On Wednesday, June 21, 2022, GBCA’s Marketing & Communications department visited the Eastern State Penitentiary’s Preservation Trades Center (PTC) – a 4-week, paid, hands-on, masonry pre-apprentice training program. In addition to working on preservation projects at the Penitentiary, participants give scheduled public tours about PTC to Penitentiary visitors, explaining and showing the preservation work that they are doing.

During our visit, we saw participants excavating bricks in preparation for a repaving project, and saw a section of wall that they had repointed. We also spoke briefly to program participants about opportunities in union construction and handed out hard hat stickers and long sleeved high visibility shirts, reminding them of the importance of protection from the sun when working outside.

Click below to see photos from our visit (16 images):

Participants in this program gain a breadth of skills, and connect with local contractors and other mentors in the construction industry. After finishing the program, participants have the opportunity to interview for union apprenticeships.

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

Tynerra Brown, PTC Graduate

This year’s program was organized by Eastern State Penitentiary, Rebuild, PowerCorpsPHL, PULLMAN SST, and The International Masonry Institute.