Franklin County’s Innovative Pre-Apprenticeship Program Provides Ohioans a Pathway to the Middle Class Through Building & Construction Trades Careers

On Thursday, Oct. 11, the Central Ohio Building Trades welcomed 17 new apprentices to the Building Trades family during the Building Futures Graduation ceremony held at the Electrical Trades Center on Goodale Blvd. in Columbus.

The 12-week Building Futures program provides Franklin County residents who have faced barriers to employment with a pathway to the middle class through Building Trades careers. This is the second class of pre-apprentices to graduate from the pilot program. The next cohort begins Nov. 12.

Building Futures pre-apprenticeship students study trade-specific skills in electrical work, iron work, carpentry, painting, plumbing, and more. Building Trades graduates earn employment as apprentices in their chosen trades. Building Futures was developed through a

public-private partnership between the Columbus Building & Construction Trades Council, IMPACT Community Action, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, and the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services.

Speakers at the graduation included Dorsey Hagar, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus Building Trades Council; Kevin L. Boyce, President of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners; Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown; Bo Chilton, CEO of IMPACT Community Action; Joy L. Bivens, Director of Franklin County Dept. of Job and Family Services; Class Speaker Charles Starley; and Building Futures Alumnus Miguel Tucker.

Building Futures second graduating class.













Commissioner Boyce commended graduates for working towards “not just a job, but a career,” calling Building Trades apprenticeships “a way to change for your children, your family, yourself.”

The program reflects a shared goal of the Columbus Building Trades, Franklin County JFS, Impact, and the Franklin County Commissioners: that no family is left behind in the Columbus Region’s economic growth.

“This program (is) a priority because getting people into living-wage jobs with benefits is a priority in this community,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “Working with our partners in labor is a priority…because we know they can get things done.”

Miguel Tucker was among the first class of pre-apprentices to graduate into a Building Trades career through Building Futures. He encouraged new graduates to dedicate themselves to success in their new trades, and spoke of the tremendous impact the program has on the lives of Central Ohioans and their families.

“This program helps you overcome so many different obstacles,” said Tucker. “There are a lot of minorities, a lot of young kids who need this. I’m one of them. (People) look at me and say, “He’s been in the streets, and look at him now.’ That’s a proud thing to say. A lot of people don’t get to say that.”

“You all have a bright future. I’m proud of you all,” said Tucker, before introducing his “greatest teacher,” Dale Clark, President of the Sheet Metal Workers Local #24.

“You all can be right up here doing the same thing I’m doing,” said Clark, an apprenticeship educator and mentor. “You could be a president of a local, you could be a teacher at a local, you could be an organizer at a local.”

When you invest in someone’s life on a day-to-day basis, the impact is immeasurable, said Franklin Co. JFS Director Joy Bivens. She encouraged the new graduates to make the most of their careers by becoming mentors.

“Go into your neighborhood and show people this is an opportunity for a career. Find a young person, pull them back, walk with them, mentor them,” said Bivens. She stated that the program was vital to the success of some of the 20,000 young adults aged 16 to 24 in Franklin County without high school diplomas or GEDs.

“Enjoy this moment with your family, and brag. You have something to brag about: Your earning potential is going to be off the hook!” said Bivens.

ACT Ohio congratulates Building Futures graduates on their accomplishments and welcomes each new apprentice to the Ohio Building Trades family:

Curtis Crowley (Sheet Metal, Local 24)
Tariq Cooper (Sprinkler Fitters, Local 669)
Quinton Flippen (IBEW, Local 683)
Barshea Green (Carpenters, Local 200)
Thomas Gullet (IBEW, Local 683)
Latease Hicks (Sprinkler Fitters, Local 669)
Seth Kennimer (Sprinkler Fitters, Local 669)
Michael Lewis (Sheet Metal, Local 24)
Andre Lindsay (Sprinkler Fitters, Local 669)
Denzel McDougald (Carpenters, Local 200)
Samoid Reed (Sheet Metal, Local 24)
Gary Roberts (Insulators, Local 50)
Saidou Sow (pursuing degree at Columbus State Community College)
Charles Starley (Iron Workers)
Derf Suggs (Laborers, Local 423)
Greg Wood (Laborers, Local 423)
Joshua Yaus (Carpenters, Local 200)

Click here to learn more about apprenticeship opportunities, or call 614-228-5446 or email Kitty French at to learn more about pre-apprenticeship and career opportunities in Building Trades across Ohio.