SSMRC staff network with elected officials, contractors, manufacturers at automotive summit
SSMRC leaders networked with elected officials, contractors, and manufacturers at the 2023 Auto Focus Summit hosted by our training center in Charlotte, North Carolina, March 1-2. The Southern States Automotive Contractors Association, an organization the SSMRC was instrumental in creating, held the event.
Q1 – Eastern Region Director Update
I am pleased to report on the first quarter of 2023 for the Eastern Region of the SSMRC. As we have forecasted, the employment opportunities have been endless. Our district is on track to shatter our previous years' hours worked, which is great news for our brotherhood. We are alive and well and growing exponentially. There has never been such a great time to be a union millwright in the South.
Local 1554 welcomes Jesse Beilig as its newest business agent
Local 1554 has welcomed a familiar face as the newest business agent for Local 1554 out of Nashville. In January, Jesse Beilig assumed the business agent role covering middle and West Tennessee, replacing former Local 1554 business agent, Steve Williams, who has since taken a position as the Nuclear Representative for the SSMRC.
Get to know Jacob Wooten, the newest SSMRC administrative assistant
Jacob Wooten joined the SSMRC team in late February and serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Birmingham office. Wooten is a native of Birmingham, AL with a diverse educational and work background. He graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in both Applied Math and Music. After graduation, he worked in the financial industry, where he quickly advanced moving from a teller position to a role as an accounting and finance specialist.
Q1 – Central Region Director Update
Central Region members and contractors alike have been busy within the power-gen and automotive industries.
Q1- Western Region Director Update
The Western Region of the SSMRC kicked off the first quarter of 2023 with a bang. Right after the holidays, work has been non-stop and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all.
SSMRC President and Nuclear Representative set to retire after nearly 45 years of service to the brotherhood
SSMRC President and Nuclear Representative, David Bonds is retiring after nearly 45 years of service to the brotherhood.
Carpenters’ Helping Hands provides grant for Local 1192 member, who lost his home to a house fire
A brotherhood is often described as a relationship or bond that is so tight it can never be broken. It’s made up of a group of people that have each other’s backs no matter what, especially during a time of need.
New SSMRC delegate initiated at March meeting
A new SSMRC delegate was sworn in at the March staff and delegate meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.
SSMRC part of UBC Southern District Committee working to ensure our members benefit from historic federal investments in infrastructure, technology, clean-energy projects
The SSMRC is part of a committee that is working to make sure union members – and particularly our millwrights – gain substantial job opportunities through programs that will funnel billions of dollars into infrastructure, technology, and clean-energy projects during the next decade.
March Member Spotlight – Ethan Neville
From a young age, Local 1000 member Ethan Neville, knew he was destined to work in the construction industry. Growing up, Neville kept himself busy working on cars and finding ways to expand his knowledge of the construction industry. After graduating high school, he used his knowledge to begin working as a heavy machinery rigger, traveling the country before making the courageous decision to become a union millwright. While learning the millwright way of things has posed some challenges for Neville, he has adjusted well and excelling quickly in his career.
Tennessee bill would limit ways to form a union
A bill in the Tennessee Legislature would micro-manage how votes for union representation are conducted at private businesses. The bill would make a secret-ballot election the only option for forming a union for employees who work for an employer who has received economic incentives from the state of Tennessee.
Arkansas House passes bill paving way for child-labor exploitation, lower overall wages
The Arkansas House of Representatives approved a bill Feb. 22 that would eliminate work permits that require children under 16 to provide proof of age, job and work-schedule descriptions, and parental consent to the state Labor Department. The Arkansas Senate is expected to consider a companion bill next week.
New training center dovetails with North Carolina brewery-to-pet-food-factory conversion, supplying contractors with skilled labor
The launch of a $450-million project to turn a brewery in North Carolina into a pet-food factory lined up perfectly with the opening of a union training center in that state, providing hands-on learning for newly recruited SSMRC millwrights and a skilled labor force for contractors working at the site.
February Member Spotlight – Zoey Illingworth
Most children often look up to their parents and tend to grow up and be like them. That was no different for Local 1421’s Zoey Illingworth. After watching her father growing up, she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and carry on the legacy he has created working as a union millwright.
