The plan to recruit and fill skilled building trades jobs

Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, made his monthly appearance on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and talked about how there is an overwhelming need in the Columbus area to fill skilled jobs in the union building trades.

With the start of several megaprojects on the horizon, plus multiple other high-profile jobs underway, C/COBCTC affiliated Local Unions are looking for ways to increase their membership.

Dorsey Hager

Dorsey Hager, C/COBCTC Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Hager and AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc on Feb. 3 that many Locals are organizing workers from the private sector, especially the residential home building industry.

This method however creates a problem as Central Ohio needs more homes built. As the building trades continue to better the lives of those who build homes by organizing them into the trades, homebuilders struggle to find replacements to construct homes.

Central Ohio’s building trades unions prepare to increase membership

The multitude of high-profile projects in the Central Ohio region present an excellent opportunity for Local Unions to grow their numbers. Hager said that IBEW Local 683 increased its size by 500 members in 2022 and is now one of the fastest-growing IBEW Locals in the U.S.

The building trades are organizing non-union construction workers by explaining the benefits of Collective Bargaining Agreeements. Through CBAs, building trades members earn retirement and healthcare benefits, plus a good, living wage. Hager predicts there will be an overwhelming need for skilled tradespeople for the next 10 to 15 years.

AWF Host Ed Flash Ferenc

AWF Host Ed “Flash” Ferenc

The need for skilled workers

Affiliated C/COBCTC affiliated Local Unions are responding to the need to grow their ranks in various ways. Some have increased the frequency of accepting new apprenticeship applications, while others now take them year-round or on a rolling basis.

Some Locals have already increased their membership and are now expanding their training centers since larger training centers can accommodate a larger apprentice class.

Additionally, in Central Ohio, the Locals also rely on the Buliding Futures Program, an Apprenticeship Readiness Program that introduces members of the underserved community to careers in the building trades. Hager noted that 20 percent of Building Futures graduates are women, which is above the national average of 3 percent.

He also admitted that he would rather be looking for 9,000 people than 9,000 jobs.

Listen to the entire episode.

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