Building trades unions working to alleviate shortage of skilled workers

Local Unions and District Councils affiliated with the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council are working to alleviate what some contractors describe as a lack of skilled workers.

The Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate recently released a report about the industry’s labor supply, which found 79 percent of construction firms surveyed want to increase their payrolls in 2019, but roughly the same number have concerns about the ability to hire qualified and trained workers.

In Ohio, 67 percent of the AGC affiliated contractors who responded to the AGC survey indicated they are a union shop or use mostly union construction workers.

For nearly nine of 10 Ohio AGC construction firms, finding skilled workers is a problem, as 88 percent of contractors reported having a hard time filing positions. Just over a third, 38 percent, said it will become harder for them to hire new craftsmen.

Dorsey Hager

Dorsey Hager, C/COBCTC Executive Secretary-Treasurer

During his January appearance on America’s Workforce Radio, Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council acknowledged a need for additional tradesmen and tradeswomen, but said there is enough manpower in the region to complete all projects on time.

The C/COBCTC is committed to recruiting the next generation of journeymen and work with a number of governmental entities, including the City of Columbus, Columbus City Schools and Franklin County to help educate students, their parents and potential apprentices on the many benefits of a building trades apprenticeship.

Representatives from the C/COBCTC will be on-hand at the Fort Hayes Career Fair, scheduled for Jan. 31, from 4 to 7 p.m., to promote the trades and give participants the opportunity to try a hands-on demonstration of certain crafts.

The Columbus/Central Ohio Building Trades have put a greater emphasis on recruiting the next generation of union construction workers to replace the retiring Baby Boomer generation. This includes the creation of the Building Futures program, which seeks to recruit members of underserved communities into the trades.

Our affiliated unions remain committed to adding new members, regardless of race or gender, who can meet entry-level apprenticeship requirements.

Click here to learn more about becoming an apprentice with one of our affiliated unions.

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