Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building Constructions and Trades Council, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss Amazon’s recent announcement, local unions working to grow their workforce and the upcoming special election in August.
Amazon recently announced it will add another $7.8 billion investment in the Central Ohio region, bringing its total promised investment to approximately $10 billion.
Hager and the Building Trades Council’s local affiliated unions have been working non-stop to provide the skilled construction workers necessary to complete the growing list of projects scheduled in the area.
“There have been many area building trades unions who have or are in the process of making the changes needed to grow their membership,” Hager said.
Building Futures pipeline for local unions
Hager then told AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc about the efforts different local unions have been making to grow their workforce.
He also discussed the work done through the Building Futures program to develop a pipeline of new apprentices for the local unions.
“We’re getting more and more 18-year-olds who are coming right out of high school,” Hager said.
Hager added that a lot of parents are pushing their kids to get into the building trades because they believe it’s a good career.
“We’re also getting a lot of people who are in their early 30s and realized one day they either didn’t enjoy their careers or they see that a lot of folks in the building trades are making six figures on job sites and they are starting to see all the good incentives,” Hager said.
A lot of early 30-year-olds who recently joined left their jobs because it didn’t provide opportunities like a career in the building trades can offer, Hager added.
In June, the Ohio Supreme Court voted 4-3 to not block the August special election regarding State Issue 1.
August elections are known to be costly and the state of Ohio is going to spend anywhere between $15 million and $20 million dollars for Issue 1.
Hager, along with many others in the labor movement, is outraged by the proposed costs of the election.
The ballot issue proposes changing the way the state constitution is amended from a simple majority to 60 percent voter approval.
“Along with the increase, stipulations in the ballot issue would make gathering signatures to get an amendment on the ballot more difficult than ever before,” Hager said.
Hager believes making sure all affiliated members of the C/COBCTC are aware of what is at stake in the election is important.