next generation of tradespeople completes training course with essex commissioner president richardson and non-profit p2a nj

(Newark, NJ) – On Friday, December 1, labor leaders gathered at the Essex County Hall of Records with County Commissioner President Wayne Richardson to celebrate aspiring tradespeople’s completion of a pre-apprenticeship program from Pathways to Apprenticeship New Jersey (P2A NJ). Eleven students completed a 6-week intensive course with hands-on training in building construction and applied mathematics to prepare them for a long and lucrative career in the building trades.

“In addition to technical knowledge and skill, being in the union trades is about diligence and dependability, which these young people have shown many times over,” said Essex County Commissioner President and P2A Executive Director Wayne L. Richardson. “Newark and Essex County were built and continue to be built by strong union labor, and it is an honor and a privilege to help lift up the next generation of tradespeople. Congratulations to all our graduates.”

“Our young people want to work, regardless if they come from underserved communities or if they have a blemish on their criminal background record. As the co-founder and Executive Director of P2A NJ, we do meaningful outreach in these communities and intentionally engage those who are justice-involved,” said John Blyden, Co-Founder and Executive Director of P2A NJ. “What separates our pre-apprenticeship program from similar programs is that we provide our graduates with direct-entry career opportunities with apprenticeships in the organized building trades. Programs that only provide paper certificates and general job fairs discourage our young people.”

“P2A NJ is working to save lives in Essex County by breaking the chains of intergenerational poverty and creating real career building opportunities,” continued John Blyden. “We couldn’t do it without the support of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), its Vice President and Eastern Regional Manager Mike Hellstrom, Chief of Staff Bernard Callegari, and my fellow co-founder Wayne Richardson. We have also received tremendous support from our friends at NY P2A, LEEP P2A, NJRC, the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, and LIUNA Local 3.”

P2A NJ is a non-profit organization committed to helping individuals from underrepresented communities gain admittance into the various registered building trades apprenticeship programs. It partners with labor unions such as LIUNA to ensure aspiring tradespeople receive the most relevant training for beginning a career in the building trades, and with the New Jersey Re-Entry Corporation to build support for formerly incarcerated individuals to get back on their feet and invest in their futures.

More pictures from the event can be seen here. A recording of Friday’s event can be viewed here.

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For Additional Information - Contact:
Adam Tucker, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)
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Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
Room 558 Hall of Records,
Newark, New Jersey 07102