Dorsey Hager reflects on 2023 and looks forward to 2024 on AWF

Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Constructions Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to look back on the work done in 2023 and what will be done in 2024.

Dorsey Hager

Dorsey Hager, C/COBCTC Executive Secretary-Treasurer

2023 was a big year for C/COBCTC-affiliated local unions. The progress on the Intel project and the White House naming Columbus as one of five workforce hubs was huge for Columbus and Central Ohio. 

Hager said he has regular conversations with the White House to discuss funding, and what they’re doing for apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to help facilitate and train the next generation of construction workers. This is needed to not only to build the Intel plant but to do everything on the Intel campus to support the first $20 billion fab. 

Hager then updated AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc about the status of various projects going into 2024. 

Microsoft, Amazon, DBT, Google and Facebook will all be either investing in their existing datacenters or building new datacenters in Central Ohio. 

The Ohio State Medical Building will be completed by the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025. 

“Absentee rates are incredibly low and production is incredibly high,” Hager said about the work being done on the OSU Medical Building. 

Work is well underway on Honda’s Electric Vehicle Plant. The $4.5 billion project is being done under a Project Labor Agreement and is currently on time and under budget. 

Construction workers will break ground on a new hockey rink for the OSU Women’s Ice Hockey team in early 2024.

Infrastructure work such as widening roads and freeways to handle expanded traffic will begin in 2024 to support the Intel project. 

Hager said these projects will not only keep C/COBCTC affiliated construction workers busy, it will also attract more people to move to Columbus and Central Ohio.

“I predict 2024 will be busier than 2023,” Hager said. “When I took over this job in 2014 we were at 4.3 million manhours, in 2022 we had 9.6 million manhours, I’m excited to see what 2023 brings us to by the end of the year.”

America's Workforce Radio Host Ed "Flash" Ferenc

America’s Workforce Radio Host Ed “Flash” Ferenc

H2: Success in Central Ohio

Hager also discussed how he credits the success of the C/COBCTC to the relationships he’s built with JobsOhio and One Columbus, the economic development arms of the state of Ohio.  

“I have weekly conversations about manhours, apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships and what else we need to do to meet the needs of our community,” Hager said. 

Hager said Central Ohio has the people to do the work needed for projects and they accurately reflect the community in which work is done. 

The Southern Nevada Building Trades Council recently landed a project under a Project Labor Agreement and invited Hager to come speak about Building Futures and what the C/COBCTC does to be successful so they can duplicate the process.

“There is a lot of good activity in Columbus, but it takes effort and energy and belief in what we’re doing, and that is why we are successful,” Hager said. 

H2: Wrapping up 2023

The Building Futures program recently had its last graduation of the year. All 19 graduates have been placed with a C/COBCTC-affiliated Local Union and some are already working on job sites. 

Seven graduates – three electricians and four pipe fitters – were the first of many to be placed at Intel. They will be seven of the 10,000 construction workers on site over the next 12 to 16 months. 

On Nov. 28, Hollywood Casino Columbus broke ground on its $100 million hotel expansion project. 

C/COBCTC affiliated members built the Hollywood Casino, which opened in 2012, and they are grateful for another chance to work with Penn Entertainment. 

“With 180 rooms, a full-service bar, a restaurant and conference and meeting rooms, the Hollywood Casino Columbus Hotel will be a great location to hold conferences and events,” Hager said. 

Listen to the whole interview here.

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