Building Trades, Features, Labor News Briefs, National

Columbus Expands Apprenticeships on City Construction Projects

November 6, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s administration has reached a deal with the Columbus Building & Construction Trades Council that it hopes will increase the number of people pursuing trade apprenticeships while guaranteeing metropolitan-area residents jobs on public construction projects.

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther

A community-benefits agreement announced Oct. 31 will cover work done on a new fire station scheduled to begin in May 2018. It establishes goals that 20% of the work should be done by city residents and 25% by residents of the adjacent counties, and requires the building-trades unions to host several apprenticeship-recruitment fairs and for union workers on the project to pay 5 cents an hour into a scholarship fund for apprenticeships. “I think the win for [the unions] is the opportunity to grow the building-trades workforce,” Ginther’s senior policy adviser, Bryan Clark, told the Columbus Dispatch. “The win for us is these are folks who have jobs for a lifetime.” “It’s going to create opportunities and pathways to the middle class for adults and members of the community here in the city of Columbus,” said Dorsey Hager, the trade council’s executive secretary-treasurer. Nonunion contractors have expressed concerns that the local-hiring rules would make the bidding process too complex.

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November 6, 2017

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