WASHINGTON – Habitat for Humanity International will launch Labor with Habitat Week, May 16-22, to recognize its national partnership with the Building and Construction Trades Department-AFL-CIO and its 15 affiliated trade unions representing more than 3 million trades men and women nationwide. The kickoff is May 17 in Cincinnati.

During Labor with Habitat Week, carpenters, electricians, painters, bricklayers and other construction trades union members will join Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the nation to work on Habitat houses in their communities.

Edward C. Sullivan, president of the building trades plans to be in Cincinnati to volunteer his building skills to the effort and encourages all of his union brothers and sisters in the trades to do the same in their own communities. Among the unions represented by the Building Trades Department are boilermakers, bricklayers, carpenters, electrical workers, elevator constructors, heat and frost insulators, iron workers, laborers, operating engineers, painters and allied trades, plasterers and cement masons, plumbers and pipe fitters, roofers, sheet metal workers, and teamsters.

The two organizations inked an agreement in April 2003 to work together to help address the lack of affordable housing for low-income families HFHI and the building trades will help foster relationships between Habitat for Humanity affiliates and local trades unions.

Specifically, the partnership will encourage:

• resource sharing between Habitat for Humanity affiliates and building trades unions

• contributions by trade union members in the areas of professional services, building materials and tools to affiliates

• trade union sponsorship of Habitat house construction

• utilizing Habitat build sites as “living laboratories” where union apprentices can learn trades

• training of designated skills to Habitat volunteers on construction sites

• involving trade union members with Habitat for Humanity affiliate as crew leaders, committee members and community volunteers.

The Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, coordinates activity and provides resources to 15 affiliated trades unions in the construction industry. It has 386 state, local and provincial councils in the United States and Canada. Created in 1908, the BCTD has helped its 15 affiliated building trades unions to make job sites safer, deliver apprenticeship and journey-level training, organize new workers, support legislation that affects working families, and assist in securing improved wages, hours and working conditions through collective bargaining. For more information, visit http://www.bctd.org.

Habitat for Humanity International is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 92 nations have built and sold more than 150,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. Visit www.habitat.org.

Reprinted with permission from Habitat.