New York City launches $18.6-million program to attract new construction workers

By Andy Brown and Jenny LescohierAugust 23, 2022

The Pathways to Industrial and Construction Careers (PINCC) program will see participants assessed for either construction or industrial training

The shortage of skilled labor in construction has its roots in our education system, changing generational priorities and some might say, a public relations problem when it comes to working in the trades.

Whatever the reasons, the lack of workers threatens to put a crimp in the pace of building, a real issue in areas where construction contracts are booming.

To help alleviate the shortage in his city, New York City Mayor Eric Adams is launching an $18.6-million program designed to attract 2,300 low-income people into construction and industrial careers over the next three years.

The Pathways to Industrial and Construction Careers (PINCC) program will see participants selected by the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development or the non-profit Consortium for Worker Education before being assessed for either construction or industrial training.

The program will be funded by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration in response to New York City’s winning proposal to the Good Jobs Challenge created under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. PINCC engages through all phases of the employment cycle: recruitment and training, job placement, retention and advancement.

“All New Yorkers deserve to earn a living wage and share in our city’s prosperity, and that’s why I’m proud to announce the Pathways to Industrial and Construction Careers,” said Mayor Adams.

“With the support of an $18.6-million federal grant, we are taking major steps towards making sure that thousands of New Yorkers have access to jobs that they can support a family with, while giving our city’s employers access to the talent they need to thrive.”

Data from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) suggests that a lack of workers is holding back growth for the sector.

“Although demand for projects is strong, there are too many states where contractors can’t find enough workers,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The high level of openings and low unemployment rate among experienced construction workers shows the industry needs more workers.”

Earlier this summer, the Biden Administration kicked off an initiative designed to help alleviate the skilled labor shortage and support workforce development in construction and other key infrastructure sectors, however, not everyone thinks it’s a great idea.

The summer-long Talent Pipeline Challenge aims to “fill high-quality jobs that will help rebuild our infrastructure and supply chains here at home, and continue our transition from a historic economic recovery to steady and stable growth in the years ahead,” according to a White House fact sheet.

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