Adjusting the Balance

constructionIt seems that there is a disproportionate amount of African-Americans in construction jobs in New York. At least according to Greg David’s study, ‘Blacks missing out on construction jobs,’ which found that while a quarter of the city’s population is African-American, only 13 percent of them are employed in the field of construction. Further, there is only 33 percent of African-Americans holding one of the 8,000 unionized construction-industry apprentice jobs.

David also noted that there is a higher proportion of Latinos in construction jobs that are non-union which thus offer no health benefits, safety training or pensions, etc. The report thus recommended that NYC Mayor finds a way to increase the amount of union construction jobs as well as minority-youth access via pre-apprentice jobs.

With this in mind, the Construction Skills Program was set up, giving city high school graduates priority for apprentice programs. Forty-eight percent of NYC apprentice participants are African-American and 40 percent, Latino or Asian.

It has been called “the best pre-apprentice program in the nation,” by a study undertaken by researchers from Columbia University.