Last week, the Columbus/Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council hosted a veterans career fair. The fair aimed to educate attendees about the numerous career opportunities with the trades in Central Ohio. Representatives from various local building trades apprenticeship programs attended and eagerly shared information about their crafts. Crafts in attendance included: Bricklayers, Electricians, Glaziers, Laborers, Painters, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Sheet Metal Workers.

The building trades are particularly interested in recruiting veterans, because of the great skills learned while serving our country. The program Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) is aimed at veteran recruitment and retention. H2H helps to achieve this through a grant, which provides veterans entering an apprenticeship program the necessary supplies/tools, work boots, and stipend to guarantee achievement.

Barry Hubbard, a veteran and instructor in the Painters District Council 6 apprenticeship program is proud to help veterans learn a new trade. He commented, “Anything we can do to help our veterans”.

Some apprenticeship programs are also able to offer preparatory training. Through a pilot grant program, the electrical apprenticeship program offers remedial training prior to the beginning of the traditional coursework. This training allows people who have been out of school for a while to brush up on math, and other skills they need as an electrical apprentice.

“It prepares them to ensure success in our program,” said Julie Maciejewski who is the Outreach Coordinator for the Electrical Trades Center.

Apprenticeship programs provide on the job training coupled with classroom instruction. The training centers are state of the art, and use cutting edge technologies.

Additionally, these programs allow students to earn while they learn, and to graduate debt free. Most programs work with a local community college, so that apprentices earn college credit and will finish the program with an associate’s degree, at no expense to them. It is a great way to learn a trade that will support a family.

Most programs range from 3-5 years, offering pay and benefits during this time. All ages are welcome to apply.