Building Pathways is a non-profit organization based in Boston that is dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of under-represented groups in the union building trades, particularly women, people of color, and young adults.
We approach our mission through an integrated supply and demand strategy which seeks to increase the pipeline of diverse workers in the building trades workforce, while ensuring that there are employment and advancement opportunities that lead to life long, family-sustaining careers.
To implement this supply-demand strategy, Building Pathways engages in 4 pillars of work:
Building Pathways offers apprenticeship readiness training to better prepare greater Boston area residents for apprenticeships in the building trades. Participants receive over 200 hours of free occupational and employability skills training designed to impart skills common for entry into all building trades. The pre-apprenticeship training program serves residents of Suffolk, Norfolk, Middlesex, and Essex counties.
Northeast Center for Tradeswomen’s Equity (NCTE): Our NCTE program is dedicated to educating women career seekers across Massachusetts about career opportunities in the building trades, dispelling the myth that women are not interested in working in the trades, and enhancing the visibility and advancement of active tradeswomen. For more Information, visit BuildALifeMA.org.
High School Road Show: Building Pathways conducts information sessions and participates in career fairs to educate young adults in local high schools about careers in the building trades. We also sponsor the MA Girls in Trades initiative to connect female students in Career Tech Ed programs across the Commonwealth with union apprenticeships.
Community Outreach: Building Pathways partners with community-based organizations, industry stakeholders and government agencies to educate community residents about careers in the building trades.
Building Pathways is the Massachusetts affiliate to deliver the RISE Up (Respect, Inclusion, Safety and Equity in the Construction Trades) Respectful Workplace Program designed to provide all workers and managers with the tools and support necessary to create and maintain a safe, inclusive and productive environment for everyone. The framework of the training is based on minimizing distractions and maximizing productivity, to ensure that all workers are welcomed and respected on the job site.
Building Pathways advocates for public policies and industry practices to ensure that diverse building trades workers receive equitable opportunities for employment. We provide technical assistance to public agencies, contractors and unions about local, state and federal laws that set hiring goals for women and people of color; serve on monitoring committees that oversee compliance with workforce participation goals; develop and share best practices for increasing the participation and retention of diverse workers; and promote regulatory and legislative solutions that lead to greater diversity, inclusion and equity in the building trades.
The Building Pathways Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program was launched in 2011 by the Greater Boston Building Trades Unions (GBBTU) to address the continued disparities in apprenticeship for women, people of color, and other underserved communities. In 2015, GBBTU led the formation of Building Pathways, Inc., and in 2022 the organization merged with the Northeast Center for Tradeswomen’s Equity (NCTE). Today, Building Pathways operates both the Building Pathways pre-apprenticeship program and NCTE.