BUD program graduates 13th class of pre-apprentices, ready to start good paying, skilled careers

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THE BUILDING UNION DIVERSITY (BUD) program graduated its 13th class of pre-apprentices recently. Celebrating their achievement are (front row from left) Missouri AFL-CIO Apprentice Coordinator Pat Dolan (president, Sprinkler Fitters Local 268) BUD graduates Anthony Hardy, Rodney Boyd, Anastasia Saunders and David Schuenemeyer, St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer John Stiffler, Russ Signorino, director of the BUD program at St. Louis Community College, and Charles Williams of the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE). In back are BUD graduates (from left) Alexander Aikens, Joseph McDonald, Jamar Simon, Jamar Thompson, Charles Ruffins, Eric Orozco.

By TIM ROWDEN

Editor

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.

ON-THE-SPOT INTERVIEWS

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.

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