As part of its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Project, the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA) is joining forces with apprentices from the Carpenters Joint Apprentice Training Center – specifically the Pre-Apprentice Program, the Carpenters’ Apprentice Ready Program (CARP), to build dozens of little book houses for Philadelphia communities, to be placed and enjoyed this Spring.

On Saturday, January 15, 2022, approximately 30 CARP apprentices and their six instructors from the Carpenters Joint Apprentice Training Center will come together and work from a sketch to bring each box to life. Philadelphia Council Members Mark Squilla; Katherine Gilmore-Richardson; Derek Green; and Brian O’Neill’s director of legislation Bobby Yerkov, will attend Saturday’s MLK event at CARP’s training center.

Every year the GBCA orchestrates its MLK Day of Service Project. This year, the organization is getting a boost from the Clemens Construction Company, which has donated materials to build the boxes. Spike’s Trophies will donate decorative plaques for each box.

Dr. King famously said: ‘Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.’ And we couldn’t have been more honored to have an opportunity to serve the communities in which we build. We hope that these little libraries help foster stronger communities as neighbors share their books with one another and inspire local youth to read and learn.

Angela Hendrix, Senior Director, Training and Workforce Development, GBCA


The carpenters will then install the library boxes across various city districts in Spring, when the weather is more encouraging for people to take a book or leave a book.

The General Building Contractors Association hopes the lending library boxes will remind community members that union carpenters build things big and small of everyday importance while also highlighting the rewarding career opportunities available to Philadelphians through CARP.

The 12-week CARP program focuses on bringing more minorities and women from underserved communities into the trade. It takes people who have never even held a measuring tape and teaches them the basics of carpentry; opening the door to a viable career path, with a history of solid, predictable, wages and benefits that can scale and sustain a family.


For more information about this 2022 MLK Day of Service project, please contact Angela Hendrix, GBCA’s Senior Director of Training and Workforce Development, by clicking below: