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R3 Program

CHanging Lives.

Connections Work R3 logo

R3 is a comprehensive registered pre-apprenticeship program in the construction trades.

R3 utilizes best practices to transform participants’ lives by improving employment outcomes and reducing recidivism. Connections Work created this comprehensive program model that utilizes best practices in reentry programming and career & technical education.

Construction Workers
Construction Workers

How We Help


R3 is an 8-week registered pre-apprenticeship program in the construction trade and is comprised of three components: 

  • Career & technical education at Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center

  • Hands-on learning at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Woodworking Studio

  • Employment focused cognitive curriculum and job readiness skills delivered by Connections Work staff

Participants have the ability to receive:

  • Up to $2,000 stipend over 8 weeks

  • Case Management & Mentoring for one-year post-graduation

  • Job search and placement assistance

  • Flagger and OSHA Safety Certifications

  • Credit toward apprenticeships offered by Associated Builders and Contractors Keystone and Eastern PA Chapters PLUS select Berks Career and Technology Center programs

Do You Know?

Pennsylvania recidivism rate is 46%*


Connections Work R3 Graduates' Recidivism Rate is less than 5%

Since its inception, an average of 65% of R3 graduates have maintained stable employment at one year post graduation.


* Rate as of 2/2024

For More Info

Connections Work
19 N. 6th St, 4th Floor
Reading, PA 19601


Video made by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Eastern PA

Construction Workers

R3 Success Stories

Meet George



George graduated from the second R3 cohort back in 2018.  When he first met us, his initial goal was just to get off the streets.  But his experience in the 8-week registered pre-apprenticeship program turned his life around!  Through R3, he received career and technical education at Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center. Then he applied those newly learned skills at a Habitat for Humanity site, which allowed him to give back to his community. 

However, the key to his success was the lessons learned during the R3 COG classes. COG – employment-focused cognitive curriculum - taught George how to be a standout employee and make better decisions when faced with challenging situations. He has leaned on these skills as he grew in his profession.  

Since graduation, he started his own business, an LLC focused on remodeling and construction.  And those COG skills help him deal with customers, sometimes even engaging them in a COG dialogue to change their perceptions of a situation. 

Today, George is a proud homeowner and is married with a son. 

Meet Ben


While a resident of the Wernersville CCC in 2017, Benjamin Marrero-Rivera was referred to Connections Work’s DOC Reentry Workforce Development Program. He was addicted to drugs, and could not speak English
very well. He was in a dark place; his family did not trust him and he was considering suicide. He didn't know what to do. But he knew he did not want to go back to prison, ever.

Ben successfully completed the Workforce Development Program. Seeing Ben’s commitment to change, Ben’s Case Manager referred him to the R3 Program and he was accepted into the program’s second cohort. Sensing it was going to change him, he did everything fully, and with enthusiasm, starting with becoming clean and sober. He even gave up smoking
cigarettes! When he graduated, he got a job right away, getting hired on the spot, and three months later they offered him a permanent position. That job led to the one he is at now, as a Maintenance Supervisor. 

With a grateful heart, Ben stopped by Connections Work to update us on his successes, and say "thank you!", without struggling with the English language! When we first met Ben, he rode a bike everywhere; he now owns a car and a truck! He has money in the bank and knows how to budget, thanks to the financial literacy education he received as part of the Workforce
Development Program. Last year he got married. This year, he is looking forward to getting a new home for his family. He is happy and healthy! And something that is so very important to Ben, his family trusts him again.
He wants to give back to Connections Work, offering to speak with any of our clients, and help them see the benefits of the programs and services we offer.

Meet Ben - Success Story
Meet George - Success Story
Construction Workers


For more information, email:

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