Cincinnati Public Schools athletics partners with LiUNA Local 265 to promote workforce opportunity

A new partnership between Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) and a local Ohio laborer’s union has proven beneficial for student athletes now and possibly in their future if they decide to head into the construction industry.


Financial support from the Cincinnati-based Laborers’ Local 265 — an affiliate of LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America, AFL-CIO) representing 1,600 construction workers — resulted from a DistrictWON-facilitated partnership with the CPS Athletics Department.

“LiUNA is a group that is out there working hard in the community and continues to partner to positively impact the lives and future of the Cincinnati community,” said CPS Athletics Manager Josh Hardin. “We are grateful for their support.”

From the partnership, Hardin said CPS is able to provide students with more equipment and supplies, as well as support CPS coaches with the professional development and training they need to lead and mentor students toward a brighter future.

“It means so much to Cincinnati Public Schools to have such supportive partnerships for our schools, students and community,” Hardin added, saying the partnership and support has impacted CPS programs and allowed students to do more.

“I am certain the exposure of LiUNA at our schools and at our All Star game has created more awareness for our students since our partnership began,” he said. “We have received questions from our students and know they are continuing to look for more opportunities, such as what is being provided by our great partners at LiUNA.”

And awareness continues to grow because LiUNA Local 265’s career opportunities are being highlighted, providing a huge boost for its Ohio members and the construction industry, according to Justin Phillips, business manager and secretary-treasurer at the organization.

“We started our PR campaign with DistrictWON to strike up a relationship with CPS as a way to promote the construction industry, which is now coming back around with passage of the federal infrastructure bill,” Phillips explained, noting that the construction industry is expected to produce 20 percent of GDP over the current two percent to three percent.

To meet the demand, Phillips said the construction workforce pipeline needs to expand. And through its partnership with CPS, LiUNA Local 265 is getting out that message while also contributing vitally needed dollars to CPS athletics.

“We want to give back to the schools,” Phillips said, “and we’re continuing to grow our relationship.”

The partnership provides union advertising at games via banners, signs, and swag, such as team towels that get handed out during CPS football games. Local 265 also gets promoted over the PA system at games and via digital signs and social media at almost every school, said Phillips.

“We have direct access,” he said, adding that union members now speak directly with tons of people interested in workforce development opportunities, including the school board.

“It’s been well worth it,” said Phillips. “Our message is getting out there that the construction industry is a very viable career with outstanding benefits, a pension, apprenticeships, and a great hourly wage that rivals those for college graduates.”

And in the age of skyrocketing college tuition costs, Phillips said those kinds of opportunities and wages should be enticing to a diverse population of prospective construction industry workers, including women.

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, or follow on Twitter. 

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