PSEG Power building careers for Bridgeport’s minorities, women and veterans
By Melissa Ficuciello
They may not have worn traditional caps and gowns, nor did the familiar sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance” fill the air, but that didn’t lessen the excitement and enormous feelings of pride in the room as 11 participants in PSEG’s first Ready2Work Apprenticeship Training Program class received their diplomas on March 12th, 2018. The graduation ceremony was held at Bridgeport Harbor Station before a standing-room-only crowd filled with family and friends of the graduates, as well as local officials – including Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim – and representatives from the local building trades.
The graduates began a seven-week program in January that is paving the way for their entry into the local labor unions in Connecticut. Ready2Work is open to all Bridgeport residents, with an emphasis on women, minorities and veterans. The program uses the 120-hour online Multi-Craft Core Curriculum, along with 280 classroom instruction hours and hands-on training experiences. The curriculum covers: construction industry orientation, tools and materials, construction health and safety (including OSHA 10 and CPR), how to read blueprints, basic math for construction, heritage of the American worker, diversity in the construction industry, green construction and financial literacy.
“Ready2Work is not about helping you find your next job,” said Amy Blackwood, executive director of Building Pathways CT, the program operator, during the ceremony. “It’s about providing for your families for the future.”
Ready2Work is a half-million-dollar investment to train residents of the city of Bridgeport to ease their efforts to find jobs in the Connecticut building trades – an opportunity they may not have been afforded otherwise.
“Public Service is a union company’” said Rick Thigpen, PSEG vice president-state government affairs. “Because these graduates and their families made sacrifices for seven weeks, they are now on the path to a new career. Our hope is that, by working cooperatively with the building trades and the CT State Department of Labor, we are opening doors that will make a lasting, positive impact on the graduates’ lives. It continues to be our goal that we leave this community better than we found it.”
The second of five Ready2Work classes to be offered begins in April, with others following in July, October and February 2019. For more information, visit BridgeportHarborStation.com/Ready2Work.