Building Futures began in 2007 as a construction industry partnership, providing a bridge between low-income Rhode Islanders and long-term, well-paying careers utilizing the Registered Apprenticeship model of workforce development. Since its inception, Building Futures has operated a nationally acclaimed pre-apprenticeship program that has successfully trained and placed 285 low-income/ high-risk residents into employment as registered apprentices in one of 12 different skilled construction trade occupations. To meet the state’s workforce development needs beyond the construction sector, Building Futures established ‘Apprenticeship Rhode Island’ (ARI), an initiative to expand the use of Registered Apprenticeship. As a result, Building Futures has supported 29 employer and industry sponsors in developing apprenticeship programs in 54 separate occupations across multiple industries, programs that employ 780 apprentices to date. Working with employers, industry partnerships, government and community-based organizations, Building Futures is expanding the proven model of Registered Apprenticeship to all high growth industries for the benefit of the state’s workforce and economy.
The Registered Apprenticeship (RA) model supports individuals’ self-efficacy and self-sufficiency by providing structured on-the job training paired with classroom education – creating an ‘earn while you learn’ career pathway. Along with pre-apprenticeship training, Building Futures helps project owners and contractors implement an Apprentice Utilization Program to increase the current number of registered apprentices being trained on current construction projects across the state. This dual approach ensures that our program graduates are well prepared for success once placed – and that placement opportunity is created for the graduate. To ensure that low-income, diverse residents achieve economic security and access these placement opportunities, Building Futures first addresses the skill gap found in applicants for employment as apprentices.
This year, Building Futures celebrated its 101st graduate to complete apprenticeship and become a journeyworker, which demonstrates occupational mastery, provides a nationally recognized credential, and substantially increases earning power and benefits. This success rate can be attributed to the lattice of support offered to program participants, which begins with training and individualized support in addressing barriers to employment and continues through apprenticeship placement and beyond.
Building Futures began in 2007 as a construction industry partnership, providing a bridge between low-income Rhode Islanders and long-term, well-paying careers utilizing the Registered Apprenticeship model of workforce…