Western Region Work Update – February 2023
March and April work is already on the books for the Western Region. Power Gen industry work is picking up with multiple projects kicking off through the end of February and the first week of March. The Gulf Coast market has been full speed ahead with one Petro Chem project after another. Conveyor and Manufacturing work […]
Nuclear Work Update – February 2023
This is one of the busiest outage seasons for the nuclear industry in recent history. We have added several “new to nuclear” millwrights and are in need of experience nuclear hands. There are still open positions at Turkey Point and ANO for this season. We are looking for millwrights that have been badged within the […]
Eastern Region Work Update – February 2023
The Eastern Region is picking up work exponentially. Please remember to get on the out of work list as soon as you are available for work. We currently have opportunities at the following projects. Local 1000: Multiple outages with APM and Siemens with many working opportunities available. For more information, contact Cliff Tucker at (813) […]
Central Region Work Update – February 2023
This year will be busy, and millwrights will be in high demand for the Automotive and Power Generation industries across our footprint. Recruitment has been in full swing, and we are looking to add new members to our team. New members in the Central Region are needed as more working opportunities present themselves. If you […]
Auto Focus summit to address key issues in automotive industry, propose solutions
The Southern States Automotive Contractors Association, a group the SSMRC was instrumental in creating, is hosting the Auto Focus 2023 summit March 1-2 at our Charlotte, North Carolina, training facility. The event is aimed at confronting – and finding solutions to – challenges in the automotive industry.
Childcare costs crippling working-class families, barring access to trade careers
Childcare expenses account for 8% to 19% of family income per child and present barriers to employment for many parents, according to a new, county-level database of childcare prices the U.S. Labor Department released in January.
Lending a helping hand – Local 1192 raises money for family in need
Being a millwright is more than just a career, it’s a brotherhood. It’s stepping up and rallying behind one of your own in a time of need. On Sept. 24 while working a job in Flint, Michigan, Local 1192 member, Josh “Teddy” Mims suffered a medical emergency and has been in the hospital for nearly […]
State of the Union Address emphasizes unions, working people
Political leaders are paying attention to union and worker issues. During the 2023 State of the Union Address, the president talked about unions, the creation of jobs with fair wages and benefits, and investing in the middle class. If you missed it, check out these highlights.
Contractors, educators, elected officials invited to training center open house in Charlotte, North Carolina
The Southern States Millwright Regional Council and Millwright Local Union 1263 invite contractors, educators, and elected officials to attend an open house at the Charlotte, North Carolina, training center on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
High school students learn about career opportunities through mock interviews
High school students at Fayetteville High School participated in mock interviews as part of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Week.
Nuclear Work Update – January 2023
The SSMRC Nuclear Office is gearing up for one of the busiest seasons in recent past, while also welcoming a familiar face as the new nuclear representative.
Planning for the future – SSMRC leadership enhances skills through biennial Millwright and Piledriver Conference
After being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of millwright and piledriver contractors and business agents from across the US and Canada met up at the UBC International Training Center in Las Vegas for the biennial Millwright and Piledriver Leadership Conference.
Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee donates toys to those in need during holiday season
The Southern States Millwrights Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee put its best foot forward to bring joy to children and families in need during the holiday season through its holiday toy drive. Donations were distributed to organizations across the Southern District just in time for Christmas.
Union apprenticeships recruiting more diverse workforce than non-union programs, study reveals
The percentages of women and Black and Latino workers signing up for union-affiliated registered apprenticeships are significantly higher than the percentages of those workers joining non-union apprenticeships, according to a study by the independent Institute for Construction Economics Research.
Western Region Work Update – January 2023
The Western Region of the SSMRC has another extremely booked spring season.
Central Region Work Update – January 2023
Last year, was a fantastic year for our members and contractors alike. This year is looking to be promising, as contractors are starting to put members to work on capital and balance of plant projects.
Eastern Region Work Update – January 2023
Work in the Eastern Region will be ramping up soon. Please ensure that you are on the out-of-work list if you are available. Please be mindful of these projects when considering your opportunities. We need to fill these projects in our area to keep our partnering contractors comfortable with pursuing future projects.
January Member Spotlight – Drew Ohorodnyk
Twenty-four years ago, in the state of Pennsylvania, Drew Ohorodnyk began his journey as a millwright and never looked back. Throughout the years, Ohorodnyk has worked extremely hard to advance in the trade, where he has been presented the opportunity to use his skills to teach others the trade that has given so much to his family. In 2020, he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he is currently a part-time millwright instructor, while still working on his tools.
