Skilled Trades Trainee, Rebuild

  • 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact.

What We Offer:

Impact - The work you do here matters to millions.

Growth - Philadelphia is growing, why not grow with it?

Diversity & Inclusion - Find a career in a place where everyone belongs.

Benefits - We care about your wellbeing.

Agency Description

About Rebuild

Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries. A signature initiative of Mayor Jim Kenney as part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild seeks to improve pivotal community spaces, empower and engage communities, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion programs. Rebuild is a public-private partnership made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.

As part of these efforts, Rebuild is offering two workforce development programs:

  • The PHL Pipeline, which prepares entry-level candidates to successfully transition into registered union apprenticeships
  • The PRA Talent Development Program, which places qualified candidates into union-affiliated positions at the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA)

Both programs leverage the Rebuild portfolio to provide pathways to membership in the trade unions through a mix of classroom-based professional development and work-based training.  Trainees are expected to learn by observing, assisting, and performing assignments according to detailed instructions.

Job Description

This posting is for a workforce development training program operated by the City of Philadelphia. It is not a posting for City employment.

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.  

Rebuild is currently accepting applications from individuals interested in careers in the following trades: bricklaying, carpentry, cement masonry, electrical, elevator construction, finishing trades (painting, drywall finishing, glazing, etc.), insulating, ironworking, masonry, plastering, plumbing, roofing, sheet metal work, sprinkler fitting, and tile setting.

Rebuild’s programs prepare participants for long-term careers in construction. Successful applicants will be enrolled in a paid pre-apprenticeship or state-registered apprenticeship through the related trade union. Successful applicants will be enrolled in training sessions ranging from professional development to hands-on activities related to selected trades. They may work with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority or with union contractors.

Program benefits

  • Contextualized career readiness training
  • Basic construction training, both in the classroom and on the job
  • Financial literacy training
  • OSHA safety training and the opportunity to earn the OSHA-10 certification
  • Preparation for union apprenticeship tests (where applicable)
  • Starter tools (as required)
  • A wage-based training stipend
  • Individualized professional coaching
  • Referrals to partner organizations providing supports as needed for childcare, transportation, etc.

Essential Functions


  • Participate actively in training as prescribed by the organization, assigned journeyperson, or trades instructor
  • Perform elementary trade tasks using the tools, equipment, and materials of the trade under supervision
  • Arrive on time and ready to work for each assignment
  • Perform other tasks incidental to the mastery of trade fundamentals

Typical Tasks

Program participants will be asked to select a trade affiliated with one of Rebuild’s partnering unions.


Bricklayers repair walls, floors, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, and other structures with brick. Stone masons build stone walls and set stone exteriors and floors. A tile setter, marble setter, and terrazzo setter all use specialized materials in their respective craft. They lay and set tile on walls or floors, cut and install marble, and pour cement.


While much of a carpenter’s work is done with wood, carpenters also frame with metal studs, install wallboard, install tile and carpet, insulate ceilings, and weld many types of materials. Carpenters must be able to read an architect’s blueprint and turn these blueprints into a finished structure.

Cement Masonry

Cement masonry is among the oldest trades in the construction industry, dating back centuries. Cement masons use concrete to finish concrete walls and floors for high rise buildings, stadiums, and a host of other commercial and multi-dwelling structures.


Electricians do an astounding amount of different types of work, whether that be wiring an office, repairing transmission wires, or installing the latest in telecommunications infrastructure. The electrician trade has four main segments: outside linemen, inside wiremen, telecommunications, and residential electricians.

Elevator Construction

Elevator constructors build elevator systems and keep them running safely and reliably. Using blueprints as their guide, elevator constructors determine the variety of equipment and parts needed for a successful build. Elevator constructors must have a firm grasp of hydraulics, electricity, and computer electronics.

Finishing Trades (painting, drywall finishing, glazing, etc.)

Three invaluable trades—painting, drywall finishing, and glazing—complete the construction process and determine how the final product looks. Although some painters do all types of painting, most specialize in one type, such as interior or exterior, new construction, or signs.  Glaziers are responsible for selecting, cutting, installing, replacing, and removing all types of glass and architectural metal. They install everything from windows to automatic doors. Drywall finishers complete gypsum wallboard surfaces by taping, spotting, filling, and sanding joint, angels, and corners. Drywall finishers are responsible for making walls completely smooth and for covering any imperfections.


Insulation mechanics primarily install and maintain the material that prevents loss of warm inside air on cold days and the cool inside air on warm days. Insulation mechanics can be involved in several tasks, from fitting pipes, boilers, and sheets of insulation to installing materials that prevent fire and smoke from penetrating walls and ceilings.


Ironworkers build the structural foundation on the base of every major building project. Additionally, ironworkers install steel stairways, handrails, parts of elevators, and many other components that make a project complete.


Builders are increasingly using plaster for interior walls and ceilings due to the great durability of the material. Plasterers are involved in making walls and ceilings that are flat and strong in order to achieve a clean finished product.


Plumbers work on a variety of construction projects, from high-tech sites to commercial and residential projects. Plumbers are required to interpret plans and blueprints, measure and cut sections of piping to exact specifications, and install the system of pipes, valves, pumps and backflow prevention equipment.


Roofing work is critical to the durability of a building and the protection of everything inside. Roofers install and remove roofs on buildings to make them waterproof and weatherproof. Roofers are involved in preparing roofing materials, aligning roofing materials, and installing composition roofs.

Sheet Metal Work

While sheet metal work can include architectural sheet metal work and transportation components, the most common projects are heating ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Sheetmetal master HVAC/R licensed contractors assemble HVAC systems and design duct systems, testing, adjusting, and balancing for optimum efficiency. Sheetmetal workers also install fire dampers, fire smoke dampers, or stairwell air pressurized systems and inspections.  

Sprinkler Fitting

Sprinkler fitters conduct important, life-saving work. Sprinkler fitters are pipefitters specializing in the installation and maintenance of fire protection systems. Most of the installation is performed while working on ladders, scaffolds, or manlifts.


Education and Experience

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Prior trades-related training preferred but not required

Application requirements

  • Philadelphia residency
  • Age 18 or older
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid child abuse clearance/criminal background that would not preclude employment in the trades
  • Ability to pass frequent, unscheduled drug screenings
  • Ability to engage in strenuous physical labor
  • Interest in and commitment to a career in the skilled trades

Licenses, Registrations, and/or Certificates

  •  Valid driver's license

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Required knowledge, skills, and abilities

  • Ability to learn the basic tasks of a specific trade
  • Ability to assist skilled tradesworkers in accomplishing tasks
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Mathematical aptitude
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions

Physical & Medical Requirements

  • Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the required environmental conditions

Additional Information

Working Conditions

Trades work is strenuous work, requiring much walking, standing, reaching, kneeling, stooping, climbing, and carrying. Work is often done outdoors in all kinds of weather except when conditions are very severe.

The City of Philadelphia is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not permit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, source of income, familial status, genetic information or domestic or sexual violence victim status. If you believe you were discriminated against, call the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations at 215-686-4670 or send an email to faqpchr For more information, go to: Human Relations Website: