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Columbus Building and Construction Trades Council Helps Put Central Ohioans Back to Work

More than 100 people attended the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council free job fair on June 29. Dorsey Hager, the Council’s Executive Secretary/Treasurer, estimated that 90% of attendees were veterans.


“Franklin County has 68,000 military veterans,” said Hager. “These men and women are hard workers with great training. It’s a great match.”


Hager worked with Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor to host the event. "I truly appreciate the efforts of Recorder Danny O'Connor and his office partnering with the Building Trades to help put Vets on a ‘path to the middle class,’” said Hager.  “His staff and the staff at our event host IBEW 683 worked hard to make the event a success."


Representatives from 15 local construction crafts were on hand, recruiting job seekers into their apprenticeship programs. Rob Gartner, Training Coordinator of the Columbus Sheet Metal Workers, was very pleased with the turnout. “This job fair gave me the opportunity to spend quality time with folks who were genuinely interested in our program,” he said. Gartner will follow up with seven applicants from the event to help them take the next steps.


“There are jobs right here in Columbus that pay good money and offer great benefits,” Hager said. “We need to get those jobs filled in order for Central Ohio to keep growing.”

UA Local 168 Opens Training Center Addition

On May 12, The United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 168 officially cut the ribbon to open a state-of-the-art addition to their training center. 


The new $1 million plus expansion houses 22 welding booths with the latest equipment, which will help the area keep up with a growing demand for skilled welders.


Training Coordinator Jeff Smith was proud to show off the work of his fifth year apprentice class – new signage in front of the training center. The sign was created entirely by the fifth-year apprentices during their Construction Project Management Class. 


“The fifth years did everything for this sign, from conception, to design, to engineering, to permitting, to bidding, inspection, and fabrication,” said Smith. 


Fifth year apprentice Mark Sampson was grateful for the experience – an eight-month project, from beginning to end. 


“It was eye-opening to realize how much work goes into the project before you can even start fabrication,” he said.


The Training Center hosted local and state officials for the opening. “Economic development depends on workforce development,” said Ohio Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville), while presenting a proclamation to Smith and the center. 


Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews agreed. 
“Union members are the best-trained,” he said. “I always have and always will support local union labor.”



Community Job Fair to be Held at Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council

On June 29, the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council will host a free job fair for all community members. The event will be held at the organization’s offices, located at 947 Goodale Blvd., from 3 pm – 7 pm.


The Building Trades offer meaningful careers with competitive wages, healthcare, and retirement benefits. Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary/Treasurer at Columbus/Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council, is passionate about getting qualified candidates into construction jobs.


“The Central Ohio Building Trades have an enormous need for men and women who understand hard work, reliability, and honesty,” said Hager. “There are jobs right here in Columbus that pay good money and offer great benefits,” he continued, “We need to get those jobs filled in order for Central Ohio to keep growing.”


Veterans are always encouraged to apply. “Franklin County has 68,000 military veterans,” said Hager. “These men and women are hard workers with great training. It’s a great match.”


Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the 15 Building Trades that will be represented at the event. The Columbus/Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council is partnering with Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor to host the job fair. Refreshments will be provided. 


For more information, contact Dorsey HagerExecutive Secretary-Treasurer at Columbus/Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council(614) 221-7171columbusbuildingtrades@gmail.com


The Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council represents more than 18,000 workers from 19 affiliated Local unions and District Councils. The organization works to harmoniously promote the region’s construction trades, to protect the interest of the union construction industry, and to advocate for a healthy labor-management relationship between employers and employees in the building and construction industry.



ACT Ohio Tracking Budget and Other Important Legislation

By Matt Szollosi, ACT Ohio Executive Director

The Ohio Constitution requires the Governor and the Legislature to pass a balanced Operating Budget every two years. We are immersed in that process right now.”


The budget bill has become a “Christmas Tree” of sorts – if you want something passed into law, get it into the budget! As such, the bill has grown to exceed 6,000 pages, and over $60 billion in value.”


It’s also where a lot of deals get cut, and traditionally where labor is most vulnerable. In years past, we’ve faced prevailing wage repeal, bans on project labor agreements, and other such nonsensical ABC-backed initiatives inserted into the budget.”


