SLATE Announces Plans To Increase Diversity Among Construction Apprentices

Pre-apprenticeship is seeking minorities, women and the long-term unemployed St. Louis residents interested in pursuing careers in construction.

September 24, 2014 | 2 min reading time

This article is 8 years old. It was published on September 24, 2014.


The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) and the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council announce the launching of an innovative program designed to increase diversity within the construction trades. The announcement will take place on Monday, October 6, at 3:15 p.m., at Associated General Contractors of St Louis, 6330 Knox Industrial Dr, St. Louis, MO 63139.

The program, Building Union Diversity (BUD), will provide pre-apprenticeship skills training for minorities, women and the long-term unemployed residents of the St. Louis region interested in pursuing one of many available careers in construction.

BUD will consist of comprehensive and intensive eight-week pre-apprenticeship skills training course, taught by nationally certified and industry approved specialists in state-of-the-art facilities. Participants will learn skills required for entering apprenticeship with participating BUD Construction trades. Eligible participants can be provided with work-related equipment, transportation to training sites, and a training stipend (upon completion of the program).

The pilot class starts on Monday, October 6, 2014 and will be limited to 15 eligible applicants. To qualify, participants must be:

·18 years of age or older;

·Laid off or long-term unemployed;

·Able to pass a drug test.

To enroll, interested individuals:

·Must come to SLATE, 1520 Market St., 3rd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63103, Monday –Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

·Complete an application and assessment.

SLATE recommends parking at Kiel Center Garage, situated immediately behind our building, at the corner of Clark &16th. Fees: $1 per hour.

BUD program will bring together a comprehensive network of participating joint labor-management Construction Skills training providers, SLATE, the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, and the Missouri Division of Workforce Development (DWD).

"Too many young people do not have a job and many of them don't have the skills to get a job," said Mayor Francis Slay. "This initiative is a step in the right direction in addressing the underlying causes of racial economic disparities. Helping more minorities secure stable employment in a union job will help strengthen our communities."

John Gaal, the Director of Training and Workforce Development at the Carpenters Union, stated that the BUD initiative will strive to increase the overall proportion of minorities employed in construction by creating a pool of trained and motivated graduates. After successful completion of BUD, participants will be armed with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the challenges of an increasingly robust industry and remain successful for many years to come.

Michael Holmes, the Director of SLATE, said: "This effort goes beyond most industry/government partnerships, regionally or nationally. Bringing labor-directed construction skills training centers across the St. Louis region into our communities will assist industry with meeting its labor demands while placing motivated individuals in highly skilled middle income careers."

Jeff Aboussie, Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the St. Louis Construction Trades Council, said that a number of contractors and construction companies owners have already expressed overwhelming support for the program, noting that several have already pledged to employ successful graduates from the pilot.

The training will include both classroom and shop training, and participants will earn national skills certifications and certificates as they progress through the training. Participating union apprenticeship training program providers include Brick layers, Carpenters, IBEW Local 1 Electrical Workers, Iron Workers, L.I.U.N.A. Construction Craft Laborers, Operating Engineers Local 513, and Plumbers &Pipefitters Local 562.

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