Hudson Valley Youths Learn About Trade Skills, Jobs at 21st Annual Construction Career Day

Aidan Joyce-Borg, of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 21 of Peekskill, and Maggie Almonte, a counselor at Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES in Yorktown Heights.(Photo-Ed Cody)

More than 550 local high school students met with trade-industry experts to engage in skill-building activities and learn about job opportunities in the region at the annual Hudson Valley Construction Career Day. Students from across the Hudson Valley filled the Rockland Community College Fieldhouse in Suffern March 6 to learn about diverse careers in the construction and building trades and the advantages of apprenticeship training. Union representatives and private-sector companies worked with the teens to take part in hands-on skill-building demonstrations such as welding, carpentry and soldering.

Hosted by the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. (CIC) and the Building Contractors Association of Westchester & Mid-Hudson, Inc. (BCA), Construction Career Day is designed to reinvigorate the industry’s labor force with young talent. The event is marking its 21st year of supporting tomorrow’s workforce. 

“Apprenticeships offer youths an opportunity to learn critical skills in the trades and prepare them to land good-paying jobs right in their communities,” said Matthew Pepe, executive director of the CIC and BCA. “We’re expecting to see significant investments in infrastructure at the federal level, which will mean even more opportunities for growth in our region’s building and construction industries. We’re proud to be a part of this important effort to strengthen our workforce, invest in our communities and benefit our overall economy.”

Rockland County Executive Ed Day praised the program. “I am proud to again be here hosting Construction Career Day,” he said. “All too often, schools put value on college and don’t put good value on the trades. The trades offer a tremendous option for our young people.”

Also in attendance were Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, representatives of Sens. David Carlucci, D-38th District, and James Skoufis, D- 39th District, Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, R-99th District, and other local leaders.

In the building and construction trades, registered apprenticeship programs provide participants with a high-quality, portable and nationally recognized credential that certifies occupational proficiency in the construction industry. Programs follow a “learn-while-you-earn” model, as participants obtain wages that are graduated upward as the apprentice accumulates greater skills and experience on the job. Students looking to qualify for bona fide apprenticeship opportunities will be expected to have a high school diploma or equivalent GED. There are more than 20 trades represented among the building and construction trade unions. For information about apprenticeship programs and job opportunities, visit cicbca.org/resources/. For information about CIC, visit cicnys.org or contact Matthew Pepe, 914-631-6070 or matthew@cicnys.org.

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