American Rescue Plan program saves 350,000 union pensions from 60% cuts
President Biden announced on Dec. 8 the release of $36 billion to prevent drastic cuts to the pensions of more than 350,000 union workers and retirees. Funded by the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance Program, this is the largest award of federal financial support for worker and retiree pension security.
Register to attend the Jan. 31 SIB meeting!
All women in the SSMRC are invited to attend a Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee meeting that will be held online Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Central time. The keynote speaker will be Wendy Chun-Hoon, director of the U.S. Labor Department's Women’s Bureau.
SSMRC political director: Here’s what’s ahead with the 2022 mid-terms in the rear-view mirror
The 2022 mid-term elections are in the history books. If you voted, great! You have exercised your right. If you did not vote, there is 2024. If you’re not registered, you have time to fill out your registration card.
Project Profile: Millwrights installing cutting-edge baggage-handling system at Houston airport
Union millwrights have been instrumental in a multi-year project to install a high-tech baggage-handling system at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston that is the first of its kind in the Unites States.
Congress boosts NLRB funding, easing crisis-level shortfall; Bill also expands worker protections
Congress has approved the first funding increase for the federal labor board since 2014, averting a budget crisis but falling short of what’s needed given a dramatic rise in unionization and unfair-labor-practice charges.
Carhartt grant to provide workwear for Military Veterans Program graduates
Apparel-maker Carhartt, Inc. awarded a $25,000 grant in November to support the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ Military Veterans Program, which helps service members transition from the military to civilian careers as millwrights and carpenters.
Central Region Work Update – December 2022
Fall outage work has been very busy for our members. The upcoming holiday outage work is quickly approaching and if you are available, please reach out to your local agent.
Nuclear Work Update – December 2022
There is currently 14 scheduled outages for the spring 2023 season. This will be the largest outage season the SSMRC has seen in many years. To meet the manpower requirements, we will need all nuclear hands-on deck. There will be multiple opportunities available for those who would like to join the nuclear millwright field.
Western Region Work Update – December 2022
The Western Region is expecting to have a busier spring outage season than we had last year. To put that into perspective – last spring was the busiest the Western Region has been since the council was formed in 2010. Last year, we worked more than 200,000 man-hours over our previous highest year.
Eastern Region Work Update – December 2022
The outlook for work in the Eastern Region in 2023 is very promising. We are seeing a variety of opportunities that will be kicking off early next year. Our outage schedule is going to be one of the busiest we have ever seen.
December Member Spotlight – Marvin Carter
Local 729 member, Marvin Carter, began his journey in the trade industry as a millwright in 1965, after completing the machinist program at the Vocational Technical School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Nashville training center 80% complete
The 25,000-square-foot training center under construction in La Vergne, Tennessee, near Nashville is scheduled to be complete on Jan. 20, with a grand opening slated for March.
Your voice is needed TODAY to protect millwright wages!
One of the most common ways employers in the construction industry cheat workers, including millwrights, is by misclassifying them as independent contractors rather than employees. Your comment is needed TODAY in favor of a new U.S. Labor Department rule that would make it more difficult for contractors to misclassify workers.
Tell Congress: Fund the NLRB
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency that enforces U.S. labor law in relation to collective bargaining and unfair labor practices, is struggling to do its job due to a budget crisis that only Congress can correct.
SSMRC Sisters in the Brotherhood awards tool scholarship to Women in Construction Program graduate
The SSMRC Sisters in the Brotherhood and two of its partners presented a scholarship tool package on Dec. 6 valued at more than $1,000 to Alisha King, a recent graduate of the Moore Community House Women in Construction Program in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Federal grants to assist states in delivering unemployment benefits
The U.S. Labor Department is distributing $260 million in grants to assist states in providing unemployment-insurance benefits to workers who have faced obstacles in accessing those services.
SSMRC Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee hosting holiday toy drive
The Southern States Millwrights Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee is looking to bring joy to children and families in need this holiday season through its holiday toy drive.
Louisiana high school students tour carpenter and millwright training facility
Over 400 high school students visited the carpenter and millwright training center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, during National Apprenticeship Week.
SSMRC West Texas business agent honors UBC Military Veterans Program in annual Veterans Day Parade
SSMRC West Texas business agent, Dwight Murrah, honored those who have served our country in New Braunfels annual Veterans Day parade in Texas.
