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.