Our Mission

Building Skills NY (BSNY) is a nonprofit construction workforce development organization that connects underemployed and unemployed New Yorkers to construction training and job opportunities throughout the city. At BSNY, we are building skills and building futures. Our mission is to prepare more New York City job seekers for construction careers while helping employers find a ready, willing, and able workforce. As a workforce intermediary, we leverage deep relationships within the real estate development and construction industries in our effort to reduce underemployment across the city and ensure that local jobs are pathways to tangible economic gains. 

Meet the Team

David Meade, Executive Director

David Meade joined Building Skills NY in 2017.  He is deeply committed to the organization’s mission of helping New Yorkers find career track opportunities in the construction industry.  Under his leadership the organization has placed over 1,600 New Yorkers in jobs, trained hundreds more on industry valued credentials, and created industry informed skills training programs with community college partners. Before joining Building Skills NY, David 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 spent time in the private sector advising small businesses and at Empire State Development where he managed the administration of economic development zones throughout New York.  David is a board member of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition.  He holds a BA from Canisius College and earned his Master of Urban Planning from The University at Buffalo.  David is a graduate of Coro’s Leadership NY program.  

Tatanisia Lumley, Director of Training and Operations

Tatanisia Lumley has a passion for working with diverse populations and is creating career pathways for jobseekers within the construction field. Before joining Building Skills NY, she served as Program Coordinator for BronxWorks’ Strong Fathers, Stronger Families program, working to maximize training and employment outcomes for custodial and non-custodial fathers and mothers. Since joining the Building Skills NY team, Tatanisia has worked tirelessly to connect jobseekers to training and employment opportunities while also providing quality case management services.

Taylor Smith, Director of Communications & Grant Writing

Bio coming soon.

Olivia Torres, Database Manager

Olivia is an enthusiastic professional dedicated to improving the lives of others. She manages Building Skills NY’s database as a Salesforce-certified Administrator and Developer, and works directly with jobseekers developing careers in construction. Prior to joining Building Skills NY, Olivia worked as an Operations Manager for Lloyds of London, and as a Researcher and Writer for Good Housekeeping magazine. Additionally, she received the ‘Chutzpah’ award for her outstanding work as a Grant Writer at the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, one of the most sought-after leadership development nonprofit programs in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College and a Master of Science in Social Research from Hunter College.

Felicia Forster, Business Development Representative

When Felicia joined Building Skills NY she brought a decade of experience in digital media, technology, and construction organization operations with her. Prior to joining Building Skills NY, she worked with construction organizations including Gilbane Building Company, Tishman Construction Corporation, and Suffolk Construction Company to introduce enhanced onboarding techniques and compliance technology solutions. Felicia is an active member of several minority and women in construction organizations, where she further explores her passion for helping underserved people develop their careers within the construction industry. Felicia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Buffalo State College.

Ariel Leyva, Program Administrator

Ariel Leyva joined Building Skills NY in 2018 as the Program Administrator after serving as the Intake Coordinator at the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation’s Workforce1 Industrial & Transportation Career Center. He previously worked as an Office Manager and Bookkeeper for a construction contractor. In his role at Building Skills NY, Ariel supports all aspects of programming and job placement services, working directly with jobseekers and community partners.