Phipps Neighborhoods, a South Bronx nonprofit dedicated to the economic empowerment of low-income communities, is accepting applications for the first cohort of its Career Network Building Services program, a paid internship offering training and certification in construction exclusively for Bronx residents.
The five-week program provides participants with construction workshops, industry-recognized certifications, and work experience to start a career in construction. Applicants must be 18 or older, available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and pass a “Basic Construction Math Skills Assessment.” The deadline to apply is October 17 and the program will start in November.
While the program is open to all Bronx residents, Daniel Agosto, general manager of workforce programs at Phipps Neighborhoods, said it’s uniquely designed to provide opportunities for residents of Phipps Houses and the neighborhood. surrounding West Farms.
“[Career Network Building Services is] is going to provide opportunities for people to be reinvested in the communities where they come from,” Agosto told the Bronx Times. “So if anyone lives in the West Farms area and is a resident of Phipps Houses, they know first hand some of the challenges, how they can help overcome those challenges and how to be able to give back. “
In addition to training and certification, Agosto said the program offers participants potential opportunities for career advancement beyond entry-level positions.
“We’re looking at someone who could potentially start as a carry and eventually become a super or potentially a zone manager, and that’s the career path we’re looking to give him,” Agosto said.
The new launch was modeled after Phipps Neighborhood’s Career Networks Healthcare, a similarly structured program in partnership with Montefiore Health System and Hostos Community College. Now in its eighth year of operation, Career Networks Healthcare has recruited 729 participants and placed 481 of them in healthcare positions.
“I see participants’ lives changing,” said Corwin Spivey, placement and results manager for Career Networks Healthcare. “A lot of them come into our program with no experience in the health care industry, enter the health care industry, enter the union (and) do advanced training to get national certification. And that really propelled them to start a career in healthcare.
Agosto said the combination of the success of Career Networks Healthcare and conversations with the community about resident needs and professional interests motivated the launch of Career Network Building Services. Employment and career advancement opportunities, Spivey said, are also especially needed in underserved communities.
“The community we’re in has one of the highest unemployment rates and one of the highest non-high school graduation rates,” Spivey said. “And so, we hope these programs will help people and residents get the skills and get the education they need to get gainful employment.”
As Phipps Neighborhoods expands its career readiness program with Career Network Building Services, Agosto said he expects participants to experience lasting benefits under the proven career training and placement model.
“Ultimately, we anticipate this will bring some financial stability and financial freedoms,” Agosto said. “I hope (participants will be able to) use the certifications they have earned (and) the knowledge they have gained on the job…to better their lives and the lives of their families.”
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