BUD Program Graduates 10th Class

By on August 18, 2017

by Tom Finan, Executive Director, Construction Forum STL

The 10th cohort of the Building Union Diversity (BUD) program graduated in a ceremony at the AGC Construction Training Center last Wednesday (August 16).  There were 10 graduates in the class.

Dr. John Gaal, workforce and training director for the STL-KC Carpenters Regional Council noted the presence of two women graduates in this class and remarked that their presence appropriately reflected the diversity of the area’s population and the need for technically skilled workers of all stripes. He told the graduates that several of the trades have recently added the opportunity for apprentices to complete an associate degree to their programs. Gaal encouraged them to recruit their friends into the construction industry.

At an event last week at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park presenting State of the Workforce 2017 report it was stated that between 2014-2024, 48% of all job openings will be middle-skill (requiring high school and technical certification, but not a degree).

Video: Dr. John Gaal speaks to 10th graduating cohort of BUD

Current demand for middle-skill occupations is very high, with over 90,000 online job ads posted over the last year in the St. Louis MSA for middle-skill occupations. Nationally, the Center on Education and the Workforce (Georgetown University) just released a report which demonstrates there are 30 million good jobs for workers without a bachelor’s degree that have a median annual income of $55,000.

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

For participants who complete the program, finding a job that puts them on a 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.

Through BUD’s previous graduating cohort, 81% found work as apprentices. For information about members of the latest BUD class, or other information about BUD, contact Russ Signorino,  314.303.6082, or russ_signorino@yahoo.com.




About Tom Finan