NYC launches new apprenticeship program to train unionized painters for jobs paying $82K

Staten Island Live

August 25, 2022

By Tracey Porpora


The city and a local union have partnered to train future painters as apprentices to prepare them for jobs making $82,000 per year.

NYC Health + Hospitals and District Council No. 9 Local Union 1969, Civil Service Employees, International Union of Painters & Allied Trades (DC 9) announced the launch of their new apprenticeship program to train New Yorkers for careers as unionized painters.

During the four-year apprenticeship, DC 9 will provide classroom training, and NYC Health + Hospitals will provide supervised on-the-job training. The program is expected to develop a pipeline of candidates with the skills and experience needed to pass a civil service exam and qualify for unionized painter positions.

In line with Mayor Adam’s Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery, the Apprentice Painter program will connect New Yorkers to quality jobs and in-demand skills. Union painters earn on average a salary of $82,000 a year.

“NYC Health + Hospitals is delighted to launch the painters’ apprenticeship program with District Council 9,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Assistant Vice President of Facilities Manny Saez. “Our painters provide our facilities with a vibrant impression to our patients and staff that support comfort and cleanliness. Their work ensures that our facilities are maintained throughout the system and is critical to our hospital operations. Our apprentices are joining the ranks of our healthcare heroes that tirelessly work to keep our hospitals running.”

Briana Fantauzzi, an apprentice painter at NYC Health + Hospitals, said she tried many careers before finding one she enjoyed.

“Before choosing my career, I worked all over and did a little bit of everything,” said Fantauzzi. “From the food industry to working with kids, office work, maintenance, just name it and I did it all. I decided that I want to take a leap of faith and try a whole new career out, and that’s how I found myself applying for the Painters Union.”

“Fast forward to May of this year when I got a call saying that my application was accepted and that they had a job offer for me. NYC Health + Hospitals was looking for union workers to work there for the next 4 years, and I couldn’t turn down the offer. Now I’m here, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else,” she added.

Participants in the Apprentice Painter program will learn several skills, including:

  • Workplace safety, including:
    Use and maintenance of hand and power tools
    -Signaling, rigging, and hoisting
    -Lead and asbestos abatement
    -Ladder, scaffold, and forklift safety
    -First aid
    -Proper use of personal protective equipment
  • Trade skills
    Reading blueprints
    -Identifying the appropriate material for various paint and surface applications
    -Types and properties of materials including paints, stains, varnishes, shellac, polyurethanes, and clear coats
    -Safely storing, disposing, and recycling trade chemicals
    -Mixing paints
    -Matching colors
    -Surface preparation
    -Wood finishing
    -Applying wallpaper
    -Preparing a workspace for interior painting (removing old paint, removing fixtures, applying mildew remover)
    -Preparing a workspace for exterior painting (removing rust, power washing and sandblasting, burning off old paint)
    -Spray painting
  • Other workplace skills
    Estimating costs and materials
    -Review of basic arithmetic
    -Communication skills
    -Record keeping

The curriculum for the apprenticeship is set by the New York State Department of Labor. The four-year Apprentice Painter program requires a total of 6,576 hours of training, a combination of 6,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom training. Graduates will need to pass the Civil Service examination for promotion to painter and be appointed from that list to be hired as a union painter.

District Council 9 is currently accepting applications for Painter, Decorator, and Paperhanger apprentices until Aug. 29. and starting that day, DC 9 will be accepting applications for Structural Steel and Bridge Painter apprentices at their Long Island City training facility (45-15 36th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101). Applications are available in-person only from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Applications are offered in-person on a first-come, first-serve basis for 10 business days or until 500 applications are issued.