St. Louis construction unions pool $1 million to stimulate homebuilding


Union-Homebuilding-PartnershipProgram offering $2,000 – $10,000 in homeowner incentives

For only the fourth time in the history of homebuilding in the United States, six St. Louis unions involved in building homes have created a $1 million pool to help homebuyers’ purchase 100 percent union-built homes. The St. Louis Union Homebuilding Partnership is unique to St. Louis.

The program that runs only through April features:

  • Cash incentives ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. to be used at closing for anything the homeowner desires, including major upgrades like finishing a basement, a brick front, different flooring, etc. The specific incentive amount is based on the home’s final cost.
  • 100 percent union-built homes, no exceptions.
  • Cash can also be used to reduce an interest rate or cover closing costs.
  • Availability in only the Missouri communities of the six participating homebuilders.
  • First come, first served until the $1 million is exhausted.
  • A commitment by participating homebuilders that they will ensure all work on all their homes is 100 percent union for a full year. In the past a participating builder, on rare occasion, had used a non-union subcontractor after the incentive program had ended.

The first of this unique partnership – “Neighborhoods Built by Your Neighbors” – was launched in 2011.


Participating unions are International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1, SMART Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, Cement Masons Local 527, the Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council and the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council.

The contribution from each union is based on the number of hours each trade has in building the home. The actual dollars will come from either from the local’s treasury, their local or national market recovery programs, or from their industry market recovery programs.

Participating homebuilders are Bridgewater Communities, Fischer & Frichtel, McBride & Son Homes, McKelvey Homes, Payne Family Homes and Simon Homes. The builders have committed an additional $100,000 to market the program over and above their normal marketing dollars.

‘WIN-WIN’ for consumers, workers, builders

“The program is a ‘win-win’ for construction workers and consumers alike, designed to put union tradesmen back to work, give consumers a great deal on a new home they’ve been thinking about purchasing and dramatically stimulating the St. Louis economy,” said David Zimmermann, business manager of SMART Sheet Metal Workers Local 36. “It’s the deal of a lifetime!”

Added John O’Mara, business manager, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562: “Based on an average incentive of $5,000, estimates are that we’ll build 240 additional homes which will provide 329,000 manhours of work for all our trades; that’s the equivalent of 163 full-time union jobs for a full year.”


“This program is a testament to the relationship between St. Louis’ leading home builders and its union partners,” said John F. Eilermann Jr., chairman and CEO, McBride & Son Companies (owned by its employees).

“And most importantly,” Eilermann added, “It shows that working together is the best way to stimulate our local economy and get experienced, talented trades men and women back to work doing what they do best, building quality homes, fulfilling our program’s theme, ‘Working Together to Keep St. Louis Working.’”


“It’s real cash for use at closing and it’s in addition to St. Louis Union Homebuilding Partnership builder’s best deal,” stated Jim Brennan, McKelvey Homes. “It’s really an amazing deal for buyers.”

“Our local unions are truly putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to keeping people working,” said Ken Kruse, president, Payne Family Homes. “They have committed nearly $1 million in cash for use at closing to home buyers. That really says a lot.”

Added John Fischer, Fischer & Frichtel Homes: “This program is about neighbors coming together to make a difference. That fact is when Union trades people are working they are buying other goods and services and the economy grows.”


Barry Simon, Simon Homes agreed, “It is a great testament to the ‘can do’ spirit in St. Louis homebuilding. We are excited to be a part of it.”

Bridgewater Communities President Tim Miller agreed: “We are proud to be a part of this program and giving an unprecedented deal for buyers.”

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