The Northeast Carpenters Apprentice Training and Educational Fund (NCATEF) was recently awarded a grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development for $224,160 for its Sisters in the Brotherhood (SIB) Pre-Apprentice Program in New Jersey.

The grant will help fund the continuation of the successful pre-apprentice program in New Jersey. The grant will help the program to retain skilled instructors and purchase materials for carpentry classes, including boots, carpentry tools and workbooks.

“Our Sisters in the Brotherhood Pre-Apprentice Program has been very successful in New Jersey, and we want to continue the momentum in the years ahead,” said John Ballantyne, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC). “This program is helping to break through barriers that construction jobs could only be filled by men. That’s something we are trying to change, because our organization believes that jobs don’t have a gender.”

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Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters’ SIB program is a six-week training course that prepares women to become carpenter apprentices. The 40-hour per week course trains women in a variety of in-class curriculum and hands-on training in mathematics, occupational safety and hazards, hand/power tool training and job-site culture. After successful completion of the program, pre-apprentices graduate to the NRCC Apprenticeship program. The Pre-Apprentice program will graduate its 6th class of pre-apprentices in September 2017.

“I have found that the women who participate in this program are enthusiastic, excited, and ready for a challenge,” said Susan Schultz, NRCC Council Representative and Chair of the Sisters in the Brotherhood committee. “The women who finish the program go on to become apprentices and on to a career in carpentry. It’s time to dismiss misconceptions about women joining the carpentry workforce, as we are training women to be highly skilled carpenters and contribute productively on the job site throughout the States that our Council represents.”

Olga Boldero, Member of Local 253 completed the SIB Pre-Apprentice Program and believes that it helped to prepare her for her first day on a job site.

“The program teaches you how to handle yourself on a job, hold tools properly and to get an overall feel of the construction industry,” said Boldero. “Because of this program, my first-day nerves were gone because I knew what to expect when I got to the job site.”

To learn more about the Sisters in the Brotherhood Pre-Apprentice Program, please visit