BY BENJAMIN FANG
As the construction industry continues to grow, a group of Long Island City-based companies is offering New Yorkers a chance to join the multi-billion dollar field.
The Andromeda Community Initiative, a nonprofit workforce development organization, provides training, career advancement and relationship-building in the building restoration industry.
Along with its sister companies, the Andromeda Academy of Construction Trades, an accredited training school that offers Department of Buildings and OSHA certifications, and Andromeda Advantage, a logistics support company for the industry, the three are housed together in a new, award-winning facility at 49-12 31st Place.
On March 7, Andromeda and the Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted a open house for local businesses, schools and interested community members to tour the building.
According to Rachel Charlop-Powers, director of the Andromeda Community Initiative (ACI), the nonprofit has a “tremendous commitment” to innovation, quality and safety.
“The foundation of the construction industry is safety and skills,” she said. “Every single person who accesses a job site is entitled to go home healthy, well and with fair pay in their pocket.
“We’re committed to catering to that need,” Charlop-Powers added, “supporting it and ensuring that the opportunity to get the training required is available.”
The training courses, provided in-house, are developed from industry needs. The curriculum for certification courses are “in dialogue” with the certifying entities, which are either DOB or OSHA.
Andromeda also works closely with employment experts to understand what employers are looking for.
Charlop-Powers explained that job projections in the next decade or two show that there will be increasing opportunity for employment in construction.
“There are a lot of people who are now leaving the trades or are retiring,” she said. “There’s a real need for the next generation to come in to replace them.”
While Andromeda provides training broadly on construction trades, including plumbing, electrical and carpentry, it has a specific program on building restoration.
She said that component of the field is a $1.5 billion industry.
“We estimate there are about 20,000 jobs in the field,” Charlop-Powers said. “The opportunity for employment is only going to grow as people leave the field.”
ACI also has a focus on serving underrepresented New Yorkers who want to pursue a career in the field. Charlop-Powers said every person, regardless of their background, deserves a career path that will allow them to support a family.
“We’re committed to finding the right match, people who want to do this work with the employers that want to have qualified workers,” she said. “We are looking to provide opportunity to those who would otherwise have a challenge accessing those opportunities.”