BUD program now recruiting for the next class of 20 who want to work in the construction trades

BUD (Building Union Diversity) plays an essential role in helping find and train qualified young minorities and women interested in making the construction trades a career.

The highly successful minority recruitment program — BUD (Building Union Diversity) — a joint effort of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades, the Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council and the Carpenters’ District Council,  is now recruiting 20 participants for its fourth class to be launched in March.

To date BUD has helped 85 percent of its African-American, women and other minority participants earn apprenticeships, a placement rate considered one of the best, if not the best, in the nation, Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Aboussie reports.

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To enroll, interested persons need to go to the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), 1520 Market St., Room 3050, in downtown St. Louis to fill out an application and go through an assessment. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and able to pass a drug test.

The BUD program was designed by the St. Louis Building Trades Council to increase diversity within the construction trades for minorities, women and the long-term unemployed residents of the St. Louis region interested in pursuing one of many available careers in construction.

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The program has two phases:

  • First, to spend a week in each of the nine participating trades to see it first-hand so participants can determine the right trade for a career.
  • Second, once completing the nine-week program, there will be an opportunity for pre-apprenticeship training that will lead into a trade’s apprenticeship program.


Participating unions include Bricklayers Local 1, Carpenters District Council, IBEW Local 1, Iron Workers Local 396, Laborers District Council of Eastern Missouri, Operating Engineers Local 513, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, Insulators Local 1 and Sheet Metal Workers Local 36.

Eligible participants may be provided with work-related equipment and transportation to training sites.

“Our data proves the BUD program works,” said Aboussie. “When you can retain and place into apprenticeship programs 85 percent of participants it proves to be the way to recruit workers for the future. By allowing them the opportunity to explore various trades, it provides incentive for each individual to pick a trade they would love to have as a life-time career.”

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