The Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council has hired Franklin County native Eli Wenzel as Program Director.
He most recently served as a Fundraiser and Events Director at Summit Strategies, a Columbus-based political consultancy, and served on the finance team for multiple statewide campaigns. In his role, Wenzel will work with the Building Futures program, using his experience in politics and policy to move the program forward.
C/COBCTC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager expressed excitement about the skills and background Wenzel has to offer.
“Eli Wenzel will make a tremendous addition to the team,” Hager said. “His understanding of building trades unions and their effect on helping members of the underserved community get on the direct path to the middle class will be an asset to the Building Futures program.
Wenzel is a 2020 graduate of McGill University and a 2022 graduate of Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where he obtained a Masters in Public Policy.
He worked as an intern in Washington, D.C., for the National Academy of Public Administration, the office of Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) and Winning Strategies Washington, which gave him significant experience related to his new position.
Building Futures is a 12-week program partnered between Franklin County and the C/COBCTC that teaches members of underserved communities life skills and basic construction skills in order to prepare them for a building trades apprenticeship.
Wenzel is passionate about the Building Futures program and is looking forward to creating opportunities for members of underserved communities in Franklin County.
“I am extremely excited to be a part of this incredible program and help it flourish,” Wenzel said. “Its history of success is a great credit to the wonderful people and partners who have worked hard to bring this program to this point.”
His duties as Program Director include the administration and management of Building Futures, promoting Building Futures to the community and elected officials and exploring possible expansion of the program.
He enters the position as the Central Ohio region remains in the midst of a construction boom. The area has nine megaprojects in different phases that range from just over $1 billion to $100 billion.
This has created a record demand for skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen to perform the work needed to build the infrastructure and these projects and all Columbus area building trades are planning to increase the number of apprentices they bring in every year.
Beyond the mega projects, there are many other large, medium and smaller projects that are expected to keep union construction crews busy for at least the next seven years.
“For many people in our local communities, Building Futures makes real the American promise that this is the land of opportunity,” Wenzel said.