On April 9th, the first cohort of 15 students graduated from the Metro North Pre-Apprentice Construction and Facilities Maintenance Training Program (PACMAN) in a truly joyous and inspirational ceremony.  The PACMAN curriculum includes an introduction to construction and facilities maintenance, financial literacy, and job readiness.  Students earned OSHA-10 safety and health certification and completed a National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) core curriculum that included the following elements:

  • Basic Safety (Construction Site Safety Orientation) (12.5 hours)
  • Introduction to Construction Math (10 hours)
  • Introduction to Hand Tools (10 hours)
  • Introduction to Power Tools (10 hours)
  • Introduction to Construction Drawings (10 hours)
  • ntroduction to Basic Rigging (7.5 hours)
  • Basic Communication Skills (7.5 hours)
  • Basic Employability Skills (7.5 hours)
  • Introduction to Materials Handling (5 hours)

But more inspiring than the curriculum or credentials earned are the students themselves.  The 15 students represent five continents, a shared determination and will to succeed.  The 160-hour program saw a 94 percent completion rate and students achieved near-perfect attendance.

“This first cohort of the program was very diverse,” said ABC Director of Workforce Development Steve Sullivan, who worked with the students as an instructor.  We are excited to promote these recent graduates to our member companies.

After arriving in the United States as a refugee from Uganda, one graduate, John Musakeira, had been an estimator in his home country.  But when he arrived here, people told him he could only get entry-level or low-skill work.

Now John says he’s “spreading the gospel of this program” and he “will be an example to my community.”

Lura Lucas of CONNECT, who coached the graduates on financial literacy, said it best when she called the students “a blessing to all our communities.”

This project is funded by a Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and is administered by the Commonwealth Corporation.  The grant will fund two additional cohorts of students.  

ABC Massachusetts (ABCMA) partnered with Winn Companies, International Institute of New England, CONNECT, MassHire Metro North Career Centers, and Medford Vocational Technical High School to make the program a reality.

ABC MA board member Diana Hasan, the director of human resources at C.E. Floyd, also volunteered her time interviewing a number of the students.  Speaking at the graduation, Diana said, “You work in a field that can’t wait to meet you.”

The PACMAN program is providing graduates with job placement support.  Those who would like to watch the graduation ceremony (less than an hour) can do so here.  ABC member companies interested in learning more about this dynamic group of diverse graduates should contact Steve Sullivan at [email protected] or (781) 281-6860.