Building Futures Expansion

New Programs that are changing the construction workforce

Building Futures is an award-winning workforce development program that equips underserved individuals with life skills and basic construction knowledge to prepare them for a building trades apprenticeship. Participants complete a 12-week program where they learn about union construction trades and review key concepts such as financial literacy, conflict resolution, math, and reading.  The Columbus Building Futures program currently totes a 90% graduate and placement rate with local contractors.  

The program aims to introduce participants to the trades and prepare them to enter and stay in the middle class through financial education, basic soft skills, and wrap-around services that keep them on their feet and on the job if financial or legal conflicts arise.   

This program has been highly successful in Columbus for participants and local contractors. The Building Futures program targets diverse populations who have been serially unemployed or underemployed with extremely low wages. The Building Future’s program offers these individuals the chance for a middle-class lifestyle and a lifelong career in the trades. Contractors benefit from this initiative by having consistent access to new and diverse workforce candidates ready to take on apprenticeships and start a lasting construction trade career.   

Interested in brining Build Future’s to your area?

Building Futures was piloted in Columbus, but can be taken and adapted in any major city. The program’s co-creator, Dorsey Hager, explains, “The funding out there, in fact, we have to turn down funding every day, the real difficulty is getting started, applying for local grants, and recruiting instructors and local participants.” However, once a program begins rolling, its success is hard to stop. Already, Cleveland has started a similar program, and Cincinnati is beginning to look into funding its own funding sources. To learn more about the program, visit the Columbus Building Trades website here.