Building Skills New York’s (Building Skills) mission is to provide an efficient and convenient process for finding a construction job for many residents who have long been unable to gain access to careers in the construction industry. This makes Building Skills uniquely positioned to assist government, the development community, and local communities achieve local hiring initiatives and goals.

The key elements of Building Skills’ work include:

Working with a city-wide network of leading workforce agencies to provide free construction job placement assistance to unemployed and underemployed New York City residents; 

  • Carefully vetting each candidate to ensure they are “work ready” with the experience and skills required by job sites, providing contractors with assurance of worker preparedness and enhancing the likelihood of on-the-job success;
  • Focusing on job retention and job continuity by regularly monitoring worker on-job performance, and intervening when appropriate with counseling and support, and tracking each worker to ensure that after a project has ended they are promptly placed in a job on another project providing unprecedented continuity of employment;
  • Assisting workers in acquiring advanced construction skills which can lead to broader career pathways and expanded opportunities with higher compensation levels, so that they are not stuck in “dead-end jobs.”


Building Skills New York (Building Skills) is committed to creating economic opportunities in underserved communities with a history of unemployment and underemployment. Many New York City residents in poverty-strickened neighborhoods have limited access to inclusive economic growth including good paying jobs, professional development, and neighborhood revitalization. Building Skills provide residents, most of them minorities, with a robust network of the City’s leading workforce agencies which recruit and provide them with the necessary skills and safety training. Building Skills helps to bring fulltime and good paying jobs to workers interested in in the construction industry, by connecting them to available construction jobs provided by developers, contractors, and subcontractors.


David Meade, Executive Director

David Meade joined Building Skills NY in April of 2017.  He is deeply committed to the organization’s mission of helping New Yorkers find career track and family sustaining wages in the construction industry.  Before joining Building Skills NY, David Meade was Executive Director of the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC) where he led a neighborhood based economic and workforce development organization and assisted thousands of small businesses and local jobseekers in Brooklyn. During his tenure at SBIDC, he helped open and direct the Brooklyn Workforce 1 industrial and transportation center and manage the attraction and retention of industry in one of New York City’s largest Industrial Business Zones. David also worked in the private sector advising small businesses. Additionally, he managed the administration of economic development zones throughout New York at Empire State Development. He holds a BA from Canisius College and earned his Masters of Urban Planning from The University at Buffalo. David is a graduate of Coro’s Leadership NY program.

Calvin Edwards, Senior Recruiter

Calvin Edwards is a dedicated recruiter with over 16 years of Construction experience including HIRENYC coordinating, local hiring, workforce development and estimating/project management. He studied Mass Communications and Marketing at Norfolk State University, where he was active in community outreach and public relations for the college itself. Prior to joining Building Skills NY, Calvin Edwards served as the Lead recruiter for the HIRENYC program at the Workforce 1 Industrial & Transportation center, which focuses on local compliance hiring in New York City’s construction sector. He has also worked as a Concrete and Masonry salesman for Fortune 500 company, The Fastenal Company and Kenseal Construction products. Calvin Edwards specializes in carrying out the recruitment cycle from hiring needs to on-boarding and feedback.


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