Gaining momentum

CMC Workforce was created in 2017 to train men and women to become highly qualified skilled trades-people within the construction industry.

The past 18 months has been a series of development, testing, refining, retesting, more development. It has been a labor of love and inclusive of everyone; from trainee to board member to volunteers to participating community based organizations, employment partners and community members. Now we need your help to keep the ball rolling.

Working with a variety of CBO’s (Community Based Organizations) in the last year, a number of lessons were learned; who works well with others and who doesn’t; who’s ethics align and who’s don’t, who can walk down this path with us and who can’t.

In many ways it been a challenging year, but very rewarding, seeing a sharp rise in engagement with trainees who are referring their own friends, giving feedback (sometimes joining board meetings to do so) and making suggestions about things that did and didn’t work.

To say they are an intrinsic part of the development of operations and programming is to sell their participation short, they continue to shape how the material is presented.

The programming could not have developed without the current trainees; the re-design of the first three steps of their training was made to suit their specific situations and while each trainee is different, there are some strong commonalities and barriers that have been presented over and over.

Creating systems, engaging with partners and having multiple plans of action for each scenario has given rise to more effective and productive engagement all around.

Interested trainee candidates are initially introduced to the program by way of attending Info Sessions. A call is generally received from an existing participant (or CBO) asking for permission to share contact information - it is always granted. The newly interested trainee is given specific directions for signing up for the Info Session once contact is made.

After attending the Info Session and having a few phone conversations, texts and email exchanges, they are required to attend the 2 week CMC Initial Construction Training (ICT) Course.

This course includes OSHA 30 Training and an overall view of construction projects including functions of the various positions and trades. A great deal of time is spent discussing HOW the different professions (architects, engineers, developers, general contractors vs construction management, etc) work together like a puzzle to create the plan before the contractors even start hiring the sub-contractors. General building code and specifics of building in NYC are also discussed.

Upon successful completion of the 2 week course, individuals are placed on job sites with Employment Partners (ie General Conditions Contractors and subcontractors).

Trainees receive regular texts (weekly) to ensure their successful entrance into the construction industry. Employee Partners are screened for ethical employment practices, safety compliance and stability.

Everyone gets a little time to acclimate to their new industry before being invited back to participate in the 80 hr ATP (Advanced Training Program). During this time individuals are generally coached and encouraged to move into permanent housing from transitional living quarters, methods and means for creating a stabilized living situation and relationships along with professional etiquette and development.

After the trainee is settled they are invited into the 80 hr ATP, this program is intended to provide participants with advanced knowledge of construction projects as well as the various trades and professions. It includes Construction Math, Plan reading, material handling, field safety, along with Power and Hand tool instruction.

Specifics for each trade (mason, carpentry, ironworker, electrician, plumber, etc) are described and assignments given for trainees to engage with trades on their current jobsite. The main focus of this training module is to pull the trainees attention from “general labor” into a more specific career path.

This path will move them from unskilled to skilled, which is the key to creating a livable wage career (instead of a dead-end low wage labor job).

With the success of these programs, the focus for the remainder of 2018 is on refining systems, creating operational processes and building capacity to hold the number of requests received, so far 45 trainees are enrolled and in our program in various capacities, which is far more than anticipated. 2019 will be spent developing the next level of training; Skilled Trades Training.

In the meantime, the next 2 week ICT training launching in July with a full class, the next few will be held in September, October and November.

The next 80hr ATP will be held in September.

Because of the nature of our trainee base, we never ask for payment from our trainees. Our trainees are struggling to find their path and get their feet under them financially. Asking for payment, in our minds, is not ethical. Because of this, we rely heavily on grassroots funding for this first year, all of our programs and services are funded this way.

While we ramp up for the Fall Season, we have two ways that you can contribute, if you'd like to:

  • Donation: At the top of our website, is our donation button. Our fiscal sponsor, HAC (Haitian American Caucus) has let us use their button, to keep costs as low as possible. If you’d like to donate using that button, please add our name (CMC Workforce) to the memo.

  • Sponsorship: If you would like to sponsor a seat in a class or an entire training class, please contact our Executive Director, your donation is tax deductible, thanks to HAC’s involvement.

Whether you are spreading the word about what we are doing, donating yourself or sponsoring a class, we greatly appreciate the small army of people who have stood behind us and our mission to create career pathways out of poverty and into the middle class.

On behalf of the trainees, board, volunteers, myself and the various others that donate their time, effort and expertise I’d like to thank you for your continued support.

Without you there is no us.

Be well.

Vivian

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