NEW Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most-frequently asked questions about NEW—and their answers.

What can I learn at NEW?
Basic carpentry, electricity, and painting
Job safety
Trades math
Health and physical fitness
Blueprint reading
Interview strategies
Employment rights and responsibilities
Life skills

Am I eligible to study at NEW?
You must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Other requirements, specific to each program, are described at orientation sessions.

How can I register for classes?
All applicants must attend an information session before being considered for our programs. At the information session, you will fill out an application and learn about our curriculum and eligibility requirements. To register for an information session, click here.

What is the admissions process?
Attend information session at NEW.
Complete appropriate paperwork.
If determined eligible, attend an interview with NEW's staff.

What is the difference between the day and evening programs?
NEW's day program, Blue Collar Prep, is our seven-week core training. It is a comprehensive full-time program that combines an introduction to the trades; hands-on instruction in carpentry, basic electricity, painting, blueprint reading, and building performance; health and safety training; and trades math.

Our night program, NEW at Night, is for women who are working and are interested in careers in the building and construction trades. The program is held three evenings and one Saturday a week for eight weeks. The curriculum includes hands-on shop work, trades math, and an overview of career opportunities in the apprenticeship system.

What does "nontraditional employment" mean?

The U.S. Department of Labor defines nontraditional occupations as those in which women comprise less than 25 percent of the total workers. This category includes a vast range of jobs. NEW focuses on skilled blue-collar work, because it pays more and provides better benefits, even to those without college degrees.

What kind of tests will I need to take before I am admitted into the program?
You will be tested in math and reading, in order to help NEW evaluate your ability to complete the training requirements.  Click
here to see example math questions and take a sample test.  Click here to see sample reading questions and take a sample test.

What makes skilled blue-collar work a good choice for women?
High pay. Wages in your first year will range from $10 – $17. Once a woman completes the apprenticeship program, she can earn as much as $45.00/hr.
Excellent medical benefits.
Pensions and paid annuities.
Training. Many blue-collar jobs offer technical classroom training as well as on-the-job training

What are some of the challenges women face in the blue-collar field?
Blue collar professions are both physically and mentally demanding.
Most jobs require very early hours and lots of lifting and carrying.
Year-round outdoor work is required in most jobs—even on the coldest winter and the hottest summer days.
While the numbers are growing, less than 3% of all construction workers are women. Women need to be prepared to work in a predominantly male environment.

Does NEW provide childcare?
NEW does not provide childcare, but we will direct you to a number of childcare referral agencies in your area. Ongoing childcare counseling is available throughout the training period at NEW.

What is "apprenticeship"?
Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job-training and classroom studies in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. An apprentice is supervised by a journey-level craftsperson. It takes several years to become fully trained, depending on the trade.

What is "pre-apprenticeship"?
Pre-apprenticeship prepares you to compete for apprenticeships and other skilled work in the building and construction industries. The NEW curriculum focuses on hands-on instruction in carpentry, electrical wiring, painting, and building performance; applied math; tool safety and identification; physical conditioning; and exploring nontraditional careers.

Can I choose my courses?
No. Students must complete all components of the training.

What kind of job-placement assistance can I expect once I finish the training?
NEW works closely with each graduate to help her explore various career options. Upon entry into the program, each student will develop a plan to achieve her employment goal. NEW actively supports this process through mock interviews and by helping graduates arrange interviews with potential employers.

We track our graduates for a minimum of one year after graduation to ensure that they are progressing in their jobs, and we continue to make available our referral and advocacy services on employment issues, housing, childcare, and other job-related services.

Where are graduates placed?
NEW graduates work in the building and construction industry through a variety of union apprenticeship programs; in the transportation industry as track and train maintenance workers; and in the cable, telephone, and utilities industries.

Where is NEW located?
NEW is housed in the Judith P. Vladeck Center for Women, a refurbished firehouse in Chelsea. The address is 243 West 20th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues), New York, NY, 10011.

NEW Nontraditional Employment for Women. 243 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011 (212) 627-6252

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