First Lady Jill Biden promotes Columbus ‘Workforce Hub’

First Lady Jill Biden spoke to local leaders in Columbus on July 12 to launch the Workforce Hub initiative.

A Workforce Hub is defined as a partnership between the Biden administration, local and state officials, employers, unions, community colleges, high schools and other stakeholders. 

Columbus was announced as one of five Workforce Hubs back in May. The goal of these hubs is to ensure a diverse and skilled workforce can meet the high demand of labor in the area. 

The Workforce Hubs go hand in hand with the Building Futures program, the 12-week program operated in partnership between the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council and Franklin County. 

The Building Futures program helps participants overcome barriers by teaching basic life skills while also preparing them for a career in the building trades.

“It’s a path – a way to build the lives we want,” Biden said, according to the official White House event transcript. “And everyone deserves the chance to do just that. Columbus and these hubs will be invaluable models for others, and I can’t wait to shine a light on what’s possible when we come together to invest in education and training.”

Columbus was chosen as a hub because of central Ohio’s growth in the semiconductor manufacturing, biotechnology, clean energy, high-performance computing and transportation industries. 

Intel, the Honda/LG Battery Plant and new datacenters for Facebook, Google and Amazon are all megaprojects that have created thousands of temporary and permanent jobs for union construction workers. 

H2: Highly skilled workers will be in high demand for a long time

Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the C/COBCTC Dorsey Hager has stated that at least 10,000 building trades members are still needed to meet the demand of the upcoming projects as the Baby Boomer generation continues to retire.  

As part of the Workforce Hub partnership, IBEW Local 683 announced it will expand its registered apprenticeship program from 600 to 1,000 over the next four years. 

Other building trades Local Unions are planning to expand their apprenticeship programs as well. 

Ironworkers Local 172 will increase its registered apprenticeship program from 150 to 250 in the next two years. Meanwhile, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 189, Sheet Metal Workers 24 and Roofers Local 86 are all planning to expand their training facilities.

For Ohio’s part, Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted secured $125 million in the state budget to expand innovation hubs across Ohio.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phone: (614) 221-7171
Fax: (614) 221-7172
939 Goodale Blvd., Suite 202
Columbus, OH 43212