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Hillary Clinton: With C.H.O.I.C.E., Building Trades “Leading the Way” in Labor-Management Partnerships

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This week the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convened a caucus of star politicians and activists to discuss game-changing efforts on a wide array of topics, from sustainability and climate to labor. Stateside, much of the latter centered around Hillary Clinton’s ‘Job One’ program (highlighted earlier this week on We Party Patriots), which seeks to boost youth employment through partnerships with businesses and worker groups. One such organization is North America’s Building Trades Unions, whose previous commitments in pension investments and workforce development laid the foundation for a long-term partnership between the nations construction unions and CGI. Now, according to a press release, the building trades have upped the ante through a new program called the Community Hub for Opportunities in Construction Employment (C.H.O.I.C.E.):

North America’s Building Trades Unions have embarked upon a regional workforce development initiative targeting the National Capital Region of the United States, including the District of Columbia, Baltimore, MD and the surrounding area in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The initiative is called the Community Hub for Opportunities in Construction Employment (C.H.O.I.C.E.), and its mission is to work with industry, government and community leaders to raise workforce development and labor protection standards and to provide increased career training opportunities for young people, women, minorities and transitioning military veterans via pathways into the registered apprenticeship system.

The commitment announced today will involve the creation of a new apprenticeship-readiness program to serve approximately 125 unemployed National Capital region youth between the ages of 18-24 over the next five years.

“We are excited to be joining with Secretary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative in a commitment to action that will result in increased career opportunities for young people in the greater National Capital Region,” said Mark Coles, Executive Director of C.H.O.I.C.E.

“Our building trades unions have an excellent track record of implementing these types of structured, apprenticeship-readiness programs in close cooperation with local government and community leaders in metropolitan areas such as Milwaukee, New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles and, most recently, Detroit,” said Coles.  “We are excited to launch such a program in the National Capital Region.”

Clinton herself praised C.H.O.I.C.E. during remarks at the event on Tuesday, saying, “I’m delighted ‘Job One’ is bringing together labor and management.” She added: “It’s a model for how CGI is supposed to work, and our country is supposed to work, so thanks to our friends in the building trades for leading the way.”

The second phase of ‘Job One’ is officially underway following the New York meetings, as the program continues to “build an evidence-based case for underserved youth as real sources of talent and innovation for the business community.”

C.H.O.I.C.E. provides specifics regarding their contribution to shaping this innovation:

C.H.O.I.C.E. will also provide technical assistance based upon best practices from successful Building Trades programs around the country; integrate the Department of Labor-certified Building Trades Multi-Craft Core Curriculum in the program; and engage regional construction unions, training directors, community based organizations, government leaders and the contracting community to develop a sustainable pathway into the registered apprenticeship system for historically underserved populations, including young people, women, minorities, and our nation’s military veterans.

C.H.O.I.C.E is also committed to seeking investment capital via union pension funds and other investment vehicles that, in conjunction with public investments, will further help generate jobs and career training opportunities that are critical to the success of this commitment.

Extensive coverage of the week’s events are available via the CGI website.


One Comment on “Hillary Clinton: With C.H.O.I.C.E., Building Trades “Leading the Way” in Labor-Management Partnerships”

  1. As a product of a registered apprenticeship program myself, I can only attest to the fact that these programs really do change lives !! Work needs to be done, and I can commit to helping folks everyday by telling them the value of the trades and the pride that comes with being a member!!!

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