PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In recognition of Brown’s longstanding commitment to supporting Rhode Island’s construction workforce, the Providence-based nonprofit Building Futures presented the University with its inaugural Impact via Apprenticeship Award during the organization’s 15th-anniversary celebration on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Building Futures launched in 2007 to provide a pathway for low-income Rhode Islanders seeking well-paying careers in the building trades, an industry that continues to face a worker shortage. Over its first 15 years, 128 Building Futures pre-apprenticeship program graduates have logged upwards of 465,000 hours on 34 different construction projects at Brown, many progressing into well-paying construction careers.
Brown was one of three registered apprenticeship partners recognized at the celebration, which was timed to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week. The impact award commended the University for supporting "hundreds of Rhode Islanders to launch rewarding careers while helping to develop Rhode Island's construction workforce," according to Building Futures’ announcement.
In presenting the award to University President Christina H. Paxson, Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council President Michael Sabitoni said the growth of Building Futures and the health of Rhode Island's construction labor force is due in large part to institutional partners like Brown.
“What Building Futures has done in 15 years is impressive, and it doesn't happen alone,” Sabitoni said. “A lot of people that got it to this point are in this room. The power and impact of a program like this is massive. It's building the middle class and changing people's lives. It's not what we build, it's how we build it. With Building Futures, we're investing in ourselves and our community.”