by Tori Brown, Rebuild Communications Manager

What are your goals when it pertains to your life and future?

While Philadelphians move forward in everyday life, figuring out your next move can feel like a huge task—but for Tynerra Brown and six other participants, finding the four-week PHL Pipeline Masonry Academy has been a life changing experience. The program is part of Rebuild’s Workforce development program, and hosted at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic site. The hands-on training academy provided opportunities for participants to learn from experts in the field.

“The Masonry Academy opened my eyes and showed me all the ways I could choose to go in my career. It’s not just one job in masonry, it’s several,” said Masonry Academy student Tynerra Brown. “It helped me choose which path I want to take and showed me all the potential opportunities I can go with.”

Rebuild, the city’s historic investment in public spaces, is important now more than ever and is a tool to support Philadelphia’s diverse communities by offering programs that lead to trade careers. Residents that don’t normally have access to union jobs – like women, people of color, and formerly incarcerated residents – now have a chance.

“The primary goal of the four-week academy was for participants to gain hands-on masonry restoration skills by repairing one of Eastern State’s historic stone walls to last,” said Liz Trumbull, Manager of Historic Preservation and Architectural Conservation at Eastern State Penitentiary. “In addition to gaining hands-on skills, the crew participated in professional development workshops, visited two different Pullman job sites, met professionals within the construction industry, and gave mini-tours of their worksite to guests at Eastern State.”

The PHL Pipeline Masonry Academy features many opportunities for individual and professional growth, and participants connect with experienced instructors who offer their time and talents to the program.

“Dan Organ, Pullman Field Coordinator, was a wonderful instructor! He understood that we were just starting out and may not know all the beginning points and would help us the best way he could,” said Tynerra Brown.

Tynerra has her next steps planned after graduating from the academy this month.  “I have a fellowship with Dan Organ through Pullman. While I’m there I plan to pay attention and learn everything I need to know so I can make it to the apprenticeship. My goal is to be a full-time employee through Pullman.”

Rebuild is currently recruiting individuals interested in pursuing careers in the skilled trades. Prior experience is preferred but not required. If you would like to learn more about Rebuild’s programs or apply, visit our career opportunities page here.


Learn about Rebuild’s workforce development program, which helps construction professionals advance their careers through on-the-job training and formal instruction.