On April 1st, 2014, Local 79 Business Manager Mike Prohaska was voted onto the Board of Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW). Founded in 1978, NEW, whose mission is to prepare women for skilled, unionized jobs in the trades, serves women from all five boroughs in New York City. Local 79 has many proud graduates of NEW who have gone on to complete the apprenticeship program and are, according to Local 79 Apprenticeship Coordinator Timmy Warrington, “consistently some of the best Laborers.” Although women represent around 3% of the construction industry nationwide, 15% of the graduates of Local 79’s apprenticeship program are women. “We are proud to see more and more women working as Laborers in Local 79,” said Mike Prohaska. “It is an honor to be on the Board of this organization, which provides excellent training and seeks to ensure that the percentage of women in the building trades continues to grow.”

NEW is one of three pre-apprenticeship programs that allow for direct entry into Local 79’s apprenticeship program. The other two are Helmets to Hardhats (for returning veterans) and Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills (for high school students).

Click here to see inspirational NEW video.