Union-backed construction skills initiative recognizes contributions at 2017 Building Futures Awards

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Gary LaBarbera
Gary LaBarbera speaking at the 2017 Building Futures Awards

The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills — backed by organized labor — has honored three individuals for their commitment to growing New York City’s construction industry diversity, while expanding opportunities in communities across the five boroughs.

The 2017 Building Futures Awards presented at a Sept. 28 event honored Kevin Connors, president and business manager of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 28; John O’Hare, managing director of the Building Contractors Association; and Daniel A. Zarrilli, senior director of Climate Policy and Programs for the New York City Office of the Mayor.

“We recognize individuals from a variety groups, agencies and backgrounds who are helping keep the unionized construction industry’s commitment to opportunity and diversity in New York City,” Gary LaBarbera, president and CEO of the Malloy initiative, has been quoted as saying in Real Estate Weekly. (LaBarbera is also president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.)

“These are just some of the many people who make our city great and ensure programs, such as the Construction Skills program, offer a pathway for hard-working men and women across the five boroughs to obtain meaningful long-time careers with good wages and benefits.”

Since its inception in 2001, Construction Skills has grown into a nationally recognized model for addressing training and employment issues in the industry. The program has opened doors to career opportunities in the building and construction trades through union apprenticeship programs and is helping to strengthen New York City’s middle class with a nearly 80 percent retention rate, resulting in a stronger, more diverse workforce, LaBarbera said.