For Immediate Release
December 1, 2021
Contact: Jenn Hathaway
Building Strong Communities, a Program that Focuses on Training Women, People of Color and Veterans for Careers in the Union and Construction Trades is Coming to Southeastern Minnesota
Rochester (December 1, 2021) – Building Strong Communities, a multi-trade, building and construction trades apprenticeship readiness program has recently expanded to become the first statewide apprenticeship readiness program designed to recruit and prepare women, people of color and veterans for a career in the building and construction industry. As part of the Building Strong Communities expansion statewide, BSC will begin programming in southeastern Minnesota in 2022.
Building Strong Communities is a program that prepares participants for a career in the construction industry by providing access to union endorsed training and an opportunity for participants to gain real experience and exposure to union building and construction trades. Training and online classes will be hosted by North Hennepin Community College.
“We are very excited to bring the Building Strong Communities program to southeastern Minnesota,” said Joe Fowler, President of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades. “Building Strong Communities is a unique program that recruits women, people of color and veterans into building and construction trades with the goal of identifying a trade that participants can turn into a life-long career.”
“As we move into 2022 and the years ahead, the City of Rochester Public Works Department plans to build and maintain a diverse workforce,” states Director of Public Works Wendy Turri. “The expansion of the Building Strong Communities program into southeastern Minnesota is a promising step toward increasing the number of trained women, people of color and veterans for construction trades careers and positions with the City of Rochester Public Works Department.”
“Building Strong Communities is a complete introduction to the building and construction trades, it really opened my eyes to different opportunities,” said Edgar Chavira Rios, a member of the 2021 Building Strong Communities cohort. “After graduation from the BSC program, I was fully prepared for a career in the building and construction industry. I am now a member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and have a career as a dry wall finisher.”
Jinny Rietmann, Executive Director of Workforce Development, Inc. shared, “Workforce Development, Inc. is excited to partner with Building Strong Communities. We look forward to bringing additional trades and construction training opportunities to individuals in Southeast Minnesota as this will not only address workforce challenges but will also increase diversity in this key industry sector.”
Building Strong Communities, formerly a partnership between Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council and the Metropolitan Council, is now a statewide program run by the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades. BSC has been run successfully in both the Twin Cities and Duluth.