Public-Private Collaboration Expands Construction Career Opportunities in Cleveland

Agreement aims to increase number of diverse and local residents working on Cleveland construction projects; facilitates construction career path for students at Max Hayes High School

The City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), union representatives and the private sector today signed a milestone collaboration agreement aimed at increasing the number of diverse and City of Cleveland residents working on Greater Cleveland construction projects and facilitating a construction career path for students at the CMSD's Max Hayes High School. The signing was held at the offices of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

According to Build Your Future's craft labor map, the craft professional demand through 2017 in the state of Ohio will be more than 167,000 craft professionals needed.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed March 10, 2015, was an update to the original agreement from February 2013. One of the goals of the amended agreement is to encourage private owners and developers of major projects to incorporate certain concepts, such as agreeing to pay prevailing wage, into their Community Benefits Agreements. All parties also have underscored their support for community benefit agreements as an important component of expanding the number of diverse and local workers. This consensus represents an investment in the city and the community, said Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC) Executive Secretary Dave Wondolowski

"Today, the hard work of collectively convincing developers to enter into these agreements begins. But the reality of it lies in the fact that, as a developer, you want to invest in Cleveland, then you will buy into community benefits because when the people of this great city do better, local businesses will thrive and that's real investment."

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The addition of prevailing wage is one of the desired outcomes of the Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the goals desired through Community Benefits. "We believe that true community benefits occur when there is equal access to opportunities, both for contracting and labor and that labor is paid at a good wage," said Brian Hall, executive director of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the GCP. 

In addition, the collaboration will also help Max Hayes High School develop a pre-apprenticeship program. This new relationship among the construction collaboration stakeholders aligns with Max Hayes'transformational goal to be among the country's top career tech schools. 

"I am particularly grateful for the full support of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC) for their full engagement in the development of the new programming at Max Hayes planned for the Fall of 2015 as part of The Cleveland Plan and our commitment to using the public's construction dollars in support of our own students and residents," said CMSD CEO Eric Gordon

Eight CBCTC member unions have agreed to partner with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

"I am happy our efforts led to an opportunity for Max Hayes students to enter the building trade apprenticeship program," said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson upon signing the agreement. 

Signers of the collaboration agreement are:

  • Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
  • Don Dreier, chairman, Construction Employers Association
  • Jose Feliciano, chairman, Hispanic Roundtable
  • William Gary, executive vice president, Cuyahoga Community College (for Tri-C President Alex Johnson)
  • Eric Gordon, CEO, CMSD
  • Marsha Mockabee, president and CEO, Urban League of Greater Cleveland
  • Terri Sandu, president, Hard-Hatted Women
  • Eddie Taylor, co-chair, Commission on Economic Inclusion
  • Dave Wondolowski, executive secretary, Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC)