Many in the construction industry are thankful they were able to continue working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and that project owners were comfortable moving forward with projects. However, they are increasingly excited as an infrastructure plan gains momentum.
The Cleveland area has enjoyed steady development in recent years and plenty of work. Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary Treasurer Dave Wondolowski joined AWF Union Podcast to analyze the work outlook, discuss the possible infrastructure plan and more.
Northeast Ohio construction work outlook
Wondolowski said the past years have been good for tradesmen and tradeswomen in northeast Ohio. This trend is supposed to continue as people and businesses move to and rebuild in the region.
In order to man this influx of work, Wondolowski said the building trades are doing their best to recruit young people into their ranks. The strategy has revolved around showing potential tradesmen and tradeswomen how much money they could earn in their first four years compared to how much they would spend on four years of college.
Vaccine distribution in the region
With the American Rescue Plan came increased funding for vaccine distribution. This allowed Ohio to open up the eligible requirements to those 16 and older.
Wondolowski said Local Union leadership has taken kindly to the vaccine. Many of the areas labor leaders have been vaccinated and he believes the tradesmen and tradeswomen are doing the same.
The American Jobs Plan
The minimal details released about President Biden’s infrastructure plan excite Wondolowski. As someone who sat on the Public Works Commission, he understands the deep need for infrastructure in Ohio.
He said the released details give the labor community more hope than what they got in the four years of former President Trump, who ran on improving infrastructure, but never proposed a plan.
As the Secretary Treasurer of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council, Wondolowski is hopeful an infrastructure investment will spur other investments throughout the area. He said that horizontal construction will typically lead to vertical construction.