What is BuildingWorks?

BuildingWorks is the New York City District Council of Carpenters pre-apprenticeship training that prepares individuals from underserved communities for success as union carpenters. Ideally, BuildingWorks graduates begin the carpenters apprenticeship securing an attractive benefit package and earning potential. The program has been operating since 1995 and has maintained an 80% success rate.

What Training Will You Receive?

The free training includes technical coursework preparing candidates for a union apprenticeship.  The training is conducted on site at the Carpenters Training Center. Students have access to the same state-of-the-art facility and instructional staff as apprentices and journeypersons. During the training, students gain experience from classes in four main categories: career guidance, introduction to apprenticeship, worker health & safety, and environmental worker training.  


Candidates for BuildingWorks Pre-Apprenticeship Training must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age at time of enrollment
  • Have original and valid photo identification
  • Have a High School Diploma or GED, and pass a basic skills test at 8th grade level
  • Be physically able to work
  • Be legally eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Pass a drug test

Since 1995, BuildingWorks has prepared more than 1,000 individuals from local New York communities for careers.

The program has a successful placement rate of 80% and the average wage for program graduates is $20 per hour.

Class of Winter 2019

How to Apply

  • Email for training dates and download an application here
  • Send completed application with a copy of your High School diploma or GED certificate
  • Take a pre-enrollment basic skills test at the training center in lower Manhattan
  • Attend an interview and provide additional documentation


For more information please click here.

What We Look for in the Ideal BuildingWorks Candidate

Successful candidates for BuildingWorks must have a strong interest in pursuing a career as a union carpenter. They must be able to demonstrate, through personal experience, the ability to commit to projects and the likelihood of completing the 4-year carpenter apprenticeship.

BuildingWorks is ideal for those who:

  • Are interested in pursuing a career as a union carpenter – not just looking for a job
  • Know what an apprenticeship is and what it means to be part of a union
  • Have previous experience that indicates they have the ability to stick with something
  • Can work well with others
  • Have past experience where they learned a new skill
  • Understands and follows the rules
  • Is pro-active about finding work and/or has spent time between jobs doing something productive