Building Futures graduates prepare for new opportunities

On Nov. 29, the most recent Building Futures program cohort graduated in front of their families, friends and Local Unions affiliated with the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 189 Union Hall. 

The event honored the accomplishments of the 19 graduates who are ready to begin careers in the union construction industry as new building trades apprentices. 

The award-winning program provides members of underserved communities with life skills and teaches them basic construction skills to prepare them for a building trades apprenticeship. 

The 12-week program is a partnership between Franklin County and the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.  

Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of C/COBCTC, served as the master of ceremonies and opened the celebration by talking about the importance of Apprenticeship Readiness Programs, like Building Futures.

He also explained how the graduates will play a role in helping build the region amidst the Central Ohio building boom. 

Building Futures graduates will be in high demand and be needed on projects like Intel, Facebook and Amazon. 

Multiple other speakers including Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady, Deputy County Administrator Joy Bivens and Columbus City Councilman Emmanuel Remy reiterated the program’s crucial role of providing individuals with the tools necessary to embark on a successful career in the construction industry. 

The speakers not only emphasized the program’s role in empowering individuals but also challenged the graduates to not settle and always strive for more. 

Sara Butler, a past Building Futures graduate and current member of IBEW Local 683, expressed her appreciation for the program and the difference it made in her life. 

“I am truly thankful for the opportunities that the Building Futures Program has provided for me,” she said. 

After the speeches, Leland Bass, CEO of Creating Central Ohio Futures, handed out certificates of completion and Eli Wenzel, Building Futures Program Director, closed out the ceremony by recapping the cohort’s accomplishments. 

“This is the first class that I have been with from start to finish, and I am amazed by what everyone has accomplished,” Wenzel said. 

Wenzel highlighted the program’s focus on guiding participants through a transformative process as they initiate their journey toward achieving a middle-class lifestyle.

After graduating from the program, participants are provided a direct pathway into a registered apprenticeship program, securing a future in the region’s booming construction industry. 

No experience is required as the program is designed for unemployed individuals. Individuals who wish to participate in the Building Futures program must express an interest in a building trades career, possess the physical ability to perform the work, pass a drug test and have stellar attendance. 

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