Western Region Work Update – November 2022
Western Region Work Update from Regional Director, James Rowland.
Eastern Region Work Update – November 2022
Eastern Region Work Update from Regional Director, Logan Brown.
Central Region Work Update – November 2022
Central Region Work Update from Regional Director, Jeff Smith.
Labor Department ends duplicative apprenticeship program that aimed to weaken union apprenticeships
The Labor Department has announced a final rule that ends the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program, adding it will direct its resources toward Registered Apprenticeships. (Union apprenticeships are registered apprenticeship programs.)
SSMRC celebrates National Apprenticeship Week 2022
Each year, National Apprenticeship Week is celebrated during the second full week of November. This year, the SSMRC asked members to share their story to hopefully influence others to join the brotherhood. Here are submissions from our SSMRC members celebrating National Apprenticeship Week.
High school students explore the millwright trade through local career fairs
High school students in the state of Tennessee are exploring career opportunities available to them after high school.
Women learn about millwright career at Mississippi job fair
Several women expressed strong interest in becoming millwrights after stopping by the SSRMRC's booth at the Women's Resource and Employment Fair held Nov. 3 at Moore Community House in Biloxi, Mississippi.
November Member Spotlight – Jeremy Gonzales
For the past 11 years, Jeremy Gonzales, a member of Local 2232 has dedicated himself to a career as a union millwright. Being a millwright comes with a lot of challenges, in which a lot of people do not talk about until they have walked in the shoes of a millwright. No job is ever the same and each day presents a slate of new challenges. Being a millwright is not for the faint of heart. But with a whole lot of faith and a lot of hard work, it is a rewarding career.
Tennessee members: Vote NO on Amendment 1
If you live in Tennessee, you have an opportunity to vote on a proposed amendment that would add a falsely named “right-to-work” clause to the state constitution. Amendment 1 is an attempt by greedy corporations to rewrite the Tennessee Constitution in a way that will suppress unions and harm working people in order to further inflate corporate profits.
Take CONTROL this Election
When union millwrights vote, we have POWER. We encourage our members to vote for candidates who support: good union jobs; access to free, ongoing training; fair wages and benefits; and protection of union pensions.
Hiring veterans makes sense – and we make it easy
Military veterans have many hard and soft skills that make them great millwrights. In the South, we have two training centers that are part of the Military Veterans Program run by our parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.
Nashville-area training center to focus on skills needed at central and west Tennessee jobsites
Construction should be complete before the end of the year on a 25,000-square-foot training center in La Vergne, Tennessee. This property is in a high-traffic area surrounded by residential subdivisions, which will greatly enhance our recruitment efforts.
Larger, high-tech training center brings more work, learning opportunities to Arkansas
In the state of Arkansas, the new 35,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art training center located right off Interstate 40 in Russellville was completed in May. The proximity of this facility to a major interstate has given us more visibility with contractors, state and local leaders, and the general public.
Help us celebrate National Apprenticeship Week by sharing your story
National Apprenticeship Week is Nov. 14 – 20 and we want to celebrate by telling your stories. If you would like to participate, click here to fill out the questionnaire. Answers may be highlighted and shared across SSMRC social media platforms.
Inspire others by sharing your volunteer work!
If you or someone you know is an SSMRC member who does community-volunteer work, please send us a text at 855-577-7672. We would like to highlight the causes members contribute to, and we are using our Community Service Challenge Program to do that.
Member Spotlight: Jacob Gatlin
The term “millwright” is more than just a title given to someone who works in the construction industry. It is a word that describes hard work and the brotherhood between individuals alike. Jacob Gatlin, a member of Local 2411 and 2nd year apprentice millwright starts every day with a “go get ‘em” attitude, working hard to achieve the goals he has set for himself as a young millwright.
Western Region Work Update – October 2022
Western Region Work Update from Regional Director, James Rowland.
Eastern Region Work Update – October 2022
Eastern Region Work Update from Eastern Region Director, Logan Brown.
Central Region Work Update – October 2022
Central Region Work Update from Central Region Director, Jeff Smith.
Council collaborating to fight falsely named ‘right-to-work’ amendment
SSMRC Political Director Rick Halford and A.J. Starling, secretary-treasurer of the Tennessee AFL-CIO, are working with the Tennessee Workers' Alliance to fight back against the falsely named "right-to-work" amendment that Tennessee voters will consider on Nov. 8.
