Columbus Emphasizing Apprenticeships

October 31, 2017
Columbus plan specifies 20 percent of work on its firehouse would be done by Columbus residents.

In an agreement between the city of Columbus, Ohio, and the Columbus Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO, contractor bids to build the city's new $8 million fire station will include consenting to work within the specifications of Mayor Andrew Ginther's community benefits plan.

The plan establishes goals specifying 25 percent of work on the firehouse would be done by residents of Franklin County and surrounding counties, and 20 percent of the work would be done by Columbus residents.

In addition, the Columbus Building & Construction Trades Council will be required to sponsor three apprenticeship recruitment events, and also charge council members 5 cents per hour worked to be put towards a scholarship fund for apprenticeship costs such as tools, transportation and books. The city plans to seed that fund with about $50,000.

The agreement also will require unions to have written plans for diversity and hiring and retaining Columbus residents, and to work with organizations that provide job placement for “displaced workers.”

Work on the firehouse project is scheduled to begin in May 2018, and while no contractor has been selected yet,  Ginther’s senior policy adviser, Bryan Clark, said “You don’t have to be a union shop to get this job.”

National Apprenticeship Week - November 13-19

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced that the third annual National Apprenticeship Week will be held November 13-19, 2017. Apprenticeships provide demand-driven education, allowing apprentices to earn while they learn – helping to close the skills gap between the skills job creators seek and job seekers need.

“National Apprenticeship Week provides an opportunity to put a spotlight on how apprenticeships can help Americans learn the skills they need for success in today’s workplace. By increasing the number of apprenticeships, more Americans will be on the path to family-sustaining jobs,” said Secretary Acosta.

National Apprenticeship Week is a nationwide opportunity for companies, trade and industry groups, nonprofit organizations, unions, labor-management organizations, and educational institutions to highlight how apprenticeships prepare American workers for the jobs of today and the future. Events and activities include: apprenticeship program open houses, skills competitions, community forums, apprentice graduations, business open houses, high school or college career fairs, apprenticeship signing days, industry roundtable events, and more. 

Earlier this month, Secretary Acosta announced members of the President's Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. The members of the Task Force – which represents companies, labor unions, trade and industry groups, and educational institutions – will identify strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships. In a notice on the Federal Register’s website, the Department of Labor announced the initial meeting of the Task Force will be held at the Department’s Frances Perkins Building in Washington on Nov. 13, 2017. 

To learn more, and to register your event for inclusion in a national listing of National Apprenticeship Week events, please visit:

image: PAT Institute