Demolition can be a very dangerous and complicated business – unless you know what you are doing! The folks at International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 18 (“Local 18”) know exactly what they are doing. Local 18 is dedicated to training future apprentices and journeymen in the operation of heavy equipment. Its Trust Fund helps pay the students during their classroom training on equipment operation, OSHA compliance, safety and technical skills.
“You know they are serious about training when they have gone above and beyond to create a Trust Fund, own their demolition equipment, and have invested in a facility for hands-on training,” said Gus Frangos, President of the Cuyahoga Land Bank. Frangos and Local 18 created a partnership where students could get on-the-job training on Cuyahoga Land Bank demolition sites while supervised by expert union heavy equipment operators. “This was a perfect opportunity for our students to get live demolition experience on Cuyahoga Land Bank demolition sites,” said Richard Dalton, Local 18 Business Manager. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the Cuyahoga Land Bank,” he added.
The Cuyahoga Land Bank will compensate Local 18 for its demolition work to help the union continue its program, maintain equipment and serve more students. The Cuyahoga Land Bank will, in turn, expend less for each demolition performed under the partnership. Cheryl Stephens, Director of Acquisitions, Development and Disposition at the Cuyahoga Land Bank crafted the details of the program and identified a 12-suite condemned and abandoned apartment at East 105th and Lee Avenue as the first demolition site. Students will all be from Cuyahoga County with an emphasis on urban and minority communities.
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish has strongly advocated for quality workforce programs. “Our administration has worked on numerous community development projects with the Cuyahoga Land Bank. We know that opportunities for young people and exposure to workforce experience is key to helping them develop the careers of their choice,” said Budish.