“I love my job. I’m helping women who really need it.”

MARIA Red Hook on the Road Graduate

“In New York, you can get anything you want. You just have to work hard for it.” Maria, a South Bronx native, learned these words from her mother and lives by them. As a young woman, Maria became a construction worker to support her four children. But when work became less stable, Maria fell into homelessness. After a few years, a security guard working in the shelter noticed how dedicated she was to finding a new career path, he gave her the phone number for Red Hook on the Road, and Maria started her training soon afterward. In about one month she had earned her commercial driver’s license.

Today, you might find Maria driving on the streets of your own neighborhood, in a mobile mammogram screening center for the health care organization where she now works. “I love my job,” she affirms. “I’m helping women who really need it.”

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“Thanks to Brooklyn Networks, I am living a more stable life.”

CESAR Brooklyn Networks Graduate

Fifteen years ago, Cesar arrived in the U.S. with limited English and little training to work as an electrician, his dream job since high school. Whenever he could, Cesar went to free English classes and searched for ways to connect with his choice career or a similar field. Cesar came to live in New York because he believes it is a place full of hope. “New Yorkers are constantly moving, ready to leap on the first opportunity that will help them become self-sufficient.”

That opportunity presented itself when a friend told him about Brooklyn Networks, BWI’s training program for careers in low-voltage cable installation. The training was tough, but Cesar believes the rigorous curriculum prepared him for the work he does today as a fiber optic cable installer. He recently shared, “Thanks to Brooklyn Networks, I am living a more stable life.”

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“The folks at the NYCHA Resident Training Academy really helped me out.”

LAMARRIEA NYCHA Resident Training Academy Graduate

LaMarriea, a mother of four, was working hard as a part-time home health aide when her employer came under new management and her hours were cut. With no financial safety net, she knew right away she needed to make a change. Then LaMarriea heard about the NYCHA Resident Training Academy, a program designed for residents of public housing who need a path to a stable career. She fully committed to the training, commuting more than two hours each way between the Bronx and Brooklyn throughout five weeks of instruction. Since graduation, her hard work has paid off.

LaMarriea has lived in NYCHA housing her entire life, until just a few weeks ago. Her family now lives in a market-rate apartment for the first time. “I’m more stable financially, and my family has more space.” She’s eyeing advancement opportunities with NYCHA, either in grounds keeping or as a Heating Plant Technician. Finally, there is a bright future ahead.

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“Every day I wanted to learn something new and Brooklyn Woods always had something new to teach me.”

SHAWN Brooklyn Woods Graduate

The day Shawn became a father was one of the most significant moments of his life. “My kids inspire me to be a better version of myself.” Since his first child was born sixteen years ago, Shawn has struggled to find stable work. When hard times hit he couldn’t always afford rent on his own. Shawn knew he needed a change.

Shawn searched for career options online and came across Brooklyn Woods. Always the creative type, he thought the BWI woodworking and fabrication training program could lead to a stable career. Shawn applied to the program after attending an information session and knew he made the right decision when training began. Shawn loved the hands-on learning in the state-of-the-art production shop. “Every day I wanted to learn something new and Brooklyn Woods always had something new to teach me,” Shawn said. Today, he builds cabinets and vanities with sustainable materials in the Brooklyn Woods Social Enterprise.

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“The “Made in NY” PA Training Program helped me make the most out of new opportunities and build a career in a great industry.”

DEVON "Made in NY" PA Training Program Graduate

Devon was born in Brooklyn and his family has deep ties to East Flatbush. Although he spent much of his childhood outside of the state, Devon said, “The city was always in me growing up.” He returned to his roots and reconnected with his grandmother who has lived in the same neighborhood for over 50 years. With only a high school diploma, Devon found a job that he thought would last well into the future. Instead, he faced intense workplace discrimination that turned his job into an intimidating environment. Eventually, it resulted in his dismissal. Unemployed, unable to find work and worried about his financial situation, Devon searched for a solution.

That is when he found the “Made in NY” Production Assistant (PA) Training Program. He knew it could help him turn his luck around. The program was tough, but inspired him to love the film and television industry. “It’s for the people who are truly committed to working hard,” explained Devon. “The “Made in NY” PA Training Program helped me make the most out of new opportunities and build a career in a great industry.” Devon is working regularly on the sets of well-known television series and films and was promoted to Assistant Locations Manager only a few months after graduating.

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