Building for the Future: Construction Apprentices Needed in Ohio

By Nadia Ramlagan
Ohio News Connection

State data show there are more than 21,000 active apprentices in Ohio, including carpenters, cement masons, construction laborers and electricians, among more than 100 occupations.

A new report finds apprenticeships deliver big benefits for communities and employers.

Research shows apprentices earn more than comparable workers, with an average starting salary of $50,000 per year.

Matthew Flynn, training director with Ohio Laborers Apprenticeship, said a high need for construction labor persists in Ohio, especially in the state’s larger metropolitan areas.

He added that apprenticeship training provides a pipeline of skilled workers.

“Recruitments are a little bit easier with these registered apprenticeship programs in place,” Flynn said.

According to a recent report, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act call for infrastructure improvements and repairs, abandoned mine land reclamation, repurposing of shuttered coal plants, grid modernization and renewable energy growth – which will require boosting the nation’s skilled-trade workforce.

Flynn said apprenticeship also offers workers a chance to learn without paying tuition, gain college credits and earn a paycheck while learning on the job.

He added that residents interested in apprenticeship training should visit the Apprentice Ohio website to learn more.

“Our state government is always willing to obviously help out and point these folks in the direction they think they want to go in the pursuit of a career in the construction trades or any apprenticeable trade,” Flynn said.

Union apprenticeships in Ohio tend to train more minorities, women and veteran construction workers and have better completion rates and wages than nonunion programs.

According to the report, the nation’s unionized construction workforce has aged steadily over the past three decades. As these workers retire, a new crop of younger workers is needed to meet demand.

Pictured at top: A survey by Jobs for the Future found that most high school graduates not attending college said they would have considered programs such as apprenticeships if they had more information. (Adobe Stock)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.