Columbus Testing Plan to Improve Apprenticeships, Local Hires

Construction of a new fire station in Columbus, Ohio, will test a new agreement aimed at increasing the number of local hires on the project and apprenticeship recruitment

The Columbus Dispatch

The “community-benefits agreement” between the city of Columbus, Ohio, and the Columbus Building & Construction Trades Council will cover work done on the city’s planned new fire station, which is scheduled to begin construction in May 2018.When the city solicits bids for the projects, contractors will have to account for the agreement, including requirements that 25% of the work be done by Franklin County and contiguous county residents and 20% of the work be done by Columbus residents.

In addition, the agreement requires the trades council to host apprenticeship recruitment fairs and charge its members 5 cents per hour worked, which will be deposited into a scholarship fund for apprenticeship programs.

Richard Hobbs, executive vice president of the Associated General Contractors of Ohio, says the association has a few concerns regarding the new agreement. He says the apprenticeship program could make bidding on city projects more complex for contractors and make it harder for the city to solicit competitive bids.

(more on the city of Columbus's new plan to boost the number of people pursuing trade apprenticeships...)