Pathways to Apprenticeship Graduates Newest Class
On December 4th, 25 individuals took the next step toward their careers in the union construction trades when they graduated from the Pathways to Apprenticeship training program at Columbia University. The program consists of five weeks of intensive skills training and professional development through the organization Pathways to Apprenticeship, Inc. (P2A). P2A provides people from low-income communities with support to access and then succeed in union construction apprenticeship, which are pathways to safe, secure, middle class careers. Since P2A started in 2013, the organization has assisted 268 people from across New York City, 66% of whom are formerly incarcerated, with admission into building trades apprenticeship programs. More than 85% of these graduates are still working in the building trades, and many of them have become P2A Peer Mentors, teaching classes and conducting information sessions. Columbia University is a proud partner of the Upper Manhattan P2A cohort, providing funding and resources to the organization.
The graduation, held at Columbia University's William and June Warren Hall, was attended by relatives and supporters of the graduates, community leaders, Columbia University staff, and P2A leadership and alumni. Keith Pettey, Project Director for Columbia University's new Business School, and Kofi Boateng, Executive Director of the West Harlem Development Corporation, another partner in the program, reiterated the importance of professional development in young people in the community and the critical role of Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE’s) in local construction projects. New York City Council Member Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) offered sweeping praise of the graduates, mentioning his commitment to hiring locally if developers are building in the local neighborhood. “You are entering a phenomenally important industry,'' said Levine, “P2A allows you to get a piece of that industry. In 2019, the spending on construction was $60 billion across the five boroughs, and you are going to shape the future of New York City, whether it’s housing, hospitals, or educational institutions.”