Union News

ULA Network Interview with James (Shoppy) Foster Carpentry Instructor William Grady HS NY DOE

Feb 13, 2024

Thank you to Jim (Shoppy) Foster Carpentry Instructor at William Grady High School with the NY Department of Education.  Thank you for sharing your story and experience with the ULA Network, and for providing us with an overview of the LevelUp program and few photos of your students work. James has carved a path of excellence in both education and advocacy that simply cannot be ignored. Recently honored with the prestigious Flag award for teaching excellence and recognized as a Big Apple nominee by the Department of Education,

James's commitment to education knows no bounds. But his impact extends far beyond the classroom walls.Through his initiative with, "Level-Up," James is transforming lives and reshaping futures. By providing incarcerated individuals with a pathway to early work release and job placement, James is not only breaking cycles of incarceration but also opening doors of opportunity that were once thought to be closed indefinitely. His collaboration with the Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorney offices, along with the courts, stands as a testament to his unwavering dedication to justice and rehabilitation.But James's influence doesn't stop there.

As a union carpenter with over two decades of experience, he has been a tireless advocate for his fellow workers, serving as a union representative for the UFT and delegate for the NYC DCC. His passion for the trades and unwavering belief in the power of unions to uplift and empower workers has earned him the respect and admiration of all who know him.As he continues to expand the reach of the "Level-Up" program, James's vision knows no bounds. His tireless efforts to spread a message of opportunity and encouragement serve as a guiding light for us all.

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