The Philadelphia-based pre-apprenticeship program’s goal is to increase the representation of women as well as people of color in the building and construction trade unions around the Philadelphia region and prepare participants to enter apprenticeship career pathways.
In July, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced awards, offered through L&I's Apprenticeship and Training Office totaling more than $4.9 million for registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs throughout Pennsylvania to develop diverse talent pipelines, reach underrepresented populations, and expand workforce development opportunities within the building and construction industries.
"Pennsylvania's economic future depends on a well-educated and highly-trained workforce, an effort made possible by apprenticeship – a workforce development model that is most effective when it is accessible to workers of all backgrounds. L&I applauds the Samuel Staten, Sr. Pre-Apprenticeship Program and the work it's doing to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion within the building and construction trades and to expand opportunities for communities that have historically faced barriers to access."
Jennifer Berrier, Department of Labor & Industry Secretary
The new pre-apprenticeship program was named in honor of Samuel Staten, Sr., a former construction laborer, field representative, and retired business manager for Laborers' Local 332, a Philadelphia-based labor union, who created the Philadelphia Revitalization and Education Program in 1994 to provide labor union career pathways for public housing tenants.
Through business partnerships with BCT and the General Building Contractors Association, as well as community partnerships like Philadelphia Works, the Samuel Staten, Sr. Pre-Apprenticeship Program is modeled after the Diversity Apprenticeship Program.
The DAP was established in 1999 by Staten, educators, laborers, and community leaders to expand opportunities for African Americans to enter the Philadelphia Building Construction unions and has been successful in placing more than 400 individuals of color and women into the construction trade unions and more than 380 individuals in non-construction jobs. As one part of Governor Tom Wolf's PAsmart framework, the office provides outreach, education, and technical support to current and prospective program sponsors and apprentices.