Facilities and Construction Partners Host Job Fair for MWL Union Job Seekers

Anthony Rosa, a member of Laborers International Union Local 731 is looking for a job.  So when he learned about a Columbia-sponsored job fair for minority, women and local union construction workers at Riverbank State Park on August 21, 2012, he knew it was an opportunity that could not be missed.

"This event gave me hope that I can get a job," said Rosa. "I handed-in a dozen applications and was interviewed in less than two hours. I spoke to several contractors in one place. This would normally take me about 3-5 days and much traveling."

The event, sponsored by Columbia University, SKANSKA USA and Empire State Development, provided more than 250 job seekers with opportunities to meet contractors working on four Columbia University construction projects: Boathouse Marsh, Core Research Computing Facility, 3595 Broadway, and 619-623 West 113th Street Project. Job seekers met with the sponsors and representatives from Columbia University Facilities Human Resources, Hunter Roberts, Caldwell & Walsh Building Construction, Inc., New York City Housing Authority, Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), STRIVE, Workforce1, McKissack, as well as local unions to learn more about both construction and non-construction related employment, certification and training program opportunities.

The Union Construction Job Fair was coordinated and operated by Facilities departments Construction Business Services and Communications, Capital Project Management, Public Safety, and Communications and Public Affairs, as well as SKANSKA, construction manager for two of the projects. "Columbia is growing and we seek to provide opportunities for the people within our community to participate in that growth," said Tanya Pope, Director of Construction Business Services at Facilities and coordinator of the event.

The event, designed to provide multiple layers of support for job seekers, demonstrated the contractors' commitment to achieve Columbia's MWL goals that at least 35 percent of all construction dollars be spent with MWL firms and at least 40 percent of the construction labor force made up of MWL employees.

"This event shows that Columbia wants MWL involvement in their construction projects and the University is serious about growing together with the community." said Farrad Muhammad, a member of Union Local 20 (labor).