The Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania is a unique non-profit labor/management construction industry initiative, representing 17 Building Trades Unions and 11 affiliated Contractor Associations and Employer Groups. The Builders Guild was created to forge positive labor, management and community relationships, while encouraging a cooperative and productive climate for regional development. Central to its mission is to change the way unions and management “do business” by fostering cooperation, encouraging working partnerships, and creating an environment that promotes economic and professional growth.
The Guild was incorporated in November of 1999 and is currently governed by an Executive Board consisting of both union building trades’ representatives and contractor association directors, among others. Since its inception, the Builders Guild has been assisting the building trades unions to promote the industry, facilitate partnerships throughout western Pennsylvania and provide opportunities for individuals who are interested in a long-term career as skilled, professional craftsmen and craftswomen.
To these ends, the Builders Guild developed and continues to upgrade comprehensive recruitment materials including brochures, apprenticeship information handbooks and narrated CD presentations all of which are utilized to create awareness of building trades’ apprenticeships and introduce individuals to long term career opportunities available through the region’s 17 union apprenticeship programs.
Builders Guild representatives conduct an ongoing recruitment campaign reaching out to and visiting high schools teachers and students, guidance counselors, community groups, churches, career/job fairs and more, throughout Western PA. These efforts are intended to further awareness and promote the tuition-free opportunities available through apprenticeships in the union building trades and to disseminate apprenticeship resource materials with particular emphasis on recruiting minorities and women.
Additionally, the Guild creates and disseminates brochures and information to highlight the value of union construction. One such brochure contains a resume of projects and testimonials from satisfied owners and developers in all segments of the construction industry (Commercial, Residential, Educational, Advanced Technology, Industrial, Sports & Entertainment and Health Care) as well as a Customer Bill of Rights and pamphlets promoting the importance and cost effectiveness of safety and drug free worksites.
All of the materials created by the Builders Guild are available free of charge to anyone by calling or visiting its comprehensive website www.buildersguild.org. The site serves as an umbrella ‘one-stop’ construction and apprenticeship resource to anyone needing information about the union construction industry, career opportunities, association and union contacts, regional development resources, pro-bono activities and much more.
A publication “The Construction Leader” is another resource tool developed by the Builders Guild, distributed throughout the region and inserted quarterly in the Pittsburgh Business Times. The Construction Leader issues vary in content but positively represent the Western Pennsylvania region, its 40,000 plus highly skilled craftsmen and women who, by virtue of their training, commitment, dedication and volunteer efforts, continually reinvest in the community.
Public relations and partnering efforts also continue in order to promote safety, the unique skills, superior training, craftsmanship and quality of union built construction projects that make up our skyline and enhance the communities in Western Pennsylvania.
Finally, the Builders Guild consistently serves as a forum where labor and management meet to discuss the broader issues that impact the construction industry and the region. Members volunteer their service in advisory capacities as voices for the union construction industry with investment in several community initiatives.
As regional construction and infrastructure needs increase and evolve so too must the Builders Guild in its efforts to support the ever-changing demands of a developing region in terms of its marketability, sustainability, cutting-edge Green Building requirements and availability of a trained professional workforce.