we are here and we can help you."

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DeOrio said there's a shortage of skilled workers in the trade field. 

"I'm going to be hiring a lot of people coming up,” DeOrio said. “I would like them to be local people who want to work."

But there's also a need for people who know the administrative side of the business. That's where the program with SUNY College and Career Counseling Center and the City of Schenectady comes in. It gives low income residents of the city a chance to get started in the construction industry.

"If they want to get into administration we’ll put them into community college, if they wanted to get more specific training saying a trade you know we get them into the different unions whether it be carpenter, laborers, pipe fitters or whatever,” City of Schenectady Affirmative Action Officer Ron Gardner said.

Glens Falls native and Vice President of JR Young construction Lemarr Young said he got where he is today by working his way up.

"I myself started as a laborer working for my uncle,” Young said. “Then I became a project administrator ultimately becoming an estimator, project manager now I'm vice president of his firm."

Young said many people overlook trade jobs.

"College isn't for everyone and entering into the trades is actually a really strong opportunity to gain economic success,” Young said.

The overall purpose is to build connections.

"It's all about relationships,” Gardner said, “It's all about connecting the dots, there are many organizations out there that do training and do training for specific task at a specific point in time but nobody really connects the dots, 'OK when you're done what's next? How do we pair you up to where the real opportunities are?'"

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. You can apply at the SUNY College and Career Counseling Center at Center City in Schenectady. 

There are only 30 spots in the program and applications from Schenectady city residents will be prioritized but anyone who meets low income qualifications can apply.


Emily Burkhard

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