Building Skills NY was created by leaders in the affordable housing industry who realized the need for greater access to economic opportunities in the communities where affordable housing is being built. These leaders understood that although the creation of affordable housing is a critical aspect of community revitalization, true sustained community improvement could not occur without corresponding employment prospects for local residents. Unfortunately it was often the case that local residents, living in the neighborhoods where projects were being built, did not possess the skills and training necessary to be safely employed at a construction site.

The program began by offering underemployed and unemployed New Yorkers training and job placement in the affordable housing industry.  We initially provided low cost construction training and education, including required safety courses, and job placement through coordination with a local community college.  In 2014, the program expanded and offered an eight–ten week course, available at no cost to the student, which provided construction education and hands on training, industry certifications, and job placement with leading developers and contractors in the affordable housing industry. This program was piloted in conjunction with partners, including The New York City Housing Authority Resident Training Academy and the Goldman Sachs Investment Group, permitting us to expand our course offerings and placement capabilities.  


In 2015 we have widened our focus, and are partnering with local workforce providers to identify qualified New York City residents for work in the construction industry. We are concentrating our efforts on placing qualified candidates that are identified through our local partners into jobs with our member firms, and on developing a training platform to serve our successful candidates as they build a career in the industry. With the continued growth of the residential construction industry, Building Skills anticipated a growing demand for skilled labor, and we are committed to opening up opportunities to people in underserved communities throughout New York City. Towards that goal, we continue to seek to build additional community, governmental, industry, and funding partnerships.  These partnerships allow us to leverage resources in order to increase participation in our program, expand into additional communities, ensure our curriculum remains current and state of the art, and provide certain advanced training opportunities to graduates who excel. 


Building Skills NY works to empower New Yorkers, enhance employability, and improve our local communities.