Kelly Harrop, Communications and Outreach Director for the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, made her debut on the America’s Workforce Union Podcast, and discussed her candidacy to become a member of the Ohio State House of Representatives with AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc.
Harrop, like all other candidates for state house and senate seats, does not yet know the district for which she will ultimately seek office. At this stage, she is running for the third district, which currently includes most of Columbus. However, this could change as the exact area of the district has not been determined because the Ohio Supreme Court has yet to approve proposed state representative map.
Harrop is focusing her candidacy on a multi-prong, pro-union platform. She credited her background with the C/COBCTC for teaching her the value the building trades unions can provide, including a direct path to the middle class. She said she can help educate other legislators who do not understand what it means to be in a union.
Harrop said she is familiar with the community and its needs, and can serve the Columbus area by representing a trades union perspective.
Big tech brings job opportunities for the building trades
Discussion turned to the current Columbus construction boom and what it means for registered building trades apprenticeships programs and Local Unions. Columbus will soon become the tech capital of the Midwest, which will create amazing opportunities for young people, she said.
More needs to be done to educate guidance counselors, parents and young people about the incredible opportunities for members of the building trades in Central Ohio, she added.
Harrop also talked about the Building Futures and Driving Futures programs, which will play a role in manning some of these big jobs. Both programs provide members of the underserved communities a pathway to a middle class lifestyle by helping overcome career barriers and enter a registered construction apprenticeship program.
Listen to the entire interview: