Civic Leaders, Labor Reps, and Educators Sign "Historic" Construction Agreement

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More than a dozen parties – including the City of Cleveland, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, and Hard Hatted Women – signed on to endorse the Memorandum of Understanding. It will create a construction apprenticeship at Max Hayes High School, as well as other schools over time.

Chris Nance is Director of Construction Diversity and Inclusion for the Greater Cleveland Partnership. He says there are several reasons why this agreement is vital and timely:

“We have the retirement of workers…the average age of building trade workers are nearing 55 and over…the training period for new apprentices is a 3 to 5 year period of time,” says Nance. “So there’s both the need for replacement workers as well as taking advantage of making sure that the people of the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have job opportunities.”

The MOU also sets up workforce reporting, to track the stats of women, minorities, and low-income people working on major construction projects.

Among those signing the MOU is Jose Feliciano, Chairman of the Hispanic Roundtable. He says with Hispanics making up 10 percent of Cleveland’s population, this is a good step forward.

“It’s involvement, it’s inclusion, it’s empowerment, and it’s economic opportunity. It’s all those things. And so this is a giant step forward to get everyone involved.”

Meanwhile, the new construction apprenticeship program will begin this fall.

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