EAS Carpenters union partners with Lyft to provide transportation for increased job access

Access to reliable transportation remains a significant challenge for many wanting to enter the construction industry, which is why the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters on Tuesday announced a partnership with Lyft through the rideshare company’s Jobs Access program.

Through the program, eligible individuals have access to complimentary rides to and from training centers and job sites to build a strong, inclusive workforce. The program is currently active in Edison and offers preapprentices and apprentices increased access to employment opportunities where public transportation is unreliable or limited.

“Access to reliable transportation remains a significant barrier for many of those wanting to enter the construction industry,” William Sproule, executive secretary-treasurer of the carpenters union, said. “Ensuring that our apprentices have access to and from training centers and job sites is key to building a strong and inclusive workforce. We’re excited by and proud of the program’s initial success and look forward to working with Lyft to expand the initiative across our other markets.”

Since the program’s launch, Lyft has provided over 250 rides and has served a diverse range of demographics, including Black individuals (83%), Hispanic individuals (9%) and white individuals (4.5%).

“The Eastern Atlantic States Technical Centers aims to create an accessible pathway to becoming a union journeyperson by eliminating barriers to quality training,” Robert Smith, executive training director & chief administrative officer for Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical Centers, said. “Through our proud partnership with Lyft, we strive to address common challenges for commuters such as time constraints associated with public transportation and significant expenses such as gas and bus fares. By offering transportation support, particularly to first-year apprentices, we ensure consistent class attendance, which is vital for their progression and eventual increase in earning potential within the program.”

“Reliable transportation to a job interview or to job training can mean the difference between successful, long-term employment and lost opportunities,” Eleise Richards, Lyft public policy manager, said. “Lyft is proud to partner with the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters to help connect their trainees to essential workshops and workforce development programs. By providing access to rides we are working together to help participants who are looking to further their careers, reach their full potential and improve their lives.”

“We are deeply committed to fostering opportunities for aspiring carpenters and bolstering the construction industry’s talent pool,” Anthony Abrantes, assistant executive secretary-treasurer of the union, said. “Our partnership with Lyft represents a significant step forward in breaking down the transportation barrier many candidates face. By providing access to reliable transportation, we ensure that these individuals can fully participate in our apprentice and preapprentice programs, leading to sustainable and rewarding careers in carpentry, benefiting both the business community and workforce.”