PHILADELPHIA (March 29, 2022) – Today the City’s Rebuild program, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, and PowerCorpsPHL announced the open recruitment period for Eastern State Penitentiary’s Masonry Academy – a paid, hands-on job training program for those interested in pursuing careers in masonry.

The Masonry Academy requires no prior experience in masonry and offers the training and experience needed to pursue a union apprenticeship. In the first stage of the program, crew members will participate in a four-week paid training program which includes:

  • Exposure to the construction industry,
  • Career development centered around the masonry trades, and
  • Completion of three restoration projects at Eastern State Penitentiary.

Upon completion of the training program, crew members will have the chance to apply for a four-week paid fellowship.  This phase will include additional hands-on training and will prepare fellows to be ideal apprenticeship candidates. Crew members will work on various job sites in partnership with local contractors and other mentors in the construction industry.

After finishing their fellowship, crew members will have the opportunity to interview for paid, full-time union apprenticeships.

This will be the second training and fellowship cycle for the Masonry Academy. Last summer, seven participants successfully completed the program. 

“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 graduate Tynerra Brown. “It helped me choose which path I want to take and showed me all the potential opportunities I can go with.”

“Along with Rebuild’s historic investment into Philadelphia’s public spaces, we strive to be a model for growing diversity in the trades,” said Rebuild Executive Director Kira Strong.  “This partnership with Eastern State and PowerCorpsPHL is a fantastic opportunity to do so.”

“Our dream for The Preservation Trades Center at Eastern State Penitentiary has been to match the ongoing preservation needs of this amazing building with training programs that pique the passions of people interested in pursuing careers in the construction trades,” said Sally Elk, President and CEO of Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site.  “With the help of our incredible partners–Rebuild, PowerCorpsPHL, Pullman, and The International Masonry Institute–we are achieving this dream.”

“The Eastern State Penitentiary Masonry Academy is an exemplary model of how the public sector, private sector, unions, asset holders, and workforce development trainers can collaborate to open up economic opportunity, strengthen unions, and get critical public projects done,” said PowerCorpsPHL Executive Director Julia Hillengas. “It’s a win for everyone.”

Interested individuals can view the requirements and submit an application online at  Applicants unable to submit online can pick up and submit paper applications at the front entrance of the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site (2027 Fairmount Avenue) every Wednesday to Sunday, 10AM – 5PM. Applications will be accepted through April 18, 2022.


REBUILD is a historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries across Philadelphia. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild’s promise to acknowledge history, engage the community and invest intentionally seeks to uplift pivotal community spaces, empower neighborhoods, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion.

The Preservation Trades Center (PTC) at Eastern State Penitentiary is a hub for workforce development in the preservation trades that offers paid, on-the-job training opportunities. Through specialty academies, the PTC connects Philadelphians who are underrepresented in the building trades – including returning citizens, women, and people of color – to long-term careers in the construction industry. The PTC currently offers a four-week masonry restoration training academy with direct connections to full-time employment and union apprenticeships.

PowerCorpsPHL operated by EducationWorks, PowerCorpsPHL is an AmeriCorps-funded workforce development initiative that engages out-of-school or out-of-work 18- to 30-year-olds in immersive, paid 4- to 24-month training resulting in connection to living wage jobs in energy, green infrastructure, and community-based careers