Savannah Training Center hosts graduation ceremony, open house

The Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust Fund hosted a graduation ceremony for eight new journey-level millwrights last month, and swore a new group of members into Local 1263 before hosting an open house of its Savannah Training Center.

The eight graduates who were recognized at the ceremony were Johnathan Braddy, Stephanie Dyall, Austin Edenfield, Angelia Hansen, Michael Hart, Micheal Mack, Liam Moore, and Shaun Wooten.

The new journey-level members were able to invite their families to watch them receive their certificates to recognize their achievement from Millwright Coordinator Jessie Patterson, who thanked the graduates and their families for the sacrifices they have made while working and training.

“This is for you, this is for your families, and this is for all of your hard work and dedication,” she said. “You go to work, you’re away from your families, you come to class, you’re away from your families. We have to give up a little bit for that end goal to have the lifestyle that we have now.”

SECTT Executive Director Mark Brown and Local 1263 Business Representatives Robert Strickland and Charles Smith also spoke to the eight members, and representatives from some of the local’s partnering contractors were also on hand to congratulate them on their advancement to journey level.

Brown said the graduation ceremony served as a celebration for the newly journey-level members and also let the members show their families what they have been doing over the last few years while they have been spending time away from home to complete their training.

He pointed out that the graduates are likely making more money than many of the others who are their age, and have the added benefit of graduating without any student loan debt — and were actually getting paid throughout their apprenticeships.

“I think sometimes as we look at what’s going on, we forget what kind of opportunity this organization is providing for our members,” he said.

After the eight members received their certificates recognizing their completion of the apprenticeship program, Local 1263 President Sean Harkins swore a group of new members into the union to begin their own millwright careers.

After the ceremony’s conclusion, the training center’s personnel hosted an open house to allow members of the community to take a tour of the facility and see the career opportunities available to them through the UBC and SSMRC, as well as the training that would allow them to advance in their careers.