Reaching Out...Changing Lives


Skills for Success Job Training Program

In 2015, the Rescue Mission of Utica embarked on a new program that will train its residents and other unemployed and under-employed individuals with an opportunity to build skills in the construction trade.  “Skills for Success” is a two semester job training program in partnership with Mohawk Valley Community College, OnPoint for College, Working Solutions and the City of Utica.  This program equips students with knowledge and experience in the carpentry and masonry field giving them skills for successful and meaningful employment.  The program also works with local trades unions assisting students entering their apprentice programs.

The students receive 41 college credits upon graduation, and will complete the program with a state recognized certificate in Carpentry and Masonry.  This is accomplished through classroom instruction and hands on experience from ground level to roof top construction.  During the program, students work on the construction of “small” houses.  When completed, the homes will be offered to low income or homeless individuals, or families on a rent-to-own basis.  Skills for Success is providing individuals with a vital skill set, and the knowledge and experience needed to enter various construction fields where they will be able to make a living wage for themselves and their families. 

The Skills for Success Program is transforming the lives of area men and women, and equipping them with a lifelong career opportunity and even the chance to be self-employed.  Community members who may have been caught in the cycle of poverty are able to break that dependence, and be an example to their friends, family, and future generations to follow.  

Through December 2018, 55 individuals have enrolled in the program, 38 have graduated, and 71% have had job placement or continued their education.  There are 19 currently enrolled in the Spring 2019 semester.  

The Small House component of the Skills for Success Job Training Program will turn vacant lots that were once an eyesore, into a community of homes that will add tax revenue back to the city.  Families, who previously could not see themselves participating in the American Dream, will awaken to the reality of home ownership.  

The Skills for Success Job Training Program has been made possible in part due to a Community Foundation Grant of $120,795.  Together we are reaching out, changing lives, and attacking poverty by equipping individuals with an education, and skills for gainful employment.  The Skills for Success Job Training Program positively impacts families, neighborhoods, and  the greater community for years to come. 


Check out the house located on Sunset Ave in Utica that the classes have been renovating.

For more information you can download our Skills for Success brochure, application or contact:

Ernie Talerico, Director of Operations


315-735-1645 ext. 2112






Physical Location 293 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501


In partnership with:

Your support transforms the lives of many in our community!
Learn how you can help or make a donation today.