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Mayor Bloomberg, Congressman Rangel, Comptroller Thompson, Building And Construction Trade Council President Malloy And Non-traditional Employment For Women Board Chair Hayes Announce 10 Initiatives Of Mayor's Commission On Construction Opportunity

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Objectives to Improve Access to Employment For Minorities, Women, Veterans and High School Graduates

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel and Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. announced today that the unions in the City's Building and Construction Trades Council are making an unprecedented commitment to reserve over 40% of the slots in their apprenticeship programs by the year 2010 for veterans, women, high school graduates, and economically disadvantaged New Yorkers. The commitment of specific percentages of construction apprentice slots targeting demographic groups is one of 10 initiatives of the Mayor's Commission on Construction Opportunity that Mayor Bloomberg announced today.  The Construction Commission was created in March 2005, and given a charge by Mayor Bloomberg to explore strategies and set goals to ensure that all New Yorkers, particularly minorities, women, returning veterans and new high school graduates, are well-prepared and can gain access to good jobs in construction, in both the private and public sectors, during the coming construction boom.  Mayor Bloomberg was joined in announcing the first set of initiatives of the Construction Commission by members of the Commission including Building Trades Employers Association President and CEO Louis J. Coletti, Non-Traditional Employment for Women Board Chair Susan Hayes, Community Services Society of New York President and CEO David R. Jones, Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York President Edward J. Malloy, and Real Estate Board of New York President Stephen Spinola.

"The City's $16 billion a year construction industry is playing a major part in New York's robust economy today," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Within the next few months, nearly $10 billion in public and private construction will be underway at or near the World Trade Center site.  And that is just the beginning of what promises to be the greatest era of public and private construction New York has seen since the end of World War II. The Construction Commission's 10 recommendations is an historic commitment by management and labor, and by the public and private sectors, to foster greater opportunity for all in the construction industry."

"Today's announcement reflects the pressing need to increase the representation of women and minorities in the construction industry," said City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. "I commend all of those from labor, the construction industry and government who have worked together with a common goal to not just provide jobs, but to create careers."

"The key to building a strong nation is to provide the means to building strong families," said Congressman Rangel. "That means jobs for our young men and women from all parts of the city as well as those returning from service in the military. The initiatives announced today set out a clear path to preparing young New Yorkers-particularly those who have been left out in the past-to be educated and trained to take advantage of the opportunities that are coming open in the construction trades. The city, the unions, the developers, as well as our communities, all have a stake in seeing to it that this exciting plan blossoms into reality."

"The work of the last four years has poised our city to see the building boom now underway endure for many years to come," said Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York President Edward J. Malloy. "The work of this commission will assure that resulting career opportunities in the construction industry are shared by more New Yorkers from more diverse backgrounds in all five boroughs than has ever been the case before."

"This is a call to action for the women of our City seeking economic self-sufficiency through careers in the construction trades," said Non-Traditional Employment for Women Board Chair Susan Hayes.  "It is particularly timely in light of the City's robust economy and the plans for further growth in the near future."

Since March 2005, the 33-member Construction Commission has forged consensus around a set of policy actions that can be grouped into three major categories: (1) increasing the representation of minorities and women in the construction industry, (2) preparing minorities and women for participation in the construction industry, and (3) enhancing and creating government tools to promote the goals of the Commission.  The Commission's 10 recommendations to be implemented are:

  1. Construction trade unions have agreed to commit specific percentages of construction  apprentice slots targeting demographic groups.   For a four-year period starting in 2006,  15% of apprentice slots will be set aside for graduates of Department of Education high  schools, 10% for returning veterans, 10% for women.  And 5% of apprentice slots will be  set aside for economically disadvantage individuals - unemployed adults who are high  school drop outs - and will increase to 10% by 2010.

  2. The City has agreed to dedicate a new $45 million, 1,000 seat high school - The Design,  Engineering and Construction Trades High School - that will administer a curriculum  that emphasizes all dimensions of the building trades along with preparing students for  Regents and post-secondary education.  The Department of Education has already begun  working with the construction industry on curriculum development, as well as the  creation of internship  and employment programs.  The school will be opened in time for  the 2006 school year.

  3. The City has agreed to fund a multi-faceted educational and work preparedness program  to ready economically disadvantaged individuals for the construction industry.   Specifically, the City and the Department of Education will partner with STRIVE, a  nationally recognized expert in workforce development located in Harlem, to  provide individuals with a GED and work readiness training.  Graduates of this  program will then be eligible to enter Construction Skills 2000, a pre-apprentice program  run by the Building and Construction Trades Council and the Building Trades Employers  Association that prepares entrants for construction apprentice programs.

  4. The City University of New York (CUNY) has agreed to work with leaders from the construction contracting industry to create a curriculum focused on preparing students  for managerial and administrative jobs within the construction industry (i.e. cost estimators, project managers, and administrative assistants).  These jobs represent approximately 23% of jobs within the construction industry.  CUNY will work with the contracting industry to connect students with internships and permanent jobs.  This program will begin September 2006.  

  5. To assist with the recruitment of women into the construction trades, the City has agreed  to collaborate with Non-Traditional Employment for Women (NEW), a construction  skills pre-apprentice program for women, to begin a public service announcement  campaign utilizing bus shelters and phone kiosks to encourage women to enter the  construction trades.

