By TIM ROWDEN
The St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council’s Building Union Diversity (BUD) program graduated its 13th class of pre-apprentices recently, setting 12 graduates on track for good paying careers in the building trades, with skills they’ll be able to keep for a lifetime.
The BUD program was launched in 2014 to bring more minority and female workers into the union trades in a partnership between the Building & Construction Trades Council, the Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council and the St. Louis-Kansas City Regional Carpenters, with funding from the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) and the Missouri Division of Workforce Development.
HOW IT WORKS
Local unions open their training centers for the pre-apprentices during the five- to eight-week program to give them basic training and a feel for each of the trades. United Way and Metro also help, providing participants with transportation and assistance with other needs that may be preventing them from getting or keeping a job.
During the recent five-week training, BUD participants visited the training programs of the Operating Engineers, IBEW, Carpenters, Floor Layers, Insulators, Plumbers & Pipefitters and Iron Workers.
Local contractors with job openings and union representatives attend every graduation ceremony, so graduates, armed with their new resumes, have an opportunity to interview on-the-spot, and after receiving their certificates, often leave signed up for an apprenticeship program and working in the industry.
Anyone interested in participating in a future BUD class should contact SLATE at (314) 657-3545.