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Milestone public-private agreement expands construction career opportunities for Max Hayes students

Cleveland — The City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), union representatives and the private sector today signed a milestone collaboration agreement aimed at increasing the number of diverse and City of Cleveland residents working on Greater Cleveland construction projects and facilitating a construction career path for students at the CMSD’s Max Hayes High School. The signing was held at the offices of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP)

“I am happy our efforts led to an opportunity for Max Hayes students to enter the building trade apprenticeship program,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson upon signing the agreement.

Click to read the MOU amendment.

This new relationship among the construction collaboration stakeholders aligns with Max Hayes’ transformational goal to be among the country’s top career tech schools.

“I am grateful to all of the partners around the table who have worked together to craft a community benefits agreement that can be universally supported in order to develop a new school to apprenticeship program for Max Hayes High School,” said CMSD CEO Eric Gordon.

“I am particularly grateful for the full support of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC) for their full engagement in the development of the new programming at Max Hayes planned for the Fall of 2015 as part of The Cleveland Plan and our commitment to using the public’s construction dollars in support of our own students and residents.”

Click to read letters from eight CBCTC member unions agreeing to partner with the CMSD.

All parties also have underscored their support for community benefit agreements—including the paying of prevailing wages—as an important component of expanding the number of diverse and local workers. This consensus represents an investment into the city and the community, said CBCTC Executive Secretary Dave Wondolowski.

“The adoption of this amendment will help assure a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work for current and future construction workers in Cleveland. We’re proud to stand arm and arm with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the City of Cleveland and the other signatories of the MOU for this historic victory for Building Trades members.

“Today, the hard work of collectively convincing developers to enter into these agreements begins. But the reality of it lies in the fact that, as a developer, you want to invest in Cleveland, then you will buy into community benefits because when the people of this great city do better, local businesses will thrive and that's real investment.”

The addition of prevailing wage is one of the desired outcomes of the Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the goals desired through Community Benefits. “We believe that true community benefits occur when there is equal access to opportunities, both for contracting and labor and that labor is paid at a good wage,” said Brian Hall, executive director of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the GCP.

“CBAs create that opportunity when owners agree to goals for local hiring, diverse hiring and diverse contracting and subcontracting. The collaborative efforts of the signers are designed to address both the demand for contractors and workers as well as the supply of the same. This additional effort today gives young Clevelanders an increased opportunity to participate.”

The impact of this expanded collaboration also includes:
  • With City of Cleveland voters approving CMSD’s $200 million construction bond issue in November 2014, there are even more targeted opportunities to expand local hiring.
  • The CMSD and CBCTC have agreed to adopt the ”Supply Model Curriculum” a national training model supported by the building trades that will be incorporated into the course of study at the new Max Hayes.
Signers of the collaboration agreement are:
  • Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
  • Don Dreier, chairman, Construction Employers Association
  • Jose Feliciano, chairman, Hispanic Roundtable
  • William Gary, executive vice president, Cuyahoga Community College (for Tri-C President Alex Johnson)
  • Eric Gordon, CEO, Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD)
  • Marsha Mockabee, president and CEO, Urban League of Greater Cleveland
  • Terri Sandu, president, Hard-Hatted Women
  • Eddie Taylor, co-chair, Commission on Economic Inclusion
  • Dave Wondolowski, executive secretary, Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC)

Click for additional comments from the signers.

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About the Commission on Economic Inclusion
The Commission on Economic Inclusion is a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP). Its mission is "to significantly improve the level of inclusion-the meaningful involvement of minority businesses and individuals-in the economic engines that drive Northeast Ohio." www.commission-inclusion.com


About the Greater Cleveland Partnership
The Greater Cleveland Partnership mobilizes private-sector leadership, expertise and resources to create attractive business conditions that create jobs, grow investment and improve the economic prosperity of the region. www.gcpartnership.com.