Brown commits to all union labor, Building Futures for big projects

BROWN UNIVERSITY announced an agreement Monday with the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council and Building Futures that commits the Ivy League college to employing all-union labor for all campus construction projects over $25 million. / COURTESY BROWN UNIVERSITY

PROVIDENCE – Brown University announced an agreement Monday with both the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council and Building Futures that commits the Ivy League college to employing all-union labor for all campus construction projects over $25 million. 

The agreement extends the university’s existing goal of ensuring that at least 15% of labor hours worked to construct those projects are performed by graduates of Building Futures.  

Brown University President Christina H. Paxson said the partnership deepens the school’s commitment to the Rhode Island building trades by supporting an array of well-paying union jobs, as well as training for local residents looking to build careers in construction. 

“As Brown continues to invest in spaces for cutting-edge research, dynamic residential life and innovative teaching and learning, we rely on our longstanding partnerships with the talented tradespeople of Providence and Rhode Island to advance our physical campus and support Brown’s mission,” Paxson said. “This new agreement formalizes Brown’s commitment, and we look forward to building on our history of support for career development among construction laborers and seeing even more local residents thrive and succeed.” 

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The RIBCTC represents 16 trade unions and approximately 10,000 construction workers, and advocates for safe working conditions, training opportunities and fair wages. Building Futures is a Providence-based nonprofit apprenticeship program that helps workers with low incomes build skills and move into construction careers. 

RIBCTC President Michael Sabitoni said Brown’s longstanding support of the construction trades has had “a massive impact on the economy and on people’s lives.” 

“Brown has impacted so many people’s lives and brought them into the middle class, not just by creating jobs but by building careers,” Sabitoni said. “The fact that Brown is memorializing that commitment to the community with this labor agreement is larger than life for the men and women who work on capital projects on campus.” 

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