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Hiring Agreement Calls For More Local Workers, Apprenticeship Programs

Under the Community Benefits Agreement, at least 20 percent of the workers building a new Far East Side fire station would live in Columbus.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther’s administration is testing a new arrangement with a construction union to use more local workers to build a new fire station.

The mayor’s office says the Community Benefits Agreement is the first of its kind in the city’s history. The goal is to have Fire Station 35 on Waggoner Road on the Far East Side be built with at least 20 percent of laborers living in Columbus.

The plan also set hiring goals for workers in the rest of Franklin County, at 25 percent.

It also calls for a local construction union, the Columbus Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO, to charge members 5 cents per worked hour, and put that money into a scholarship funds for apprenticeship programs. The city says it will match that money and kick in another $50,000.

“The building trades have been leading the charge to expand the number of skilled craftspeople in central Ohio and diversification of our workforce," said Dorsey Hager, of the CBCTC, in a statement. "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.” 

According to a press release, the Community Benefits Agreement requires the implementation of diversity and inclusion plans to increase opportunities for minorities, women and low-income residents. 

Work on the fire station is set to begin next spring.