Rhode Island Building Futures prepares impoverished citizens for a building trades career

With so many Americans living at or below the poverty level, it is important to have programs in place that show impoverished Americans how to make a great living in the building trades through a registered apprenticeship program.

Rhode Island Building Futures Executive Director Andrew Cortés explained how his program is helping impoverished Rhode Islanders find meaningful careers in the union building trades on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.

Rhode Island Building Futures

As a union carpenter who completed a building trades registered apprenticeship program, Cortés saw the value of a building trades career and wanted to help those with less opportunities, build a future in the building trades.

He explained the program as a five-week, 200-hour pre-apprenticeship program designed to expose participants to the building trades. The participants are taught the basics of the various trades through classroom instruction and hands-on lessons.

When participants complete the program, they are better equipped and more qualified to apply for building trades apprenticeship programs in Rhode Island. Cortés said the graduation rate is high and the retention rate of graduates staying in their building trades career is even higher.

Reaching out to the community

He explained that the program relies on graduates to spread the word about the program to their communities. The easiest way to attract participants is to show them a member of their own community who has had success.

However, the program conducts outreach events for women. While women are paid the same as their male counterparts in the union building trades, only about 10 percent of their participants are women. This remains higher than the amount of women who make up the building trades, which is less than three percent.

Finally, Cortés said it is important for people to understand that apprenticeship is a form of post-secondary education, much like college. On top of the livable wage, many registered apprenticeship programs offer college credit, giving those seeking a degree a path to obtain one.


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AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS THE ONLY DAILY LABOR-RADIO PROGRAM IN THE US AND HAS BEEN ON THE AIR SINCE 1993, SUPPLYING LISTENERS WITH USEFUL, RELEVANT INPUT INTO THEIR DAILY LIVES THROUGH FACT-FINDING FEATURES, IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS, INFORMATIVE NEWS SEGMENTS AND PRACTICAL CONSUMER REPORTS. AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN ACCESSIBLE VENUE IN WHICH AMERICA’S WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN HEAR DISCUSSION ON IMPORTANT, RELEVANT TOPICS SUCH AS EMPLOYMENT, HEALTHCARE, LEGISLATIVE ACTION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, FINANCES, LOCAL AND NATIONAL POLITICS, CONSUMER REPORTS AND LABOR ISSUES.

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Building Futures Impact on Columbus Discussed on America’s Work Force

The Building Futures program is making a positive impact in the lives of its graduates and Franklin County.

Dorsey Hager Columbus Building and Construction Trades CouncilMaking his monthly America’s Work Force Radio appearance on March 1, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager spoke about the recent graduation of the third Building Futures Class and the success of past classes. The third graduating class consists of 11 members, who completed the pre-apprenticeship program and will soon begin life as a building trades apprentice. The Building Futures program has an 88 percent graduation rate, with an 85 percent placement rate in to JATCs. The starting rate for program graduates as apprentices is $16.91. The first two graduating classes combined to have an economic impact of over $1.4 million in Franklin County on wages and benefits.

Hager also discussed recent new about Columbus Mayor Ginther, who this year will run unopposed for his current seat. Mayor Ginther is a huge supporter of the building trades and has worked to promote building trades careers and apprenticeships, as there is a need for more skilled tradesmen in the area with the amount of construction work scheduled for central Ohio.

Tim Murphy Mother JonesMother Jones writer Tim Murphy talked about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) during his appearance on AWF. He said Ocasio-Cortez is changing the way that politicians work and promote themselves through the use of social media. He claimed her social media has positively impacted her image because it is keeping people engaged and connected to her work.



America’s Work Force is the only daily labor-radio program in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America’s workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS LIUNA,COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, UNITED STEEL WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, AFL-CIO, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, CLEVELAND FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.

Dorsey Hager Explains the Benefits of Working in the Building Trades on America’s Work Force

Show regular and Executive Secretary of the Columbus and Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Dorsey Hager explains why people should begin a career in the building trades during his appearance on America’s Work Force.

