The Skilled Build training program at St. Nicks Alliance in Williamsburg isn't only notable for turning out skilled construction workers, but what really makes the program a success is its placement rate. Last year the program placed 97 percent of its graduates in jobs, while the year before 87 percent of the students found employment.
Offering job training is great, but it means little if it doesn't lead to stable employment.
To address that, St. Nicks Alliance has been working with, among other, Two Trees, the developer behind the massive new project on the site of the old Domino Sugar Factory in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge.
Two Trees has already hired 31 graduates from the Skilled Build program, and plans to take on another 40 people.
What makes the program a success is the partnership between Two Trees and St. Nicks. Almost every major development project in the city comes with a commitment to hire locally. The problem is finding “local” people who have the necessary skills.
Instead, Two Trees works closely with St. Nicks to provide program recipients with the skills that the developer is looking for to ensure that graduates are ready to contribute and be successful when they enter the workforce.
The people overseeing the Skilled Build program visit the construction site on a regular basis to determine what kinds of skills and people are needed to match the training with real-world needs.
The Skilled Build program doesn't just work with Two Trees, they also partner with a number of other companies and offer training in everything from scaffolding support to OSHA credentials.
The measure of a successful job program isn't how many people you train, but how many people find employment. The Skilled Build program at St. Nicks Alliance is the gold standard, and should be replicated across the city.