Careers in the Building Trades after Graduating PHAs Pre-Apprenticeship Program
PHA Commr. Pat Eiding, who's also President of the AFL-CIO, spoke about the importance of getting young people into the building trades.

PHA Exec. Director Carl Greene congratulates one of the graduates along with Linda Staley, PHA's Director of Customer Support Services, and George Johnson, the Training Coordinator for the Pre-Apprenticeship Program.

PHA Commissioner Nellie Reynolds, who addressed the gathering, knows that education and skill are the keys to economic self sufficiency.
Public Housing Residents on their way to Careers in the Building Trades after Graduating PHAs Pre-Apprenticeship Program

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Thirty new careers were launched today. The Philadelphia Housing Authority residents graduated from a building trades pre-apprenticeship program, for which PHA is nationally recognized.

Thirty new careers were launched today. The Philadelphia Housing Authority residents graduated from a building trades pre-apprenticeship program, for which PHA is nationally recognized.

PHA Executive Director Carl Greene congratulated the new grads. These young men and women have survived and thrived through 21 weeks of academic and hands-on training, that requires a rigorous 40 hour per week commitment, said Greene during ceremonies at PHAs Abbottsford Homes development in the Hunting Park section of the city. Now theyre prepared to go out and help us rebuild Philadelphia, he said.

Students are paid a stipend of $5.15 an hour during the course. After graduation, they are assigned to a PHA construction site for six months. They work full-time learning from experienced trade workers while being paid 40% of the union rate. Once graduates complete the six-month stint, they are accepted into a union.

George Johnson, pre-apprenticeship training coordinator, says his graduates are in demand. When you look at all the construction that PHA has underway plus activity by private builders, you can see why these trained and motivated individuals are able to find good paying work, Johnson said.

The program has two sessions per year graduating 60 65 students. 84% of the program graduates go on to full time jobs. Since the programs inception in 1999, 129 graduates have become full building trade union members. Another 18 are in the Laborers union. Aside from learning building trade skills, all students receive adult education and life skills training as well. About 30% of all graduates decide to use that training to move on to jobs in other fields.

Carl Greene says hes okay with that. We designed the program to equip public housing residents to take advantage of the great opportunities in construction. But we also encourage students who want to use their training as a foundation for other careers, Green said. Most students who enter the pre-apprenticeship program have either been unemployed or under-employed. PHA provides the opportunity for change but its up to the prospective students to take the step and apply for the course and then apply themselves.

About PHA

PHA is transforming public housing in the city of Philadelphia. As the nation's fourth largest public housing agency serving more than 78,000 residents, PHA is the first housing authority in the U. S. designated by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) of the National Association of Realtors as an "Accredited Management Organization." This designation is awarded to firms engaged in property management that have met IREM's high standards in the areas of education, experience, integrity and financial stability.