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Robin Davis
Director of Media Relations
614.645.2425
rcdavis@columbus.gov

Melanie Crabill
Communications Manager
614.645.5300
mjcrabill@columbus.gov

Media advisory
News Date: October 31, 2017

Mayor Ginther and Building-Construction Unions Sign Community Benefits Agreement

Today, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and members of the building construction unions signed a Community Benefits Agreement covering the construction of Fire Station 35 on the Far East Side. The agreement, the first of its kind in the history of Columbus, enhances cooperation between workers and the city, eliminating risks of delays and disruption to the project because of labor disputes; guarantees local workforce for a percentage of the project; and offers benefits for the community, such as apprenticeships, focused job recruitment and diversity and inclusion plans. 

“This agreement includes many ‘firsts’ for our city, all built on my commitment to expanding Columbus’ success to every person in every neighborhood,” said Mayor Ginther.  “I applaud our local labor unions for standing with me and the community in this effort.”

“This Community Benefits Agreement represents an enormous opportunity for both the Building Trades and the city,” said Dorsey Hager, executive secretary-treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council. “The building trades have been leading the charge to expand the number of skilled craftspeople in central Ohio and diversification of our workforce. This partnership will provide the city with highly trained, local, skilled journeymen and women who will complete this project on time and on budget while creating career opportunities in the building trades.” 

This agreement sets local workforce goals of 25 percent for Franklin County and 20 percent for the City of Columbus.

The Community Benefits Agreement includes provisions that increase apprenticeship opportunities and recruitment plans geared toward minorities, women and low-income residents. It also recognizes that, historically, women and people of color have not been well-represented in the trades. To address that issue, each union signing this agreement will create and implement diversity and inclusion plans that are specific and measurable.

“We believe the Community Benefits Agreement is historic and a great first step to cultivate a culture of greater inclusion of African-Americans in the building trades,” said Nana Watson, President, Columbus Branch of the NAACP. “We congratulate the City of Columbus for responding to the need to construct an agreement.”

The agreement establishes the formation of the Community and Workforce Committee made up of representatives from the Columbus Building Construction Trades Council, the City of Columbus and organizations, such as the NAACP, dedicated to the advancement of minorities, women and low-income residents. 

The Community Benefits Agreement also establishes a Columbus Building Construction Trades Community Benefits Fund to support the mission of the committee and to offer scholarships for Columbus residents enrolled in apprenticeship programs. 

Five cents for every hour from every employee who works on this job will go into this fund. The City of Columbus will seed this fund with $50,000. The city will also match the contributions made by the employees, dollar-for-dollar.

The City of Columbus also announced today a contribution of $166,500 to Columbus City Schools for its middle school and high school building construction classes. The funds will be used for tool and safety kits, as well as materials for the construction classrooms.

The Community Benefits Agreement is a pilot initiative. The committee will be able to evaluate and adjust for future agreements.