Building Skills NY Names Kenya Hayward August Worker of the Month

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[Building Skills New York\Kenya Hayward]
Council Member Donovan J. Richards: “Kenya Hayward’s story demonstrates the important place that workforce development and job creation programs have in our community."
Photo: Building Skills New York

Building Skills New York, a non-profit organization working to provide underserved New Yorkers with good-paying jobs, Monday announced Far Rockaway resident Kenya Hayward as their August Worker of the Month.

Hayward was first connected to Building Skills in 2017, when he visited one of the City’s Workforce1 Career Centers while between jobs. Despite being an industry veteran of nearly 25 years, Hayward was struggling to find a new role to match his skillset. Through Building Skills’ efficient placement process, the team quickly found him work for a Brooklyn-based company specializing in superstructure construction.

After the completion of that project, Hayward held a few subsequent roles on various jobsites. But in 2019, he once again found himself jobless – this time for a period of about 10 months. In late November, Hayward received an email blast from Building Skills, inviting him to a job recruitment session in the coming week. The holidays were quickly approaching, and Hayward was happy to learn that Building Skills could find him work immediately.

By December, he was placed in a job working on the Rockaway Village development project, just blocks from his residence in NYCHA’s Redfern Houses complex. He was able to maintain his job throughout COVID-19 complication, and is still working on the same site today. As an extra boost during the City’s widespread site shutdowns, Hayward also received a COVID-19 relief grant from Building Skills that helped tide him over during an extremely difficult time financially.

“Kenya Hayward’s story demonstrates the important place that workforce development and job creation programs have in our community,” said Council Member Donovan J. Richards. “Expanding access to good construction jobs is a key piece in advancing Queens’ economic goals and putting workers like Mr. Hayward on a path of long-term career success.”

“In addition to providing assistance to workers who are new to construction, Building Skills provides great opportunities to individuals with existing experience like myself,” said Hayward. “Finding employment in construction can be hard, but Building Skills makes the process simple. No matter where my future career takes me, I know the organization will always have my back.”

Building Skills’ total number of 2019 job placements was 340, up 45 percent from 2018. The organization helps New Yorkers find work through free job training and job placement services. Additionally, Building Skills continues to provide on-the-job support to each worker as they seek to broaden their skillset and advance their construction career.

About Building Skills New York

Building Skills New York provides an efficient and convenient process for finding a construction job for many City residents who have long been unable to gain access to careers in the construction industry. The organization achieves its goals through a well-designed and targeted program that places underemployed and underserved New Yorkers in construction industry jobs. BSNY transforms lives and helps residents revitalize communities by growing a skilled construction workforce that represents the diversity of New York City. BSNY partners with the city’s leading workforce agencies to recruit and screen eligible NYC residents and provide them with the necessary skills and safety training.

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