The construction industry in Central Ohio is undergoing a transformation, and HFIAQ Local 50 Columbus/Dayton is taking advantage with unprecedented member growth. Business Manager Dan Poteet recently shared the organization’s success story on his Jan. 10 appearance on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
The uptick in construction projects has led to a surge in the size of apprenticeship classes. Class size has increased from 20 to over 60 apprentices. Poteet emphasized that these apprenticeships provide a valuable pathway to the middle class, presenting an excellent opportunity for individuals to begin a rewarding career in the Union Building Trades.
Local 50’s commitment to inclusivity and growth is evident in their current recruitment campaign. Actively seeking non-union mechanical insulators and individuals with no prior experience, the organization aims to provide opportunities for everyone to participate in the thriving construction industry. Poteet expressed confidence in the campaign, emphasizing the importance of expanding the skilled workforce.
From 115 members prior to the construction boom, Local 50 has grown to 220 members, with projections indicating a further increase to 250 by the end of 2024. Poteet is optimistic about exceeding 300 members as construction projects in Central Ohio gain momentum.
Collaboration has played a crucial role in Local 50’s success. Poteet thanked the Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (HFIAW) International for their assistance in organizing non-union members. The HFIAW’s support, with over a dozen organizers, sent in the third quarter of 2023, has helped Local 50 talk to more non-union mechanical insulators in the area.
Looking ahead, Local 50 is gearing up for a contract negotiation year. Poteet believes the upcoming contract will be historic, aiming to further improve the lives of the Brothers and Sisters of Local 50.
Listen to the entire AWF episode between Poteet and AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc here and hear more about what is happening in Central Ohio in the world of mechanical insulation.