McCarthy Building Companies Supports Training Program to Attract Minority, Women and St. Louis City Residents for Construction Jobs


Applications must be completed and submitted in advance through BUD and Worknet

McCarthy Building Companies, in cooperation with the Missouri Works Initiative’s Building Union Diversity (BUD) pre-apprenticeship program and Worknet, is supporting a training program to increase jobs in the construction trades for minority, female and St. Louis City-based residents. Pending developing health guidelines related to the Delta variant of COVID-19, the five-week long, in-person training is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, September 13th.

Interested candidates must submit a BUD application and complete a WorkKeys assessment in advance. BUD participants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Pass a drug test
  • Score at least a Level 5 on the WorkKeys Applied Math test
  • Score at least a Level 5 on the WorkKeys Workplace Documents test
  • Have access to a vehicle at program completion

“Having a diverse and inclusive workforce is vital to our local communities and projects across the St. Louis region.  We’re committed to removing barriers and helping individuals receive the proper training to fill available jobs. The goal is to develop opportunities for a lifelong career in construction that can have a positive impact on participants’ professional and personal lives,” said Ralph Powell, Diversity Director for McCarthy Building Companies.

“We’re hoping this program attracts interest from individuals who have been underrepresented in the construction industry and are living in neighborhoods surrounding our projects for Next NGA West, Washington University School of Medicine Neuroscience Research Building in the Cortex Innovation District, and other projects in the heart of St. Louis City,” said Powell.

The BUD Pre-Apprenticeship training program has a special focus on the St. Louis area’s minority population, including women and laid off and long-term unemployed residents who are interested in pursuing careers in construction.

Taught by nationally certified and industry approved apprenticeship training specialists, the program offers a comprehensive introduction to construction employment, with a particular focus on job safety. As part of the training, several local unions open their training centers for a hands-on experience and   enrollees also learn from professionals representing local construction management firms. In an industry where only 6-percent of the workforce is comprised of minorities and women, 80-percent of BUD graduates are minority and 25-percent are women.  

The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, also known as SLATE, in partnership with the Building and Construction Trades Council of St. Louis (BCTC), developed the Building Union Diversity (BUD) Apprenticeship program in 2014. Since then, 81-percent of all graduates from 22 sessions have found employment in the construction trades. Worknet Inc. contracts with the Social Security Administration to exclusively help people that receive disability payments find great jobs. Worknet works closely with SLATE.

About McCarthy

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that spans all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 13th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2021). With approximately 5,000 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis; Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

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