Apprentices show up and show out at the open house and exhibit. Credit: New York City District Council of Carpenters photo

Last week, apprenticeship graduates celebrated their coronation at the 51st annual Apprentice Open House & Exhibit. Apprentices expressed satisfaction with their efforts in reaching this point.

“Joining this apprenticeship was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has equipped me with all of the necessary skills that I need to have a successful career and build the high-quality infrastructure that New York needs,” said Nora Vega of Local 157. “What’s more, it has helped ensure that I will have a stable future for myself and my family. I feel so lucky to be part of this wonderful group of apprentices and I’m in awe of each of their craftsmanship. Thank you to the New York City District Council of Carpenters for this opportunity.”

According to the New York City of District Council of Carpenters, the union educates “over 1,000 carpenter apprentices and 12,000 journey-level carpenters per year in the New York City training facility, producing a highly trained workforce ready to take on small to large scale projects across the five boroughs.”

One contest at the exhibit involved apprentices executing a project based upon their specialty with simply raw materials, tools, and a blueprint provided to them. They had eight hours to complete the task.

Thirty-three apprentices competed in the competition with a chance to win tools as a prize.

Kodi Foust, Local 157, in General Carpentry; Eric Reynolds, Local 257, in Interior Systems; Jordan Peguero, Local 2287, in Floor Covering; Christopher Pistone, Local 1556, in Dock Builder & Timbermen; and Anthony Charls, Local 740 in Millwrights.

Joseph Geiger, executive secretary-treasurer of the New York City District of Carpenters, said he was proud of everyone involved.

“In the NYC Carpenters Union, we believe that every New Yorker should have access to the American Dream and good-paying union jobs that have quality benefits and hard-earned pensions,” stated Geiger. “It’s our job to help create those pathways for the apprentices in our accredited apprenticeship program. These men and women receive high-quality training in our apprenticeship program and will be the next generation of skilled union workers that will build our city’s state-of-the-art skyline. I’m proud of each of them for their achievements and thankful for our city and state leaders for supporting union apprenticeships.”

Elected officials showed up as part of the ceremony to celebrate the apprentices’ graduations. Some of the 25 who attended included New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng and New York State Senator Labor Chair Jessica Ramos.

“Union carpenters are building up New York City’s workforce with their impressive training programs,” stated Ramos at the event. “Today’s competition showcased the great craftsmanship that their programs instill in their apprentices as well as the strong community that the program creates.

“As a staunch labor ally, I understand that apprenticeships and training programs are the bedrock of unionized construction. These programs are New Yorkers’ gateway to stable, lifelong careers and help safeguard their rights both on and off the jobsite.”

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