Return to Headlines

City of Columbus and Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center Announce Partnership

March 27, 2023 -- The City of Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services (BZS) will offer construction trades students at Fort Hayes opportunities to interface and work with City building officials through a series of newly-created career pathway opportunities. The partnership starts with “BZS Day at Fort Hayes,” in the Construction Arts Building, 600 Jack Gibbs Boulevard. 

Students will learn from professional inspectors throughout the day to better understand how BZS impacts their career pathway. This partnership aims to inspire students to become future Columbus inspectors and could lead to future permanent job opportunities. 

“The newly-created opportunities by BZS and Fort Hayes serve as a testament to the importance of investing in our future workforce,” said Columbus City Schools Interim Superintendent/CEO Dr. Angela Chapman. “By fostering connections between students and building officials, we are not only preparing them for successful careers but also contributing to the growth and development of community.”

As a part of the day’s activities, students will be exposed to the role of building codes and inspections. In addition, they will learn and understand the impact and relevance of BZS on construction and the trade industry in Columbus. Students at Fort Hayes are learning how to become electricians, HVAC techs, construction workers, and other skilled tradespersons. 

“Early exposure to careers in the construction and trades industry is a win-win for the students at Fort Hayes and the City of Columbus. These students will have unique, hands-on experiences, preparing them for life after graduation in a growing industry,” said Columbus City Council President Pro Tem Rob Dorans, Chair of the Workforce Development Committee. “This type of partnership helps ensure that young people in Columbus have the opportunity to directly benefit from the growth of our community and are set on a career pathway that provides real economic growth.” 

Building and Zoning Services Day is just one component of the partnership created to expose students to the BZS industry. The partnership will bridge real-world activities in a hands-on learning experience providing students with a competitive advantage for future post-secondary placement. In addition, building Inspectors will meet and work with students in construction labs to offer career advice and guidance. 

The programs include:

Internship Opportunities

The Department of Building and Zoning Services will provide paid summer internships to four CTE students. Interns will shadow BZS members of various sections within the department. They will learn to submit accurate documents, ride with inspectors, and learn the plan review process.

Mentorship Program

This program offers students and teachers direct access to certified Plan Reviewers and Inspectors in all skilled trades. Mentors will visit the school for observation and provide valuable information to students and teachers. These visits will help build relationships with students and provide them with personal contacts.

Shadow Day at BZS with Fort Hayes Career Center Students

Groups of Fort Hayes students will be invited to spend a day at BZS to learn about the department.

Trainee Program

BZS is working to create an inspector trainee program that could lead to permanent positions.

“We are excited about the next generation of people who may work in the construction and development trade industries. Everyone deserves the opportunity to earn good wages. The skilled trades industry offers many opportunities for a career path that doesn’t necessarily look the same as the traditional emphasis on college,” said Scott Messer, Director of the City of Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services.

“The partnership between Fort Hayes and the City of Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services provides a unique opportunity for construction trades students to gain firsthand knowledge and experience from seasoned professionals,” said Fort Hayes Arts & Academics Principal and Director Dr. Milton Ruffin. “This is an invaluable chance for students to learn and grow in their careers.”

The partnership between Fort Hayes and the City of Columbus provides additional options for students as they continue their career path in the skilled trades industry.

Click HERE for the March 28 BZS Program Agenda.

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic EngagementPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - Critical ThinkingPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology