The big day of graduation arrived for Exequier Sepúlveda.
“I feel good because I had part of a historic building, this is something I’ve always wanted to do since I graduated from high school,” Sepúlveda said.
For ten weeks, Exequier and his 11 classmates received masonry training rebuilding historic buildings through the ‘Bridge to Crafts Careers’ technical program.
The group worked on the cleanup and restoration of a mausoleum structure built in 1850 located in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park.
“They taught us the best way to restore stone,” added Sepúlveda.
During the course, Exequier came from the Bronx and was never absent or late. Exequier says that this free program, which is for people between the ages of 18 and 27, came into his life as the best opportunity to be the builder he has always dreamed of.
“The University is not for everyone and this is an alternative to a career that pays well.”
During the pandemic, construction became the fourth highest-paying job in New York City.
In addition to graduating in masonry, Exequier earned certification in occupational health and safety administration which opens more doors for him to land construction jobs.
For the director of the program, Neela Wickremesinghe, this is the beginning of a new stage for these young people.
It is wonderful to see them graduate, says the director, who added that through different companies and organizations such as the local 1 union and ‘Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow’, they will have more opportunities to find work.
Program registration begins in January and classes begin in mid-March. For more information you can visit the website www.green-wood.com