Cicilline Announces Building Futures Founder Andrew Cortés as His State of the Union Guest

Cicilline Announces Building Futures Founder Andrew Cortés as His State of the Union Guest


Fri, 02/03/2023 – 16:13

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), today announced that Andrew Cortés, Founder and Executive Director of Building Futures, will be his honored guest for the 2023 State of the Union.
Building Futures, a Providence-based pre-apprenticeship training program that prepares Rhode Islanders for careers in the construction industry, launched in 2007 during Congressman Cicilline’s tenure as Mayor of Providence. It has since become a national model for workforce training programs.
“I am thrilled to welcome Andrew to the Capitol next week as my honored guest for the State of the Union – to showcase the incredible work he and Building Futures are doing with and for Rhode Islanders,” said Congressman Cicilline. “I was proud to stand with Andrew back in 2007 as he launched Building Futures and partnered with the City of Providence on this great program. It has been incredible to see how this organization has grown over the years, and I am thrilled that program participants will benefit from recent infrastructure investments Democrats are making through the landmark infrastructure bill and Inflation Reduction Act. This program has made a real difference in the lives of 380 Rhode Islanders by placing them in registered apprenticeships as bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other union construction trade apprenticeships. Beyond construction, Building Futures has created apprenticeship programs for more than 40 new high growth occupations, which have now employed over 1,800 Rhode Islanders in the healthcare, manufacturing, and early childhood education among others.”
“It is an immense honor to attend the State of the Union address as the guest of Congressman Cicilline,” said Andrew Cortés. “From his time as Mayor of Providence to his leadership in Congress, his unwavering commitment to expanding opportunities for people experiencing poverty has been critical to our organizational success. We place people into family sustaining careers with benefits utilizing the Registered Apprenticeship model to address the workforce needs of employers and infrastructure challenges. It is an impactful model, and with new federal investments in clean energy and infrastructure we can continue to help hundreds of Rhode Islanders gain economic stability and sufficiency.”
Building Futures currently partners with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA), which recently received an $82.5 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill passed last Congress. All told, Rhode Island will see $2.5 billion coming straight to the state to help fix its roads and bridges, replace lead pipes, improve public transportation system, and increase broadband access – supporting thousands of good-paying union jobs and driving economic growth for years ahead.
Building Futures is also leading apprenticeship programs related to training offshore wind energy workers, projects which will be supported by the historic investments made in the Inflation Reduction Act to both address climate change and create jobs here at home. In 2021, more than 12,000 Rhode Island workers were employed in clean energy jobs.  The Inflation Reduction Act will bring an estimated $4.1 billion in clean energy investments to Rhode Island, creating more good-paying jobs in the solar, wind, storage, and other clean energy industries.
Andrew Cortés served on the US Department of Labor Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship for eight years, including serving as Chairperson from 2015-2016.


Congress Number

February 3, 2023
February 3, 2023