BUD program graduates 18th class of pre-apprentices

CELEBRATING their completion of the 18th class of the Building Union Diversity program and the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council’s pre-apprentice training program are (front row, from left) BUD graduate Ira Hamilton, St. Louis County Special Projects Coordinator and retired president of Sprinkler Fitters Local 268 Pat Dolan, BUD graduates Morgan Jones, Shamiya Henry, Tyrice Hardin, Tommy Parnell and Melissa Brooks, BUD Program Coordinator Russ Signorino, St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Executive Secretary-Treasurer John Stiffler. (Second row, from left) Mounir Hobson, Laura Fletcher, Rafael Yashizane, Amaad Harding, Jabari Aitch, Candace Johnson, Carpenters pre-apprentice graduate Mascio Whitfield. (Back row, from left) Alvin Butler, Carpenter’s pre-apprentice graduate Richard Williams, Sylvester Clerk, Orlando Carver and Carpenters pre-apprentice graduate Anthony Edmond. Not pictured is BUD graduate Atonya Cole, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to a family health emergency. – Labor Tribune photo

Congratulations to the 18th graduating class of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council’s Building Union Diversity program.

Six women and 10 men completed the five-week pre-apprenticeship, visiting the training programs of the Operating Engineers Local 513, Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1, Laborers, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, Iron Workers Local 396, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1 and Carpenters. A graduation ceremony was held Sept. 19 at the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Training Center in St. Louis.

In addition to the BUD participants, three graduates of the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council’s pre-apprentice training program were also recognized and presented with their certificates of completion.

The BUD program was started in 2014 in an effort to bring more women and minorities into the building trades.

In the five years since, 233 applicants have started and 214 have completed the program, BUD program coordinator Russ Signorino said. Eighty-four percent of those graduates are now working in the building and construction trades, he said.

Seventy-eight started and 72 completed the program in 2019.


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