Governor Kasich introduced his budget bill in February with no adverse language for the Building Trades. More recently, the Ohio House of Representatives passed its version with no harmful language as well. So far, so good.


The budget bill is now in the Senate for consideration, and is likely to pass during the third week of June. The last week of June will be set aside for the Conference Committee, a committee comprised of leaders from the House and Senate, whose job is to work out any differences between the House and Senate passed versions of the budget. 


The Conference Committee is the last – and biggest – hurdle to clear. We will keep working to ensure the interests of the construction industry are considered.


Prevailing Wage under attack
ACT Ohio is vehemently opposed to SB 72 and HB 163, identical bills that would make prevailing wage optional for villages, townships, cities, counties, universities, and specialty districts. 


Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) recently testified that local communities could expect a nine percent to 37 percent savings on project costs if Prevailing Wage were repealed. Rep. Craig Riedel (R-Defiance) testified that there is absolutely no difference in quality or safety between union and non-union construction workers.


Our focus right now is two-fold: Keeping this out of the budget and educating legislators as to the falsehoods regarding the sponsors’ positions. 


So far, our message has been well-received by our friends on both sides of the aisle in Columbus. Many thanks to our affiliates, industry partners, and construction coalition representatives, all of whom are unified against these bills.


Unemployment Compensation
Meetings with the work-group assembled by the Speaker and Senate President to find a better solution for the state’s Unemployment Compensation are continuing, but little progress has been made. 


I, along with Legislative Director Mark Totman (Operating Engineers Local 18), and President Tim Burga (Ohio AFL-CIO), have been involved in the process. Business groups on the workforce are pushing for deep benefit cuts for workers, which we have adamantly opposed.


Tracking other bills of note
ACT Ohio is closely tracking bills involving energy production, commercial roofing license requirements, welding certification legislation, third party building inspection allowance, and model elevator requirements.


The Executive Board and our affiliates deserve tremendous credit for making wise political decisions in recent years. By investing in building a strong bi-partisan majority in the Legislature, and by forging a strong relationship with Governor Kasich, our industry has avoided the destruction visited upon the trades in neighboring states.




Ohio Building Trades Have a Long Tradition of Apprenticeship Success

On June 15, the President signed an Executive Order “Expanding Apprenticeships in America” (EO 13801), stating “It shall be the policy of the Federal Government to provide more affordable pathways to secure, high-paying jobs by promoting apprenticeships and effective workforce development programs.”

The Building Trades are leaders in providing workforce development through apprenticeships – a model that has proven successful for over 100 years. In a memo accompanying EO 13801, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said “In the United States, apprenticeships have languished for decades – except in construction trades, where they have remained strong.”

With the Administration focused on infrastructure, the Building Trades – and their apprenticeship programs – are integral to moving the country, and the President’s agenda, forward. Among construction apprentices in the US, 75% are trained in the joint apprentice training committee (JATC) system, which the Building Trades operate in cooperation with their contractor partners. 

Ohio is home to more than 80 Building Trades Apprenticeship Programs, providing free training to the next generation of skilled workers.

Apprentices earn competitive wages, retirement benefits, and employer-sponsored healthcare while learning their craft. 

Each program includes at least 2,000 hours of structured on-the-job training and 144 hours per year of related classroom instruction.

Classroom hours allow apprentices to work toward their degree at no cost to them, or to taxpayers. 

"At a time when there is grave concern about the shortage of skilled construction workers, the Ohio Building Trades are investing heavily in their Apprenticeship Programs," said Matthew A. Szollosi, Executive Director at ACT Ohio. “Ohio’s 137 local affiliates and 14,000+ signatory contractors invested over $48 million in training in 2016 alone – all private funds.”

ACT Ohio supports the President’s Executive action to support and expand apprenticeships throughout the United States, and welcomes tours of Ohio’s Building Trades Apprentice Program facilities. For more information, or to arrange a tour, contact Chris Zimmer at czimmer@actohio.org or 614-228-5446.