High School Students Learn About Trades, Job Opportunities at 2019 Hudson Valley Construction Career Day

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More than 750 local high students got an up-close look at trade-career opportunities in the region Friday at the annual Hudson Valley Construction Career Day.

Marco Mendoza of Laborers Local 60 Union in Hawthorne shows students how to fuse plastic pipes. Photo Credit: Ed Cody

"This is a great way to show our youth the many opportunities available to them in the trades,” said Ross J. Pepe, president of the CIC and BCA.

More than 750 local high students got an up-close look at trade-career opportunities in the region Friday at the annual Hudson Valley Construction Career Day.

Students filled the Rockland Community College Fieldhouse in Suffern April 12 and learned tools of the trade straight from the experts. Leaders of construction and building unions, and private-sector companies helped students participate in hands-on skill-building demonstrations such as welding, carpentry and soldering. In addition to seeing many of the diverse careers in the building trades, students also learned about the advantages of apprenticeship training.

Each year, the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. (CIC) and the Building Contractors Association of Westchester & Mid-Hudson, Inc. (BCA) host Construction Career Day to reinvigorate the industry’s labor force with young talent. The event is marking its 20th year of supporting tomorrow’s workforce.

“This is a great way to show our youth the many opportunities available to them in the trades,” said Ross J. Pepe, president of the CIC and BCA. “We’re seeing a growing shortage of skilled labor in our building and construction industries, so it’s important we raise awareness about the good-paying jobs out there and the benefits of apprenticeships. We must work together to strengthen our workforce, our communities and our overall economy.”

Rockland County Executive Ed Day praised the program. “I couldn’t be more proud to support this great initiative. All too often our young people are not told about all of their true options. …These jobs put food on the table and allow you to have a good family life and home.”

“I love these kinds of days,” said Jane Thompson, director of apprenticeship training at the New York State Department of Labor. “The ability to give New Yorkers a chance to have a career (and) get paid from day one … I’d love to see more.”

Assemblymembers Ellen Jaffe, D-Suffern, and Ken Zebrowski, D-New City, and other local officials were also in attendance and applauded the initiative.

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, contact the Building & Construction Trades Council: of Westchester & Putnam at 914-762-2492; of Rockland at 845-634-4633; and, of the Hudson Valley at 845-565-2737. For information about the Construction Industry Council, please visit http://www.cicnys.org or call Matthew Pepe, 914-631-6070, matthew@cicnys.org.

About CIC and BCA
The Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. is a professional trade organization, representing more than 600 contractors, suppliers, consultants and other professionals who service the construction and building industries. The CIC maintains day-to-day contact with local and state government officials who own and manage much of the region’s infrastructure and institutional facilities.

The Building Contractors Association of Westchester & Mid-Hudson, Inc. provides fast, reliable information to its members on virtually every subject related to building construction. Its primary mission is to improve conditions by negotiating labor agreements with local trades; lobbying local, state and federal governments to secure capital spending and beneficial laws; dispersing information about public and private bid lettings and awards; educating industry members on the latest requirements of laws, rules and regulations affecting daily operations; and, providing many networking opportunities for members.

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Caryn McBride
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