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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals and DC 9 Kick Off New Apprenticeship to Train Union Painters

Aug 25, 2022

NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Assistant Vice President of Facilities Manny Saez, District Council 9 Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer Joseph Azzopardi, President for Local Union 1969 Steve Melish, Business Representative for Local Union 1969 Matt Gaeta, New York State Commissioner of Labor Roberta Reardon, State Senator Jessica Ramos, Council Member Mercedes Narcisse, Apprentice Painter Briana Fantauzzi, Apprentice Painter at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, and Apprentice Painter Arturo and other apprentice painters celebrate the kick off of the new apprenticeship program (Credit: District Council 9).

NYC Health + Hospitals and District Council No. 9 Local Union 1969, Civil Service Employees, International Union of Painters & Allied Trades (DC 9) today announced the launch of their new apprenticeship program to train individuals for careers as unionized painters. In an event at DC 9’s training facility in Long Island City, apprentices Briana Fantauzzi and Arturo described why they chose to pursue a career in the trades, and DC 9 painting apprentices demonstrated the application of various protective coatings and prep work required in active hospital and healthcare settings. During the four-year apprenticeship, DC 9 will provide classroom training, and NYC Health + Hospitals will provide supervised on-the-job training. The program will develop a pipeline of candidates with the skills and experience to pass a civil service exam and qualify for unionized painter positions. In line with Mayor Adam’s Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery, the Apprentice Painter program will connect New Yorkers to quality jobs and in-demand skills. Union painters earn on average a salary of $82,000 a year.

“NYC Health + Hospitals is delighted to launch the painters’ apprenticeship program with District Council 9,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Assistant Vice President of Facilities Manny Saez. “Our painters provide our facilities with a vibrant impression to our patients and staff that support comfort and cleanliness. Their work ensures that our facilities are maintained throughout the system and is critical to our hospital operations. Our apprentices are joining the ranks of our healthcare heroes that tirelessly work to keep our hospitals running.”

“Today, some of our most outstanding apprenticeship candidates stand ready to complete rigorous on-the-job training work at NYC Health + Hospitals. This mutually beneficial partnership will bring top-of-the-line painting and finishing services to the New York City public health care system, while providing our apprentices with unparalleled work experience as they train for a fulfilling, family-sustaining union career,” said Joseph Azzopardi, Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer of District Council 9. “Our union is always eager to partner with New York City agencies and programs to strengthen the communities in which we live and work.”

District Council 9 Painter Apprentices Briana Fantauzzi and Arturo working for NYC Health + Hospitals as a part of their newly launched apprenticeship program receiving on-the-job training on patchwork and painting. (Credit: District Council 9)

“I applaud NYC Health + Hospitals and District Council No. 9 for launching an apprenticeship program to train individuals for careers as unionized painters,” said Council Member Mercedes Narcisse. “This program should prove vital and beneficial to many job-seeking New Yorkers and place them firmly on the path to passing a civil service exam and qualifying for a unionized painter job. These jobs pay a living wage and will contribute positively to the lives of those who participate in the program, but also to our city’s economic growth.”  

“Our community needs jobs and the proper educational resources to fully immerse themselves in a long-term career,” said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. “I have met countless individuals eager to work in the trade industry, and I applaud all parties involved. NYC Health + Hospitals and DC 9’s partnership in establishing a program that serves the greater community is what our City needs to thrive economically and commercially. This apprenticeship program will help New Yorkers have equitable access to quality job-training programs that will elevate their careers and skill sets. I look forward to the success of this program, as it supports those who are interested and willing to further their education for long-term success.”

“Before choosing my career, I worked all over and did a little bit of everything,” said Briana Fantauzzi, Apprentice Painter at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “From the food industry to working with kids, office work, maintenance, just name it and I did it all. I decided that I want to take a leap of faith and try a whole new career out, and that’s how I found myself applying for the Painters Union. Fast forward to May of this year when I got a call saying that my application was accepted and that they had a job offer for me. NYC Health + Hospitals was looking for union workers to work there for the next 4 years, and I couldn’t turn down the offer. Now I’m here, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. The staff is great and I can’t wait to see the projects they have in store for me. Thanks Lincoln for the opportunity.”          

“Growing up I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do as a career,” said Arturo, Apprentice Painter at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. “I wanted to become a Mechanical Engineer but college was not for me, there were obstacles and no support was given to me. That’s when I decided to go to trade school, got interested in working in construction, and learned about the painter’s apprenticeship program. Going into this apprenticeship I knew that there are going to be challenges and sacrifices to be made. I’m willing to go through it in order to gain the experience to be able to achieve my goals. At Bellevue I am learning techniques to improve on my painting skills and being able to learn from my mentors is really fulfilling. I am thankful for the opportunity and hope to continue gaining experience, putting what I learn into practice so that I can give back to the community.”

Participants in the Apprentice Painter program will learn several skills, including:

  • Workplace safety
    • Use and maintenance of hand and power tools
    • Signaling, rigging, and hoisting
    • Lead and asbestos abatement
    • Ladder, scaffold, and forklift safety
    • First aid
    • Proper use of personal protective equipment
  • Trade skills
    • Reading blueprints
    • Identifying the appropriate material for various paint and surface applications
    • Types and properties of materials including paints, stains, varnishes, shellac, polyurethanes, and clear coats
    • Safely storing, disposing, and recycling trade chemicals
    • Mixing paints
    • Matching colors
    • Surface preparation
    • Wood finishing
    • Applying wallpaper
    • Preparing a workspace for interior painting (removing old paint, removing fixtures, applying mildew remover)
    • Preparing a workspace for exterior painting (removing rust, power washing and sandblasting, burning off old paint)
    • Spray painting
  • Other workplace skills
    • Estimating costs and materials
    • Review of basic arithmetic
    • Communication skills
    • Scheduling
    • Record keeping

The curriculum for the apprenticeship is set by the New York State Department of Labor. The four-year Apprentice Painter program requires a total of 6,576 hours of training, a combination of 6,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom training. Graduates will need to pass the Civil Service examination for Promotion to Painter and be appointed from that list to be hired as a union painter.

District Council 9 is currently accepting applications for Painter, Decorator, and Paperhanger apprentices until August 29th, and starting August 29th, DC 9 will be accepting applications for Structural Steel and Bridge Painter apprentices at their Long Island City training facility (45-15 36th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101). Applications are available in-person only from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday. Applications are offered in-person on a first-come, first-serve basis for 10 business days or until 500 applications are issued.

About DC 9
District Council 9 is a chapter of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, an organization of painters, decorators, wall coverers, drywall finishers, sign painters, metal polishers, bridge & structural steel painters, civil service painters, lead abatement workers, glaziers & architectural metal glassworkers, paint makers and allied trades. The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades is dedicated to securing and improving wages, benefits, and overall working conditions for its members. For more information on DC 9’s continuing efforts to provide pathways to the middle class for New York’s residents visit www.districtcouncil9.net or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthandHospitals or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.