North Philadelphia native AnIsa Harris has always been interested in building a career in the skilled trades, but taking the first step hasn’t been easy. When he learned that Rebuild offered pathways to apprenticeships in a skilled trades union, he took full advantage of the opportunity.
AnIsa’s journey began at technical school. He learned he loved the work, but struggled to learn how exactly to gain access to a union apprenticeship. Rebuild helped AnIsa build the skills needed to be offered a union apprenticeship, and bridge the gap to join the Local 592 Cement Masons and Plasterers Union.
“The skilled trades are important because they open up a world of possibilities. You may start doing one trade, but can go on to learn so many things,” AnIsa explained.
Through Rebuild’s workforce program, AnIsa saw just how many career options were available to him. He took advantage of access to professional development, and mapped out his short and long term career goals.
Since fall 2019, AnIsa has been accruing his apprenticeship hours at Rebuild sites doing concrete finishing work.
As a member of Rebuild’s first cohort of skilled trades trainees, AnIsa has been able to build new skills, earn more income, and approach his career in a way that will provide long-term stability even during uncertain times.
AnIsa hopes that his apprenticeship with Local 592 will eventually allow him to start his own business and re-invest in his community. He looks forward to being able to retire with dignity, open doors for others, and enjoy the fruits of his hard work.
Rebuild’s workforce development program connects diverse Philadelphia residents to apprenticeships in the building trades. The next program is scheduled to start in the fall of 2020.