At the Community Services Agency’s Building Futures construction pre-apprenticeship program, one of the ways students prepare to join the workforce is by learning about how labor history affects workers today. “Working union makes a difference,” Labor Heritage Foundation Executive Director Elise Bryant told the students last week, explaining how the labor movement has been “a transformative force for working people.” “We want to work union,” said Tim Crites and Keith Billingsley, BF students who were accepted as first-year apprentices at the DC Cement Masons Local 891. "We hope that graduates from Building Futures inject new energy into today's labor movement" added BF program coordinator Sylvia Casaro Dietert. The Building Futures' Labor History and Contemporary Issues curriculum covers the changing nature of work, workers, and workplaces; contributions of the labor movement to the workforce, the globalization of labor; and what it means to be a union member today.
photo by Jennifer Gajdosik