Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast and summarized what the area building trades can expect in 2024.
Hager started the interview with an update on the Intel megaproject. He said the work is going great and they are still pouring concrete. There are over 800 craftspeople onsite, including Ironworkers, Cement Masons, Electricians, Pipefitters and more, he added.
A timeline for constructing the water treatment plant on-site and the support and office buildings will be announced at a later date, Hager said.
“It’s amazing how fast everything changes from week to week,” he said. “Not only the plant and site but the area around it changes so much.”
Hager said there’s an abundance of people doing area road work and interstate expansion, getting the roads ready for the 7,000 to 10,000 tradespeople who will be on-site regularly later this year.
Recently, Bechtel, the general contractor working on Intel, invited Hager to celebrate 1 million manhours worked without a lost time injury. While at the site, Hager noticed the diversity in the tradesmen and tradeswomen working on the site.
Eventually, the work on the project will get to the point where 1 million manhours will be worked in a single month, Hager added.
“According to my estimates, this year we will eclipse 10 million manhours, which will be the most in C/COBCTC history,” Hager said.
Hager told AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc that since he began his position as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the C/COBCTC 10 years ago, the manhours have more than doubled.
“We will work on getting the incredible pictures and videos taken of the work being done on the project on the C/COBCTC website so the public can see what we’ve been doing,” Hager said. “That will create more buzz and excitement for people who are underemployed or unemployed or students in high school who might want a career.”
Hager then shifted the conversation to the John Glenn Columbus International Airport.
According to Hager, the good news is that the Columbus Airport will build a new terminal. Right now, Columbus gets close to 13 million travelers a month, and that number will only go up when more megaprojects are completed.
The project has a price tag of $1.5 billion. Infrastructure improvements are estimated to cost about $500 million, bringing the project’s total cost to around $2 billion.
The bad news is that there is yet to be a Community Benefits Agreement in place. County commissioners, the mayor and others who believe the airport should be built under a CBA have written letters of support to Hensel Phelps, the construction manager of the project.
Hager ended his interview with a message encouraging people to get involved in the Primary Election that will take place on March 19.
“Our first priority is getting (U.S. Senator) Sherrod Brown reelected because no one works harder in the U.S. Senate for organized labor than him,” Hager said.
Listen to the whole interview here.