High school students learn more about opportunities in the trade industry at job fairs
High school students in Savannah, Georgia, expanded their knowledge of the opportunities available to them after graduating high school at a job fair hosted by the Savannah Chatham County Public School System Public Affairs Department.
Building Ford’s biggest manufacturing complex will require hundreds of union millwrights
Union millwrights from across the South will be needed to build the largest auto-production complex in Ford Motor Company’s history. The massive undertaking – which includes an electric-vehicle-manufacturing facility more than two-thirds of a mile long and a battery plant the size of 109 football fields – will provide a wealth of work opportunities for SSMRC members.
Register for the Oct. 25 SIB meeting
All women in the SSMRC are invited to attend a Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee meeting that will be held online Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. Central time.
Council leaders promote our workforce at Southern Automotive Conference
Representatives from all three regions of our council are running the SSMRC's stand-out booth at the Southern Automotive Conference in Atlanta. They are networking with auto-industry manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors.
International Training Center updates COVID-19 vaccination policy
Given the high vaccination rate in the U.S. and Canada, combined with effective treatment methods and lower infection rates, the requirement that participants be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend programs at the International Training Center has been rescinded effective immediately.
SSMRC business agent and industrial partners participate in CRMA golf tournament
Local 1552 business agent, William Condon and signatory contractors participated in the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association's golf tournament in Ooltewah, Tennessee.
Local 1263 gives back to community on National Public Lands Day.
Eastern Regional Director, Logan Brown and members of Local 1263 celebrated National Public Lands Day by giving back to their community. On September 24, Thurmond Lake held one of its largest single-day volunteer projects. During the event, Brown and other volunteer members built four life jacket loaner stations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These loaner stations will be placed at various spots around the lake for people to access for free.
New SSMRC delegates initiated at September meeting
A pair of new SSMRC delegates were sworn in at the September staff and delegate meeting in Oklahoma City. William Blackburn representing Local 1263 and Justin Stanhope representing Local 2232 were sworn in by SSMRC President, David Bonds during the September 10 delegate meeting.
Pump expert discusses importance of industry-millwright connections
Watch a video of pump expert Randal Therman telling why millwrights and their knowledge are important and why people throughout the pump industry need to be connecting with the millwright workforce.
Nuclear Work Update – September 2022
Brothers and Sisters, We are preparing to move into the Mix 20/20 system, utilizing a secondary list for nuclear millwrights. The transition will be in place for the spring 2023 outage season. Please click the link below and fill out the form to be added for eligibility. This will not affect the general industry work […]
Eastern Region Work Update – September 2022
Eastern September Work update from Regional Director, Logan Brown.
Central Region Work Updates – September 2022
Central Region September Work Update from Regional Director, Jeff Smith.
Western Region Work Updates – September 2022
Western Region September Work Update from Regional Director, James Rowland.
Oklahoma candidates speak at SSMRC staff/delegate meeting
Several candidates running for office in Oklahoma spoke about labor issues during our September staff and delegate meeting in Oklahoma City. The candidates included Joy Hofmeister, who is running for governor, U.S. Senate candidates Kendra Horn and Madison Horn, and labor-commissioner candidate Leslie Osborn.
Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust Fund adds new training director
Mark Brown, a 15-year carpenter business representative, financial officer, and trustee, began working as training director of the Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust Fund in March, helping enrich the skills of millwrights in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Local 1263 participates in annual Labor Day Parade in Charlotte
It was a rainy Labor Day but that did not stop members from Local 1263 from participating in the annual Labor Day Parade held in Charlotte, North Carolina.
U.S. senator tours Georgia training center, holds labor round table
Just before Labor Day, Rev. Raphael Warnock, a U.S. senator from Georgia who is running for re-election, toured the Augusta millwright and carpenter training center and took part in a round-table discussion with union leaders.
Local 2232 adds new business representative
Monte Thompson, a 17-year millwright and member of Local 2232, which covers Houston and the Gulf Coast region of Texas, began working as a business representative for Local 2232 in early July.
Member Spotlight: Austin Bryant
From a young age, Local 216’s Austin Bryant knew he was destined to work in the construction industry. While in high school, Bryant completed two machine shop classes where he learned how to run lathes and mills along with designing and manufacturing components. After taking some time to attend community college and the economic collapse in 2008, Bryant chose to pursue a career in machining with a tool and dye mechanic shop. After working under a master machinist for two years, Bryant decided it was time for a career change.
