Thursday, September 15, 2016 – Cruz Companies today celebrated four apprentices completing the mid-point of their construction apprenticeship program, a partnership between Cruz Companies and YouthBuild Boston, designed to fill the minority skills gap in Boston’s construction fields.
“Our apprenticeship program gives young people the opportunity to work alongside their peers while developing skills in the high demand construction field,” said John B. Cruz, III, CEO of Cruz Companies. “In order to grow as a company, we need to have trained apprentices, and these youth represent our future.”
The apprentices just finished their second year of their four-year apprenticeship program at Cruz Construction, which is sponsored by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Massachusetts. Apprentices must complete 4,000 total hours of training in the field and 4,000 in the classroom prior to completion of the program.
At Cruz, apprentices are currently working full-time on basic carpentry skills including: cutting, framing, and installation of barricades, windows, rafters and finishes. After work on Mondays and Thursdays, Cruz organizes transportation for the apprentices to travel to the Gould Construction Institute in Franklin to complete their classroom instruction.
“Working with a minority business like Cruz Companies has been amazing,” said apprentice Jonell Wynter, 26 of Dorchester. “I want to use this experience to learn from Cruz, and one day start my own contracting company.”
The apprentices have been working on Cruz affordable housing projects across the city, including: The Residences at Harvard Commons, Wayne at Columbia Apartments, and Walnut Apartments. At the end of the program, the apprentices will become full carpenters, with an opportunity to continue their work with Cruz Companies.
“My experience with YouthBuild taught me how to grow to become a better person,” said Dorothy Fleming, an inaugural YouthBuild Boston graduate, who now works at Cruz Construction as an Equal Employment Opportunity officer and apprenticeship program coordinator.
“Without YouthBuild, I would have never gotten a career with Cruz,” said Fleming. “It’s been great to help other youth coming through this program to learn this important field, which has been suffering from employment shortages.”
Image courtesy Curz, from left: apprentices Jonell Wynter of Dorchester and Gerard Duclair of Roslindale, Cruz Companies CEO John B. Cruz, III, and apprentices Darius Cruz Corchado of Roxbury and Shayna Hancock of Dorchester