Building Skills NY (BSNY), a nonprofit construction workforce development organization connecting underemployed and unemployed New Yorkers to construction training and job opportunities throughout New York City, honored key partners and participants along with raising $100,000 at their first Best of Building Skills NY fundraiser on October 20th, 2022. Funds will be used to provide critical hard skills training, case management, and job placement and retention services to New Yorkers looking to enter or advance in the construction industry.
Before a crowd of more than 100 guests at Inside Park at St. Bart's, Best of Building Skills NY honored the following workforce partners for helping BSNY advance their mission of building skills and building futures:
- LaGuardia Community College for the Workforce Partner Award
- Lendlease for the Safety Training Award
- King Contracting Group for Employer of the Year Award
- Brookfield Properties for the Impact Developer Award
Two job-placement program participants, Denise Moore and Deshawn Preston, were also honored at the event for their commitment to BSNY.
The event featured keynote remarks from Maria Torres-Springer, New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development.
“We’re overwhelmed by the support our partners showed at the first annual Best of Building Skills,” said BSNY Executive Director, David Meade. “This support goes a long way toward helping us equip New Yorkers with the tools they need to develop successful construction careers.”
Under Meade’s leadership, Building Skills New York has placed almost 1,800 people in construction jobs. Their new Construction Career Accelerator program has created 100 graduates since it was launched just last year.
“As a longtime supporter and partner of Building Skills NY, L+M is proud to celebrate their success at the Best of Building Skills NY fundraiser,” said Ron Moelis, Chairman and Co-founder of L+M Development Partners and BSNY Board of Directors Vice Chair. “When employers partner with workforce development nonprofits, they become firsthand witnesses to the positive impact these organizations have on individuals.”
"Lendlease is proud to partner with BSNY to connect New Yorkers to construction training, and we’re honored to accept this year’s Safety Training Award,” said Lendlease Executive General Manager and President of NY Construction, Steven Sommer. “Safety is paramount, and we work each day to ensure construction workers are equipped with the tools necessary to remain safe on the job.”
“BSNY has been instrumental to successfully placing construction workers into employment on our Bankside development in the Bronx,” said Sabrina Kanner, Brookfield Properties Executive Vice President of Development, Design, and Construction. “We’re looking forward to continuing our crucial work together and are honored to be named the Best of Building Skills NY Impact Developer of the Year,” said Andre Banks, Brookfield Properties Director of Social Inclusion and BSNY Board of Directors member.
“It was an honor to accept the Best of Building Skills NY Workforce Partner Award on behalf of LaGuardia Community College,” said Kenneth Adams, LaGuardia’s President. “Building Skills NY has been a critical partner with our college. Together we are training the next generation of plumbers, electricians and HVAC techs ready to rebuild our communities following the COVID-19 pandemic and to help transition our communities to clean energy. We look forward to continuing and deepening our partnership.”
“Our relationship with BSNY proves employer-informed workforce programs yield strong results,” said Brett Steinberg, King Contracting Group President. “We’re thankful to BSNY for honoring us with the Employer of the Year award.
Through BSNY, job-placement program participants Denise Moore and Deshawn Preston have continued their commitment to building futures for themselves thanks to their determination, motivation and enthusiasm for construction. In addition to receiving recognition for their accomplishments, they will continue their construction training in the carpentry and plumbing fields respectively.
“I was going through something for a long time,” said Denise Moore, BSNY Participant and Building Futures honoree. “I lost my mother and son within six months, and I was on the verge of giving up, then I met Building Skills.
“Building Skills has given me a huge opportunity,” said Deshawn Preston, BSNY Participant and Building Futures honoree. “I’m looking forward to continuing my work and learning more about the plumbing field.”
The event’s keynote speaker Maria Torres-Springer is New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development, charged with spearheading the Administration’s efforts to strengthen and diversify the City’s economy, invest in emerging industries, bolster small business, and connect New Yorkers to family-sustaining jobs.
“Workforce development organizations like Building Skills NY are essential to creating a stronger system of economic and workforce opportunity within New York City,” said Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer. “Coordinating a network of nonprofits, employers, and government agencies that work together is critical to further developing New York City's talent development ecosystem and advancing equity.”
Building Skills NY’s workforce development efforts are among the initiatives supported by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) Foundation to create a stronger and more equitable New York City.
“We are proud to be a part of this journey that seeks to bring New Yorkers into much-needed, good-paying jobs,” said Chair of Building Skills NY James Whelan. “The Best of Building Skills is a great way to celebrate the success of the team involved, and all of its supporters.”