SLATE's Building Union Diversity Program

The St. Louis region will see billions of dollars from projects new corporate facilities such as BJC, Wells Fargo and NGA and the redevelopment of the Northside of St. Louis City. These projects will require a steady supply of skilled construction workers of various trades. 

Photo by Carl Green of St. Louis Labor Tribune // Proud graduates of the recent Building Union Diversity class and their instructors surround Former St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. (From Left, Front row) BUD graduates Austin Head, Jalon Holmes, Cedric Shields and Jeremy Steamer, plus Michael Holmes, executive director of SLATE, and Vicki Edwards, MSD director of human resources. In back (from left) are BUD instructor Jim Duane of STLCC, MSD Executive Director Brian Hoelscher, graduates Bernard West and Malik Benton, Charles Williams of SLATE and Pat Dolan of the Missouri AFL-CIO and Sprinkler Fitters Local 268. Graduate Shanika Harris was absent.

St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, also known as SLATE, in partnership with the Building and Construction Trades Council of St. Louis (BCTC), developed Building Union Diversity (BUD) Apprenticeship Training Program to address these needs, among them: 

• The influx of planned developments

 • A historic lack of diversity within the building trades

 • Fulfill requirements of the Executive Order by Former St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay, which set workforce diversity goals for City-funded public work projects of $1 million dollars or more (25% by minorities, 5% by women, 15% by apprentices and 20% by City residents).

BUD is a 7-week pre-Apprenticeship training program with a special focus on the St. Louis area’s minority population, including women, and laid off and long-term unemployed residents, who are interested in pursuing careers in construction. Taught by nationally certified and industry approved Apprenticeship training specialists in state-of-the-art facilities, the program will cover topics specific to participating BUD Construction trades.

All BUD program participants will complete 40 hours of Construction Foundation Skills Program. Because several training facilities are located beyond reach of public transportation, travel assistance is provided to the participants to ensure program completion. The BCTC and its Joint Apprenticeship Program (JAP) training partners will provide eight (8) weeks of construction pre-apprenticeship training for the BUD program. 

Participating unions include: 

• Construction Craft Laborer
• Operating Engineers Local 513 
• Plumbers and Pipefitters
• St. Louis Carpenters 
• Iron Workers
• Bricklayers Local 1 of Missouri
• IBEW Local 1 Electrical Workers
• Insulators & Asbestos Workers Local 1 
• Sheet Metal Workers Local 36

Upon enrollment in the program, participants will be screened and tested using the proven Career Ready 101 system. Participants who test below these standards will be offered remedial training by SLATE. By limiting enrollment in the program to work-ready participants and actual construction employment opportunities on hand, BUD program ensures its success – program’s current placement rate is exceeding 85 percent. 

Eligible participants must be:

• 18 years of age or older
• Laid off or Long-term unemployed
• Able to pass a drug test.

To apply:

Interested individuals must come to SLATE, 1520 Market St., 3rd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63103, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. They will be asked to register, fill out an application and complete a quick assessment.

What to bring:

State-issued I.D. or Driver's License

Why participate:

Careers in Construction provide a stimulating work environment, a sense of accomplishment and shared responsibility, and a true spirit of community for those who contribute their personal best to a team's goals and objectives.

SLATE is accepting applications for the next classes. Class seats are limited, act now to reserve yours!

If you'd like more information, please visit the SLATE Website. Or for other SLATE Apprenticeship program information, you can visit the SLATE Apprenticeship website.