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There has always been a catch-22 for disadvantaged workers trying to climb the socio-economic ladder, and that is the tension between having the skills and having the on-the-job experience necessary to get hired. Workers without skills can’t get the necessary on-the-job experience and without the on-the-job experience, workers can’t get the skills. The ABBA Leader-ship Center has a solution. ABBA helps contractors land jobs so they will hire workers and give them the on-the-job experience.

ABBA partnered with the Oriska Jobs and Careers Center to provide an apprenticeship program which allows workers to get paid while getting on-the-job experience and classroom training. These apprenticeships are provided by contractors that sponsor workers into the program. The contractors pay the workers a reduced wage and in return provide them with the experience and training. The Oriska Jobs and Careers Center is a New York State Department of Labor and Education certified program. These certifications guarantee that the workers who complete the paid apprenticeship program will qualify as a journey-person. This program operates from New York’s Maritime College in the Bronx. The program provides on-the-job training and related classroom instruction in the following skilled construction trades: Bricklayer & Mason, Carpenter, Electrician, Ornamental Iron Worker, Plumber, Plumber/Steamfitter, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning (HVAC), Roofer, Sheet Metal Worker and Steamfitter. Depending on the trade, the training can take anywhere from two to five years to complete.

To help contractors, ABBA also works with a not-for-profit called Economic Cornerstone which connects minority-owned contractors with private and public works projects so they can provide the on-the-job experience. While there is normally a small fee for placing an apprentice into the program, ABBA works with United Services Ad-ministration which will assume the cost provided the contractor participates in a program that includes a risk management component in its bundled package of payroll, workers’ comp and benefits. In short, ABBA has forged these partnerships with a single goal in mind, to bring skills and experience to workers in disadvantaged communities. To support the process, ABBA helps access work for those contractors willing to sponsor an apprentice and provides opportunities for the training to be cost-free for a contractor willing to participate in a pro-gram that includes risk management. Today ABBA is ready to put disadvantaged workers to work.

abbaleadershipABBA + ORISKA = JOBS

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