The Meaning of Labor Day for New York City Construction Workers

Each year, the first Monday of September marks the Labor Day holiday, generally thought of as the unofficial end to the summer season. But the true meaning of Labor Day is often overlooked – according the U.S. Department of Labor, the holiday is a tribute to the many contributions that workers have made to the “strength, prosperity, and wellbeing” of our country. 

For New York’s construction industry, Labor Day is a time to step back and appreciate the thousands of hardworking, dedicated men and women who work each day to advance our City’s prosperity. As one of the City’s largest sectors, construction plays an integral role in the contributing to economic growth throughout all five boroughs. The work that the industry is doing now is unique in that it will likely still be felt for generations to come.

As part of building the future of our great City, it’s important that the workforce be representative of the diverse population who live here. Despite the key economic role construction plays, many New York City residents have limited access to inclusive economic growth including good paying jobs, professional development, and neighborhood revitalization.

Building Skills’ approach is unique in that it addresses all three of these areas: connecting workers to with good jobs through an efficient vetting and placement process, providing opportunities to broaden their skillsets through trainings and other courses, and giving residents more opportunities to work on projects in their own neighborhood that drive local economic growth. This is particularly notable in neighborhoods in the outer boroughs, including underserved parts of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Labor Day is an important time to reflect on the construction sector, and all of the effort that goes into building a stronger, more vibrant, and more culturally diverse New York City. It’s been a year that no one could have predicted, but Building Skills has seen firsthand how many workers have remained resilient in the face of great uncertainty. Thank you to our amazing workers for all of their hard work every day to create a better City that we are all proud to call home.