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    Growing New Haven's Economy | New Haven Press Releases




    NEW HAVEN—At a news conference today, at the site of the Roberto Clemente School, a project labor agreement construction project, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. announced that the City’s Construction Workforce Initiative (CWI)would be expanding and taking new applicants in January. The City’s CWI program began in 2003 to prepare and train residents that are underemployed and unemployed for jobs in construction in the City. The program helps residents develop skills and mastery in construction trades with the goal of placing them with good-paying, steady employment and thereby leading to wealth creation in New Haven neighborhoods.

    The CWI program has placed over 2000 local residents in union and non union construction jobs since its inception. “This program is important because it provides opportunities for individuals to get the training they need to land good jobs. This is important for the workforce but most importantly for their families and their neighborhoods,” said DeStefano. “In this difficult economic climate, we are proud to be able to provide a vehicle that prepares residents and their families for better lives and helps them to explore new possibilities for success.”

    The success of the CWI program rests on the nationally recognized work of the City’s Commission on Equal Opportunity (CEO) in creating fair and competitive workplaces throughout the City for residents. New Haven has achieved some of the best numbers in the country in the areas of diversity, job creation and community empowerment through its aggressive programs on City sponsored construction sites. The program has achieved national accolades for its contract compliance division, its thorough inspections on sites and tough enforcement of hiring laws citywide.

    “Of the labor on construction jobs that the City monitors more than 30% of the workforce is minority workforce. New Haven residents account for 24% of the workforce on these projects. On average, 7-9% of everyone working on these sites is female,” said Nichole Jefferson, Executive Director of Commission on Equal Opportunities (CEO). “These numbers are a testament to the commitment the Mayor the City and New Haven Building Trades have made to hiring and training residents to be placed in these great jobs.”

    “The reason why the workforce numbers are so consistently high on City-sponsored construction projects is that CEO has developed great partnerships with the Building Trades and in the community to be able to provide the pipeline of qualified applicants to these sites,” said Kelly Murphy the City’s Economic Development Administrator.

    CWI will be accepting applications for the first 2010 season for one week only: January 25th- 29th at 200 Orange Street Old City Hall from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. daily. Additional in-take will be at the Offices of the Science Park Jobs and Literacy Center. In order to qualify, an applicant must provide a high school Diploma or GED, a Social Security Card, Proof of Residency in New Haven, a valid Drivers License and a Birth Certificate.

    In 2009, CWI accepted over 700 applications from residents looking for employment opportunities. Once accepted into the program, residents take part in a 12-week pre-apprenticeship training process that provides specialized hands-on training at the City’s J.Miller-Pearson Career Development School. The school has grown to two locations in the Fair Haven and West Rock neighborhoods of the City. The Career Development School is the only union approved pre-apprentice training school in the region. New Haven has placed more residents in union apprenticeship programs than any other city in Connecticut.

    “The New Haven Building Trades has always had a great working relationship with the City of New Haven and the Commission on Equal Opportunities particularly on Project Labor Agreements. Together we have partnered on many building projects throughout the City, including the Roberto Clemente School, currently in construction. Project Labor Agreements enable union trades people, minorities and City residents to work together on local building projects which fosters a special pride in their work and their community,” said Gerald Fucci, Assistant Business Manager, Plumbers & Pipelifters Local 777, New Haven Building Trades. “The City of New Haven, The Commission on Equal Opportunities and the New Haven Building Trades, all work together to build a better community for New Haven.”

    The school was developed in partnership with the New Haven Building Trades that trains in six specialized trades for carpentry, painting, plumbing, electrical, laboring and cement masonry. Training for each specialized trade is facilitated by union foremen from the various statewide locals that work for the Commission on Equal Opportunity. The Commission signed partnership agreements with Local 24 Carpentry, Local 777 Plumbing, Local 90 Electrical, Local 424 Laboring, Local 1 Bricklaying and District Council 11 Painting.

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