Founded in 2012 by leaders in the affordable housing industry, Building Skills New York (Building Skills) is a not-for-profit organization that helps New Yorkers find construction jobs across New York City. Building Skills serves a critical need in underserved communities with high rates of poverty and unemployment by growing a skilled construction workforce and providing access to broader career pathways.
The program began by offering New Yorkers training and job placement in the affordable housing industry. In 2014, the program expanded to offer high quality, free, and hands-on training, industry certifications, and job placement with leading developers and contractors in the affordable housing space. This program was created in conjunction with partners, including The New York City Housing Authority Resident Training Academy and the Goldman Sachs Investment Group.
In 2015, we widened our focus by partnering with local workforce providers to identify qualified New York City residents for work in the construction industry. The Building Skills’ Job Bank provides a continuing large pipeline of good-paying jobs to ensure access to viable career paths.
For more information please contact David Meade at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.”
Who We Serve
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.
Who We Are
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.
Glenn Hilzen, Business Services Manager
Glenn Hilzen has a 32-year track record in business operations. Prior to joining Building Skills, he was an Operations Manager in the Entertainment Lighting industry. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing Management from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management from Syracuse University.
Tatanisia Lumley, Recruiter and Operations Coordinator
Tatanisia Lumley has a passion for working with diverse populations and is creating career pathways for jobseekers in the construction field. Before joining Building Skills NY, she served as Program Coordinator for Bronxworks’ Strong Fathers, Stronger Families program for four years, working to maximize training and employment outcomes for both custodial and non-custodial fathers and mothers. The program offered employment and retention services, skills training, parenting and healthy relationship education, child support case management assistance, legal seminars, financial education, benefits screenings and more. Tata joined the Building Skills NY team with the goal of providing career opportunities and quality construction industry education for residents who live in New York City.
Olivia Torres, Database Administrator and Workforce Coordinator
Olivia Torres is an enthusiastic professional dedicated to improving the lives of others. She manages the organizations database and works directly with job-seekers interested in Building Skills NY pipeline of construction jobs. Prior to joining Building Skills, she worked as an Operations Coordinator at ISO Student Health Insurance and as a researcher for Good Housekeeping Magazine. Additionally, she received the ‘Chutzpah’ award for her outstanding work as an assistant and grant-writer at the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, one of the most sought-after leadership development non-profit programs in New York City. She received a full merit scholarship towards her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sociology and Social Research from Hunter College.
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