New York City District Council of Carpenters - Training Center

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Building Works

BuildingWorks is a pre-apprenticeship training program housed at the NYC Carpenters Training Center. Since 1995, the program has served over 1,000 residents from low-income communities in the New York City and surrounding communities. The training prepares individuals for careers as union carpenters. Ideally, successful graduates enroll in unionized apprenticeship programs.

The free training includes technical coursework preparing candidates for a union apprenticeship. The training is conducted on site at the Carpenters Training Center. Students have access to the same state-of-the-art facility and instructional staff as apprentices and journeypersons. During the training, students gain experience from classes in four main categories: career guidance, introduction to apprenticeship, worker health & safety, and environmental worker training. Participants may also receive a variety of formal certifications specific to the industry, such as: OSHA construction safety, scaffold awareness, and hazardous waste worker training.

Community Partners
In order to ensure we are reaching targeted communities, and providing opportunities to diverse populations, BuildingWorks partners with community organizations who assist with outreach, recruitment, screening and critical wrap-around support services. We work with many organizations throughout the Metropolitan Area.

Program Outcomes
BuildingWorks has successfully graduated over 1,000 individuals. The program has a successful placement rate of 80% and the average wage for program graduates is $20 per hour.

BuildingWorks is a NYS Department of Labor approved pre-apprenticeship training with Direct Entry Status allowing program graduates to access apprenticeship opportunities with the NYC District Council of Carpenters. In previous program cycles, approximately 70% of program graduates began Unionized Apprenticeships, the majority as Carpenters.

In the 2016 program year, we found a substantial increase in income for program graduates. Prior to enrollment, participants were earning an average of $9.06 an hour with an average annual income of less than $10,000. For that same cohort, the average placement wage post program was $20/hr with estimated annual earnings of $50,000, resulting in dramatic economic increase for the families served.

Our Supporters
The CTC is funded largely through contributions from participating employers to provide training to apprentices and journeypersons. To comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), funds from these contributions can only be applied to services for union members (apprentices and journeypersons). Building Works, the pre-apprenticeship training, must raise support from separate sources. These sources currently include a grant from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) through Rutgers University, NYS Department of Labor Pre- Apprenticeship grant and Robin Hood Foundation. BuidlingWorks also participates in the Jobs to Build On (JtBO) program supported by the New York City Council.


Time: 4:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: New York, NY
Time: 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: New York, NY

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Candidates for BuildingWorks Pre-Apprenticeship Training must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age at time of enrollment
  • Have original and valid photo identification
  • Have a High School Diploma or GED
  • Be physically able to work
  • Be legally eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Pass a drug test

How to Apply

If you or someone you know is interested in the BuildingWorks Pre-Apprenticeship training, please consider these questions…

  • Are you interested in a career that involves physical labor?
  • Are you willing to start work at 6:00am?
  • Are you willing to commit to a 4-year apprenticeship program?
  • Are you at least 17 years old?
  • Did you graduate from High School or receive a GED?
  • Are you in possession of your original High School Diploma or GED certificate?
  • Are you legally eligible to work in the U.S.?
  • Are you able to prove your work eligibility with appropriate documentation?
  • Are you in possession of your original social security card?
  • Do you have a valid (not expired) state ID, or a valid U.S. passport?
  • Are you available to attend an unpaid training, during the day, Monday through Friday?

If can answer YES to all questions, then the BuildingWorks training may be for you.

Click here to apply online

Application Instructions

  • Find your high school diploma or GED certificate. You will need an image/PDF to upload with your application.
  • Complete the application online by the posted deadline. Click here to apply online.
  • Participate in an online webinar and take an online basic skills test.
  • Participate in an individual interview.

Applications will not be distributed or collected in person.

Completion of the application, participation in an orientation, interview or testing does not guarantee acceptance to the BuildingWorks training. Only a limited number of applicants may be accepted for each training cycle.

For any questions, please email

Completing BuildingWorks is not required to apply for the Apprenticeship. Click here for more information. For a list of current recruitments for apprenticeship opportunities with Carpenters and other trades visit the NYS Department of Labor website:

Success Stories

Merphine Sitorus
Carpenters Union Local 926

2009 BuildingWorks Graduate

“Without BuildingWorks I would have not been able to go through the apprenticeship as easily. BuildingWorks was instrumental in my success as an apprentice. It taught me the necessary skills to be able to compete at the apprentice level. Everything I achieved since graduating I owe to everyone at BuildingWorks.”

DuVal Jones
Carpenters Union Local 20
2012 BuildingWorks Graduate

“BuildingWorks changed my life completely. This program gave me hope, a way out of poverty. I found a skill that I love and the program allowed me to make a future for myself as well as my family.”

Matthew Ginsberg
Carpenters Union Local 20
2013 BuildingWorks Graduate

“Before BuildingWorks, I was doing construction, but there was no clear future. I wanted to join the union to have a career. BuildingWorks changed my life; it gave me lots of hope for the future.”

Gregg Lopez
Carpenters Union Local 45
2012 BuildingWorks Graduate

“BuildingWorks taught me the importance of being early and having no absences, as well as the basics in carpentry. I had a much better understanding of what was expected of me on the job than most apprentices because of the program. BuildingWorks was a pivotal moment in my life. I’m very proud to have been a part of it.”

Contact Us

Please contact us for information about our next BuildingWorks training, and where to obtain an application by email at

Phone: 212-727-2224


395 Hudson Street, 2nd Floor
Clarkson Street Entrance
New York, NY 10014

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W4 Street-Washington Square Park
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