Photo by: Tom Gralish

Philadelphia’s building trades unions are working to increase the number of young women and people of color entering the trades. From partnerships with high schools, to pre-apprentice programs such as the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters and GBCA’s Carpenters’ Apprentice Ready Program and the Carpentry and Masonry Academies through the Preservation Trades Center at Eastern State Penitentiary, the region’s building trades are building a foundation for a new generation of skilled workers in the construction industry.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Robert Landy, director of training for the carpenters union, said the union’s various pre-apprenticeship programs are planting “new seeds of legacy.” Landy was introduced to carpentry by a family member, he said, and “I didn’t realize how much of an advantage that was until I got this job.” He took on his role in September 2020, running the committee’s four training centers.

The union offers its own pre-apprenticeship dubbed CARP — the Carpenters’ Apprentice Ready Program — for people with no experience and no family connection to carpentry. It’s intended to increase opportunities for women and people of color, and Landy makes an extra effort with the graduates of this program to make sure they know what’s expected of them: arriving early to the worksite, never missing a day, being available for overtime, and wearing a collared shirt and belt to work.