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Jason Chapin, the WCA’s director of Workforce Development, will join representatives from Soulful Synergy, Mercy College, and Greyston Foundation, to share timely insights and ideas on innovative training, internship, and apprenticeship programs that connect qualified job seekers with employers seeking to fill positions.
This chat is ideal for employers who will be hiring in the coming months and are interested in work experience models that create talent pipelines.
Alejandro Alvarez was born and raised in New York; a proud first generation college graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Iona College. During his upbringing, a strong passion and sense of responsibility was cultivated towards being of service to others. This became his compass towards realizing his life’s goals: “Empower others so we can leave this planet healthier than we found it.”
He embarked on his life’s mission of service by joining Americorps as a first-grade teacher assistant at Jefferson Elementary School in New Rochelle. After his work with Americorps and volunteering with various community-based organizations, he set out to learn skills that could be transferred to the people he wanted to help. For over five years he worked as a Journeyman in Local 157 Carpenters Union in New York City. He worked on large projects for Google, AIG, Bloomberg, UNICEF, CNN, Tiffany, and Deloitte to name a few.
In 2011 Alejandro left the union to proceed to the next phase of his career as a minority owner of a social enterprise, Envirolution One. Envirolution One provides energy efficiency training and connect participants to the industry through a powerful network of over 400 program alumni and boast an 80% job placement rate. He participated in coordinating and delivering various training for workforce organizations such as STRIVE International, Non-Traditional Employment for Women and CUNY. He then went on to manage a DOL-funded construction training program for Youth Action YouthBuild in East Harlem for young adults ages 17-24 who are pursuing their high school equivalency diploma for 4 years.
It was this varied experience that shaped the vision for Soulful Synergy. As a social enterprise Soulful Synergy focuses on sustainable approaches to community improvement and works to create win win outcomes for all vested stakeholders. Alejandro worked to design training programs and curriculum for an evolving marketplace in order to meet the demands that employers were seeking. Since 2013 we have trained hundreds of NYC residents to prepare them for job opportunities in the construction industry, green industry, tech industry, security industry and beyond. We have helped to employ hundreds of their students and meet the demand of an ever changing workforce. The company has facilitated the removal of millions of pounds of textile waste from NYC city landfills and promote the need for recycling to NYC residents. We have provided dozens of commercial businesses and buildings with energy efficiency measures and helped to reduce emissions across downstate NY.
Alejandro serves as one of the founding committee members of Yes Bed-Stuy collaborative, a group focused on meeting the employment needs of the Brooklyn community and beyond. Due to his vast knowledge and network, Alejandro has also been asked to spearhead the formation of a LULAC chapter in Westchester that will be devoted to the economic and social needs of the Hispanic community.
You’ll often hear Alejandro sharing one of his favorite quotes: “Give a person a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.” This approach to education and community improvement is what drives him to share his knowledge with all those he encounters.