  6. Several developers and institutions that are undertaking significant development projects  have agreed to pursue the following initiatives to further the objectives of the  Commission:

    • Provide mentoring and training programs to minority and women business enterprises.  Mentoring and training will focus on such areas as cost estimation, contract and workforce administration, bonding and finance.

    • Establish good faith goals for hiring of women, and pursue an overall goal of, over time, staffing 15% of the journeyperson and apprenticeship positions with women. 

    • Fund a compliance officer to monitor implementation of these items as well as ensure provision of a safe workplace.

    Thus far, developers of the Atlantic Yards, Bronx Terminal Market, Columbia University's expansion, Moynihan Station and the Freedom Tower and other World Trade Center properties to be developed by Silverstein Properties have committed to pursue these initiatives. The Commission will continue to work with the Real Estate Board of New York to recruit additional participants.

  7. The Commission has requested that the New York State Department of Labor allow  graduates of Non Traditional Employment for Women (NEW) to enter directly into union  apprenticeships, thus reducing the amount of time graduates would wait to access such  programs.

  8. The City will enhance its enforcement of Executive Order 50 which gives the  Department of Small Business Services the authority to monitor EEO compliance and  workforce diversity on public contracts and certain private commercial projects receiving  public assistance.  Stronger enforcement and compliance with the City's Executive Order  50 will come as a result of improved technology, increased personnel to perform random  audits, and updating current guidelines that are used to measure workforce diversity.

  9. Demographic information on pre-apprentices, apprentices and journey people will be  collected to gain an accurate assessment of the effectiveness of the Construction  Commission's initiatives.     

  10. The City will take steps to reduce the exploitation of workers and ensure fair bidding  among contractors by increasing the City's capacity to enforce prevailing wage laws.   Such action will include adding staff and investigators to identify prevailing wage  violations.  The Mayor will join the City Comptroller to urge the passage of State  legislation that further empowers the City to monitor and enforce the payment of  prevailing wages.   

"The new Design, Engineering and Construction Trades High School being announced today represent a commitment to prepare thousands of our students for successful careers in the expanding construction field in New York City," said Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein.  "The strengthened academics in our high schools combined with meaningful partnerships with industry and labor will enable our high school graduates to go on to apprenticeships in the skilled trades in construction or pursue further education in engineering, architecture, and construction management."

The Construction Commission will continue to meet to monitor the implementation of these initiatives and to discuss and develop additional recommendations.  The Construction Commission is co-chaired by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff and Deputy Mayor for Policy Dennis Walcott, and includes thirty-three members including private developers and contractors including minority and women-owned businesses, union representatives, advocates, and government officials. 

The Mayor was also joined in announcing the 10 initiatives of the Construction Commission by Mayor's Office of Contract Services Director Marla Simpson, New York City Commission on Women's Issues Executive Director Elizabeth LoNigro, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Andrew M. Alper, Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, New York City Housing Authority Chairman Tino Hernandez, Department of Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster, New York City Youth & Community Development Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav and Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh.  


The 33 members include private developers and contractors including minority and women-owned businesses, union representatives, advocates, and government officials. The members of the commission are:

  • Major General Matthew P. Caulfield, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) and Executive Director, Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment and Veterans Employment, referred to as "Helmets to Hardhats"
  • Richard B. Clark, President & CEO, Brookfield Properties
  • Louis J. Coletti, President & CEO, Building Trades Employers' Association
  • Robert Corbett, Business Agent, Plumbers Local Union 1
  • Daniel L. Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding
  • Douglas R. Griffith, Business Agent, Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 3
  • Susan L. Hayes, President & CEO, Cauldwell Wingate Company and Board Chair, Non-Traditional Employment for Women
  • Amaziah (Bill) Howell, President, Howell Petroleum Products
  • Francoise Jacobsohn, Project Manager, Legal Momentum
  • David R. Jones, Esq., President & CEO, Community Service Society
  • Robert Kasdin, Senior Executive Vice President, Columbia University
  • Chris Kui, Executive Director, Asian Americans for Equality
  • Gary LaBarbera, President, Local 282, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Robert Ledwith, Business Manager, Metallic Lathers Union Local 46
  • Jeffrey E. Levine, President, Levine Builders
  • Edward J. Malloy, President, Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater NY
  • Timothy Marshall, President & CEO, Jamaica Business Resource Center and Vice Chair, Minority Business Leadership Council
  • Raymond G. McGuire, General Counsel, Contractors Association of Greater NY
  • Paul J. O'Brien, Managing Director, Building Contractors Association
  • The Honorable Charles B. Rangel, Member of Congress
  • Jack Rudin, Chairman, Rudin Management Company
  • Steven Spinola, President, Real Estate Board of New York
  • The Honorable William C. Thompson Jr., The Comptroller of the City of New York
  • Sandy Vagelatos, Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer, District Council 9, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
  • Elizabeth Velez, Executive Vice President, Velez Organization
  • Andrew M. Alper, President, Economic Development Corporation
  • Michael Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, Law Department
  • Joel I. Klein, Chancellor, Department of Education
  • Tino Hernandez, Chairman, New York City Housing Authority 
  • Patricia Lancaster, Commissioner, Department of Buildings 
  • Jeanne B. Mullgrav, Commissioner, Department of Youth & Community Development
  • Dennis Walcott, Deputy Mayor for Policy
  • Robert W. Walsh, Commissioner, Department of Small Business Services

Media Contact

Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk

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Laura Rivera (City Comptroller)

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Emile Milne (Congressman Rangel)