New York, NY – As President Donald Trump on Wednesday touted an idea for implementing an apprenticeship program, not far from his Fifth Avenue home the Oriska Jobs and Careers Center (OJCC) has quietly operated one of the nation’s most successful programs of this kind. From the Maritime College in the Bronx, OJCC has operated a true apprenticeship program, in which workers are paid to learn on-the-job during the day and then participate in classroom instruction in the evening. For nearly two decades they have helped struggling New Yorkers gain the skills necessary to fill high skilled and lucrative positions.
“We feel that President Trump need look no further than what OJCC is doing right in his home city,” said Daniel Odescalchi, spokesman for OJCC. “The apprenticeship model has helped transition former fast food workers, who previously worked for minimum wage, into high skilled electricians, plumbers and ironworkers who today earn six figures and are responsible for building and maintaining the infrastructure that we all take for granted.”
Byron Carchipulla of Queens, a former Burger King employee, and Marcin Chrostowski of Brooklyn, a former waiter and cab driver, today have careers that provide them secure futures thanks to an apprenticeship program. Carchipulla graduated as a skilled sheet metal worker and Chrostowski as a plumber and both want to own their own business someday. While this may seem like an ambitious statement considering their earlier employment, thanks to participating in an apprenticeship program, they are on their way to fulfilling their dreams.
The apprenticeship model simply relies on employers, who desire skilled labor, agreeing to hire and train new workers, while OJCC handles oversight and classroom instruction. Apprenticeship programs are overseen by the NYS Departments of Labor and Education. Once a worker completes the program, he or she becomes a qualified journeyperson in their trade, which allows them to work on any prevailing wage job anywhere in the country. Presently OJCC operates programs for Bricklayer & Mason, Carpenter, Electrician, Ornamental Iron Worker, Plumber, Plumber & Steamfitter, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Roofer, Sheet Metal Worker and Sprinkler Fitter & Steamfitter. Program graduates have gone on to work on many of the iconic public and private projects around the city.
OJCC operates under the Fitzgerald Act of 1937 (29 U.S.C. § 50 commonly known as the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937, section 1 (29 U.S.C. 50) under U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) and C.F.R. T. 29, Subt. A, Pt. 29 and Pt. 3.