A.C. trades training program has immediate employment impact

4 participants in 11-week program sponsored by Michaels Organization graduate with jobs

In another example of training programs leading to careers and life-altering jobs, four of the seven Atlantic City-area young adults who graduated last week from an 11-week summer training program in the construction trades sponsored by the Michaels Organization already have found employment.

Over the 11-week program, students worked closely with the Michaels Organization — the largest developer of affordable housing in the country — and various local subcontractors to learn both soft and hard skills. Students received hands-on experience in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and roofing. They also had Michaels executives and project managers come in to coach them on interpersonal and professional skills.

Students obtained official construction certifications and credentials with which to build their resumes, including the OSHA-10 certification required by many employers, as well as Fall Protection, Forklift, CPR, AED and Flag certifications. They were even coached on how to put those resumes together and search for jobs, as well as tips on how to manage their personal finances.

Much of the training took place at Buzby Homes, the affordable housing community currently being redeveloped by Michaels and the Atlantic City Housing Authority.

Nick Cangelosi, vice president of development at the Michaels Organization, is thrilled that the program had such immediate impact.

About the Michaels Organization

The Michaels Organization is a national leader in residential real estate offering full-service capabilities in development, property management, construction and investment. Serving 175,000 residents in more than 440 communities nationwide, Michaels said it is committed to crafting housing solutions that jumpstart education, civic engagement and neighborhood prosperity.

“It’s unbelievable how much these students have learned and grown in just a few months,” he said. “Michaels is so proud to have worked with them and to continue nurturing our relationships with them. We know all of the students have a bright future ahead.”

Michaels ended up hiring three of the students after the program — two on the Buzby Homes redevelopment and one at its corporate headquarters. A fourth student earned a scholarship to Rowan University.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, who joined in the graduation ceremonies, said the program was a huge success.

“A few months ago, the students we honor today made a simple, yet life-changing decision, a decision to spend the summer investing in their future,” he said. “And, as a direct result, they have emerged stronger, wiser and incredibly well-equipped to enter the workforce. I congratulate them on their vision and hard work, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the future.”

Atlantic City students primarily worked on the Buzby Homes site, the 126-unit affordable housing community that, until recently, had remained largely untouched since its construction in 1952. The $15.4 million redevelopment broke ground in December 2021 and incorporates new sustainability and flood resiliency designs, as well as job opportunities for Buzby and surrounding residents.