Columbus Building and Construction Trades CouncilOn Feb. 1, Hager discussed an upcoming Columbus area construction trades fair, where affiliated members of the C/CO BCTC will provide students and other career fair attendees with hands-on demonstrations of certain trade-specific tasks and also explain why they should consider becoming an apprentice. He said many people do not fully understand the the benefits of joining an apprenticeship, such as a debt-free education, the earn while you learn training model, good wages and good jobs. Hager also talked about the Building Futures program, which is designed to teach members of the underserved Franklin County community about the trades and provide them with the resources to help them become apprentices.

Mother Jones MagazineKara Voght, a writer with Mother Jones Magazine, also joined America’s Work Force on Feb. 1 and spoke about Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who could potentially be the biggest threat to Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential bid. Voght said Brown is worker and union friendly. He travels to union halls and speaks to workers about their concerns for their unions and other workers. She also examined the presidential landscape and different candidates.

AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc spoke about the dignity of work and how working women have rights to sue over wage discrimination.



America’s Work Force is the only daily labor-radio program in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America’s workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS LIUNA,COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, UNITED STEEL WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, AFL-CIO, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, CLEVELAND FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.

America’s Work Force Radio Talks Columbus Crew Soccer

Keeping the Columbus Crew Soccer Club in Ohio’s capital city was the main topic on America’s Work Force Radio.

Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades CouncilOn Dec. 7, Dorsey Hager, Executive-Secretary Treasurer of the Columbus Building and Construction Trades Council, appeared on AWF and discussed the future of professional soccer in Columbus. Hager talked about the future plans of Mapfre Stadium, which is the current home of the Columbus Crew. He explained the plans to turn the Mapfre, formerly known as Crew Stadium, into a multi-purpose sports complex with various fields and an indoor training facility for the Columbus Crew. He provided insight into the project and how the Columbus/Central Ohio building trades will be utilized to build this complex. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has agreed to a Community Benefit Agreement on this project to ensure the work gets done on time, safely and under budget by local highly skilled workers. Hager also spoke about the Columbus Building Futures Program, which is pre-apprenticeship program designed to expose under served Franklin County residents to the building trades.

Mother Jones WebsiteTim Murphy, from Mother Jones Magazine, joined America’s Work Force Radio and discussed soon-to-be former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke and the impact he made in Texas during the midterm elections running against Sen. Ted Cruz. Murphy said O’Rourke’s campaign moved Texas from being a Republican state to a voting state.

AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc talked about Sen. Sherrod Brown, who condemned corporate greed. He also remembered Pearl Harbor Day.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor-radio program in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America’s workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS LIUNA,COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, UNITED STEEL WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, AFL-CIO, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, CLEVELAND FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.


Dorsey Hager from Columbus-Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Discussed Columbus Building Futures Program on America’s Work Force.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building Trades, Dorsey Hager, was a featured guest on the Nov. 2 edition of America’s Work Force Radio.

Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades CouncilHager talked about the Columbus Building Futures Program, which is a 12-week program designed to provide individuals with the skills needed to begin a career in the region’s booming construction industry. Hager also spoke about the benefits of apprenticeships, including good wages and benefits and a rewarding career.

Mother Jones WebsiteThe second guest on America’s Work Force Radio was Dave Gilson, with Mother Jones Magazine. Gilson discussed nine white supremacists who ran for office this year. He said the white supremacists received some votes due to their party affiliation, which is why they continue to run for office. Gilson said the best way to stop these individuals from running for office is to have better, more qualified people run for those same positions.

AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc talked about how President Trump is making it easier to sue unions. He also discussed the Google workers who staged a “Walk Out for Real Change” over a sexual misconduct scandal.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor-radio program in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America’s workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS LIUNA,COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, UNITED STEEL WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, AFL-CIO, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, CLEVELAND FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.