“Cut to the chase and work union!” Mike Houlber told Building Futures students last week. Houlber, Northeast Regional Vice President from the Operative Plasterers' and Cement Masons' International Association. stopped by the pre-apprenticeship class Friday morning to share his personal experiences transitioning from non-union to union work as a craft plasterer. “Union work makes a difference for working families," Houlber, easy-going and relaxed, told the class, "I know it did for my family.” “His words resonated with many of our students who have worked in construction in the past trying to make a living with earnings jumping from minimum wage to prevailing wage and back,” said Sylvia Casaro Dietert, CSA Client Services Coordinator. Building Futures is a six-week construction pre-apprenticeship program which the Community Services Agency has operated for 10 years to recruit, train and offer job placement assistance to low-income DC residents with an interest in the construction industry.