Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades (BDCBT) President Stephen Courtien has been a member of International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) since 1998, serving in several key roles at both the local (District Council 51) and international level. In 2011, Courtien began his role as the Business/Legislative Representative and D.C. Director for the Washington, D.C. Building and Construction Trades Council (now the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades) where he represented and advanced the views and interests of the Building Trades before various councils and boards.
The region thrived under his leadership as Stephen helped negotiate, implement, and administer more Project Labor Agreements in the Capital region than at any time in the modern era. As part of that seminal work, Stephen was also responsible for initiating, nurturing, and maintaining close working relationships with contractors and developers. In recognition of his established industry credential and résumé, Stephen was appointed President of the BDCBT by North America’s Building Trades Unions’ President Sean McGarvey effective January 1st, 2020.
As part of the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades’ goal to uplift the communities in which we live and work, United Association Local Union 486 member and Baltimore Director Melissa Wells joined the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades in 2015. In her role, she has built and strengthened relationships with community and faith-based organizations in the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades’ region. As a community development professional, Wells is perfectly cast for such a role – she is skilled in bridging relationships between diverse stakeholder groups and is passionate about advancing access to opportunity and economic security for all. It was that same dedication that also propelled Melissa to a successful 2018 run for Delegate in Maryland’s 40th – the inner-city district of Baltimore City that she proudly calls home.
Prior to her work with the Trades, Melissa worked at PolicyLink where she co-led the Transportation Equity Caucus and advanced priorities related to promoting equitable and fair infrastructure investments, with a particular focus on surface transportation. Melissa also previously spent three years at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, where she supported efforts led by state and regional coalitions to advance household financial and economic security. Melissa holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside and a master’s in Public Policy from American University.
Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades Maryland Director Jeff Guido has been a member of the United Association Local Union since 1973. Spanning an impressive 46-year industry career, Master Plumber Guido has served in a variety of capacities with his home local from Apprentice, Journeyman, and Foreman – all while serving as a local union elected official for 22 of those years. Joining the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades (BDCBT) in July of 2014, Jeff’s Maryland duties include representative work in Prince George’s, Montgomery, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties.
In his critical role, Jeff works to increase the BDCBT's market-share and membership for all of the area building trades unions, while simultaneously promoting marquee Building Trades' apprenticeship programs and their state-of-the-art training centers. His dedication for this important work is evident through his success in implementing and administering a number of large-scale Project Labor Agreements, which include but are not limited to the MGM National Harbor Casino, Cove Point LNG Export Facility, CPV St. Charles Gas Energy Center, and PSEG Keys Gas Energy Center.
DC-Prince Georges Metro Director
William "BJ" Paige
William "BJ" Paige is a lifelong native of Prince George's County, Maryland where his lifetime of work includes a documented application of community-based workforce development and amplified outreach to the Baltimore DC Building Trades team. BJ was most recently the Director of "Run Hope Work", a workforce development organization that partnered with many of the local building trades to recruit new apprentices from undeserved and at risk communities in Washington DC and Prince Georges County. As part of that noble effort, BJ worked with the building trades to help develop and expand the workforce model that has become a proven success to placing candidates into union apprenticeship programs. He is also a proud Veteran of the United States Air Force where he served in security forces during the war in Iraq. In addition, BJ has many professional accomplishments and accolades including Top 40 under 40 for Prince George's County and the Maryland General Assembly Official Citation for his Community Commitment. BJ is committed to his community to expand the career opportunities in the union construction industry by connecting the Apprenticeship Readiness, Apprenticeship and the Contractor to build the local resident workforce development pipeline that is needed to help the community prosper.
Jermaine Jones, a lifelong Baltimorean, is a leader in both his community and the labor movement. He is a proud graduate of the public school system and went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University. After earning his degree, Jermaine worked as a community organizer for LiUNA! (Laborers International Union of North America), working to protect the wages and jobs of low-income families. He also spearheaded and organized community initiatives that helped neighborhoods hold local governments accountable for addressing the concerns and needs of their constituents.
Jermaine worked his way up the ranks at LiUNA! and eventually became Business Manager, a position in which he represented over 1,000 workers in construction. This work allowed him to pursue his passion of protecting the rights of workers and ensuring every person feels safe on the job; and renewed his conviction that all workers be treated with dignity and respect, and receive honest day’s pay for a hard day’s work. His work with LiUNA! led to his election as President of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO. Under his leadership, the Metro Baltimore Council has been instrumental in several campaigns, including successfully blocking privatization of Baltimore City Water System, supporting the unionization of Johns Hopkins nurses, and increasing Maryland’s minimum wage to $15. Now at the Baltimore/DC Metro Building and Construction Trades Council, one of Jermaine’s goals is to strength the relationship between local community and the Trades; and ensure all citizens throughout the Baltimore Metropolitan area have access to quality jobs consisting of a career path, access to affordable health care, and the opportunity to one day retire with dignity.
Northern Virginia Director
Greg Akerman serves as the Northern Virginia Director for the Building Trades Council. With experience in political campaigns and legislative advocacy, Greg oversees the Building Trades’ political and government affairs programs for Northern Virginia, and works closely with union construction affiliates to pursue favorable legislation and work opportunities. Having worked on his first political campaign in high school, Greg considers educating political candidates about Building Trades issues a passion. Among his proudest accomplishments is helping to successfully pass landmark wage theft prevention legislation in Virginia. In his current role, Greg will continue to help affiliates of the Building Trades grow and fight wage theft in the construction industry.