Building Union Diversity program graduating 10th class Aug. 16

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Celebrating the completion of the ninth BUD program class are (from left): graduates Quindarryl Adams and Cornelius Tucker, St. Louis Community College Manager of College Workforce Solutions Jim Duane, graduates Bryan Ellitt and Cam Cockrell, and Missouri AFL-CIO Apprenticeship Coordinator and President of Sprinkler Fitters Local 268 Pat Dolan. Unable to attend the ceremony because they had already landed jobs were Shaun Jones and Martez Joseph. – Labor Tribune file photo

The St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council’s Building Union Diversity (BUD) program will graduate its 10th class of pre-apprentices Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 11:30 a.m. at the AGC Construction Training School at 6301 Knox Industrial Drive in St. Louis.

The BUD program was launched in 2014 to bring more minority and female workers into the union trades in a unique partnership of the Building & Construction Trades Council, the Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council and St. Louis-Kansas City Regional Carpenters Council, with funding help from the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) and the Missouri Division of Workforce Development.

Participants in the program also receive support from the United Way, to help with issues such as car repairs or other problems that may be preventing them from getting or keeping a job, and Metro, which provides bus passes for participants needing transportation.

For participants who complete the program, finding that job that puts them down the career path is key. BUD helps with that as well, putting participants in contact with union representatives who can direct them, and union contractors who can hire them.

Ten people participated in the most recent class, visiting the training programs of IBEW electricians, Carpenters, Cement Masons, Iron Workers and Floor Layers.

The graduation ceremony serves the dual purposes of recognizing the hard work the participants have put in to prepare themselves to work full-time as a union apprentice and to allow the participants an opportunity to meet and interview with representatives from local companies.

People interested in signing up for future BUD classes may contact SLATE at 314-657-3545.

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