In partnership with the building trades unions, Rebuild offers new pathways to union apprenticeships
Rebuild Executive Director Kira Strong today announced that Rebuild is currently recruiting candidates for paid, part-time training designed to connect participants with careers in the skilled trade unions. Made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax and a signature initiative of Mayor Jim Kenney, Rebuild is committing hundreds of millions of dollars to restore parks, recreation centers, and libraries in neighborhoods across the city.
Rebuild’s workforce development training program supports diverse Philadelphians seeking entry to trades unions. Rebuild facilitates a highly targeted match between union contractors and motivated, fully vetted candidates. Candidates interested in becoming union carpenters will be prioritized, but those interested in other trades are also welcome to apply. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis, with the next training scheduled to begin in November 2020. Interested candidates can apply at rebuild.phila.gov.
Participants will receive accelerated placement with union contractors and/or union apprenticeships; paid, part-time professional development; onboarding resources, including initial union dues payments and starter tools; and access to ongoing coaching and other supports. As they progress in their training, apprentices will work on Rebuild sites across the city. Prior construction experience is preferred, but not required.
The first two classes of Rebuild trainees are currently working as first- and second-year apprenticeships with contractors affiliated with four different skilled trades unions.
AnIsa Harris, a cement masonry apprentice with Local 592, said, “Thanks to the soda tax and the programs it funds, I have been working as a skilled trades apprentice for the last 12 months. For me, union membership is not a job, it’s an investment in my future and the future of my family. Through Rebuild, I was able to quickly gain the career skills and access I needed to be accepted into a union. It is a great feeling to know that the work I am doing today will benefit my community and the same libraries, parks, and rec centers I visited as a child.”
Rebuild’s workforce program will continue to expand as construction gets underway at more Rebuild sites across the city. The program is designed to offer both entry-level and experienced people of color and women a new pathway to pursue careers in the building trades.
“Rebuild is a once-in-a-generation investment in our public spaces, and we must use it as an opportunity to expand and diversify membership in the building trades unions,” said Mayor Kenney. “I encourage people to apply for these programs, and be part of the inclusive investments we are making to expand opportunities in every part of the city.”
“Since breaking ground on the first Rebuild project last year, we have begun capital improvements at 65 parks, recreation centers, or libraries,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director of Rebuild. “The success of these investments will be measured not only by the library with a state of the art new learning lab, but by the library built by a diverse workforce providing long-term career opportunities for Philadelphians.”
Rebuild has work underway at 65 facilities across the City, representing over $120 million in committed funds to support improvements in neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries. Two-thirds of Rebuild sites are in high needs neighborhoods and all projects address facilities with urgent facilities needs.
Interviews are available with current Rebuild apprentices and program leaders.
Photos of Rebuild apprentice AnIsa Harris building new sidewalks at the Belfield Recreation Center are available here.
Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild seeks to improve pivotal community spaces, empower and engage communities, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion. Rebuild is a public-private partnership made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.