CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – As ground was broken for Intel’s $20 billion facility near Columbus, President Joe Biden spoke about the project’s potential as he visited the site.
“Intel is gonna build a workforce of the future right here in Ohio,” Biden said.
But before that happens, close to 7,000 construction workers will be at work there over the next several years, some of them being skilled-trades members from this area.
As dignitaries were at the Intel groundbreaking, local school guidance counselors were meeting with union leaders about an event at the Canfield Fairgrounds later this month where they hope to develop the next group of young, skilled tradespeople.
Marty Loney, with the Western Reserve Building Trades, said that close to 5,000 students from local school districts are expected to attend the annual All-Craft Expo to learn about potential job opportunities.
“We’re showing these young folks here that it’s a great living and there’s zero debt,” Loney said. “We can put you to work immediately, and you’re earning while you learn.”
Union leaders admit big projects like Intel will require thousands of construction workers drawing employees from all around, creating a potential vacuum of experienced tradesmen.
“But we have to continue to pursue organizing and bringing in our apprenticeship programs so we cannot have this issue in the future,” Loney said.
The new Intel plant is expected to begin production in 2025.