Diverse Building Trades Workforce Safely Constructs Cleveland Hilton Hotel

The construction of the Cleveland Hilton Hotel was truly a community effort.

Built under a Project Labor Agreement between the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council and Cuyahoga County, the building’s owner, the make-up of the construction crews was large and diverse.

Downtown Cleveland Hilton Hotel lobby stairway.

Downtown Cleveland Hilton Hotel lobby stairway.

Jeffrey Appelbaum, Project Managing Consultant, told Cuyahoga County Council roughly 26 percent of the construction workers constituted minority candidates. Women constituted nearly 6 percent of the workforce, while minorities, including Hispanics (3 percent), made up 20 percent of the workforce.

Besides construction workers, the community was also reflected by a number of small, minority and female owned business that successfully bid on contracts. Small businesses received 34 percent of the contracts, while minority owned business had 15 percent of the contracts and female owned businesses were awarded 16 percent of the contracts, which more than doubled the initial goal of 7 percent set for female ownership.

Roughly half of the construction workers working on the project lived in Cuyahoga County, while 19 percent are Cleveland residents. Furthermore, 8 percent were considered low-income workers.

Downtown Cleveland Hilton Hotel conference room hallway.

Downtown Cleveland Hilton Hotel conference room hallway.

Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Dave Wondolowski was glad to see a diverse workforce on this project.

“What better way is there to build a building that will benefit the community than to build it with the community itself,” said Wondolowski. “We are very proud of our diverse, inclusive and local workforce.”

The diverse workforce not only worked quickly to build the hotel in just over two years, they also worked safely.

Appelbaum made a presentation to Cuyahoga County Council in May, and said nearly 1.09 million man-hours were performed on the project as of March 31, with only one injury resulted in a

The front desk at the Downtown Cleveland Hilton Hotel.

The front desk at the Downtown Cleveland Hilton Hotel.

worker’s lost time. The individual hurt was an engineer, not a construction worker, meaning of the 2,106 trade members on the project, none sustained injuries resulting in lost time through March 31.

To provide such a high quality of work over a two-year period, and to do it safely, reflects the high level of training journeymen and apprentices undergo.

“Our training is simply the best that can be had in the world,” said Wondolowski. “We not only have state-of-the-art training centers for each craft, but each one provides trade specific safety training that’s again, the best in the world.”

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