Community Builders program preparing Blacks and Latinos to construct a future during the pandemic

construction workers
Posted at 10:29 AM, Jan 04, 2021

“Noe was a lost child. He was unemployed. He didn’t know what he was going to do.”

This is how Noe Salazar describes his life before he found the Community Builders Program.

“Without the program, I don’t know what I would be doing,” said Salazar.

The father of two children signed-up for a free 12-week program offered by Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC).

“I didn’t know I could be an electrician. I thought you had to be a brainiac,” he said.

Noe had the brains to change his life. The Builders program offers apprenticeship training to underserved communities to help fill the construction workforce shortage.

Calvin Williams is the vice chair of ABC. He says the program gives Black and Latino participants a chance to learn entry-level skills.

No experience in the industry is required, and after graduating they receive job placement.

These entry-level jobs pay $16 an hour. But, in five years, a worker can expect to be making $90,000 annually.