COLUMBUS, Ohio — Trying to secure 8,000 to 12,000 pipe fitters and plumbers to tackle all the work that’s coming up for Intel is no small task for Dorsey Hager.
Hager is the Executive-Secretary Treasurer for the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.
His council represents 18,000 workers, like the plumbers and pipefitters at Local Union 189.
He said the Intel announcement is a game changer and the biggest momentum builder in his lifetime for both Columbus and Central Ohio.
“We would talk to people about a career in the building trades where they wanted to be a plumber, electrician, or operating engineer, or mechanical insulator, and a parent or a young person would say, ‘Well what does the job outlook look like ?'” Hager said. “We can say, ‘Well, we’re building this hospital, we’ve got about six months here.’ Now we can say we have Intel. Work is good for the next 22 to 25 years,” says Hager.
Hager, a lifelong resident of Columbus, said it’s not just Intel’s $20 billion semiconductor plant creating excitement, it’s also the 300 to 400 suppliers that the company will bring to Central Ohio.
“It’s the Amazon data centers. It’s the Facebook expansion. It’s Google,” said Hager. “It’s Microsoft, it’s the solar work. It’s OSU Medical Center.”
Many students at the union’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Center said they share the excitement of a future with ample opportunities.
“So I’m kind of excited for Intel. Hearing about it, I know a lot of other people are too. After taking a leap forward and getting into a commitment like this, I’d say it’s really not that scary at all. And I recommend it for a lot of other kids out there getting out of high school,” said Dillyn Kramer, a JATC Training Center Student.
Nicole Tucker, another JATC Training Center student, said it gives an incentive for staying in Columbus.
“Because there’s all kinds of work coming to Columbus,” Tucker said. “Job security, financial reasons, it’s just all around good and you get to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”
Hager said his community outreach is of utmost importance.
He said the days of the rust belt are long gone, Ohio is growing, and the tech industry is what will drive our state’s economy.
“And those are the things we’re telling people in middle school, high school, or even people that are out of college that aren’t maybe making as much as they thought they were going to make, that hey, these opportunities are here , they’re real, they exist,” said Hager. “Not just jobs, their careers are going to last a long time in the future.”