Happy Labor Day!
Every year on the first Monday in September, Americans across the United States celebrate Labor Day. It is a day designated to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.
Get to know Hannah Hammonds, the newest SSMRC marketing and communications specialist
Hannah Hammonds, a seasoned multimedia professional, ABBY Award winning show host and graduated of the University of Alabama joined the SSMRC team in mid-August as a Communications Specialist focusing on Marketing and Member Recruitment.
In partnership with UBC, mayor declares Labor Week in Savannah, GA
The mayor of Savannah, Georgia, has declared the week of Labor Day to be Labor Week in that municipality. "I want to thank those who work hard in our community," Mayor Van Johnson said at an Aug. 25 event announcing Labor Week.
Local 2411 recognizes member for 70 years of service
Working in the construction industry comes with a great deal of sacrifices. Many long hours, travel, and time away from family and friends. However, it also comes with a great deal of rewards. This past week, Local 2411 business agent, Robert Jeffers, presented James D. Moore with a “70 Year” membership pin recognizing his dedication to the UBC.
Ask your EST
Do you have a question about your union you would like answered? Starting in September, we will be launching a monthly "Ask your EST" segment, in which Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Wayne Jennings will dive deep into answering member questions and educating members about opportunities in our council and the UBC.
Happy Women’s Equality Day!
Women’s Equality Day is a day to celebrate and recognize the work of those who have - and continue to - advocate for positive change. Did you know the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau was founded three months before the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote?
SSMRC members soar to new leadership heights through UBC training
Fifty-eight SSMRC members reached leadership milestones, while attending Third-Year Apprentice and 212 Journeymen classes at the UBC International Training Center in Las Vegas.
SSMRC Regional director helps Georgia Boy Scout troop earn Labor Merit Badge
SSMRC Eastern Region director, Logan Brown met with members of Boy Scout Troop 8 in Augusta, GA at the beginning of August. Troop members worked toward earning their Labor Merit Badge, while being educated on labor history, apprenticeship requirements, and different types of labor unions and trades.
SSMRC members ‘Seize the Opportunity’ at 2022 UBC Sisters in the Brotherhood Conference
Twelve sisters represented the Southern States Millwright Regional Council at the 2022 United Brotherhood of Carpenters Sisters in the Brotherhood Conference, where they attended workshops, networked with approximately 525 sisters across the United States and Canada, and gained skills and knowledge to take back to their locals and jobsites.
Local 1192 holds orientation for 20
Local 1192 held an orientation for apprentice and journey level millwrights on July 18 in Mobile, Alabama. Twenty individuals attended this orientation as part of the fall and summer recruitment drive. Most individuals completed the OSHA 10 course and is expected to start scheduled classes in January 2023. Some will begin working in Moss Point, […]
At Kennedy King events, SSMRC staff discuss labor standards, work opportunities
While attending the Kennedy King Gala in Tampa, Florida, on Aug. 20, SSMRC staff networked with local and state elected officials and candidates to discuss ways to improve labor standards and to learn about upcoming projects that could provide work opportunities for our members.
Member Spotlight: Heather Pratt
Eager to learn, Heather Pratt dedicates herself to a successful career as a union millwright. When the alarm clock sounds early in the morning, Heather Pratt, a member of Local 1192 starts her workday with an analytical mindset, eager to face the ever-changing challenges that come with working as a millwright.
Millwright leaders host Texas commissioner to tour and talk about illegal employment practices
Harris County, Texas, Commissioner Adrian Garcia visited the Houston training center Aug. 10. He toured the facility, met with apprentices, and discussed with SSMRC staff issues that are affecting union millwrights.
SSMRC, Southern District staff help relaunch Arkansas Labor Caucus
SSMRC and UBC Southern District staff are helping to relaunch the Arkansas Labor Caucus. At a July 13 meeting, members of several labor unions met to elect officers, approve bylaws, and make a plan for recruiting members.
Staff help new DOL investigators ensure contractors pay prevailing wages
SSMRC and Central South Carpenters staff met with new U.S. Labor Department investigators in Oklahoma July 13 to explain millwright and carpenter jurisdictions (the types of work each craft performs) so the investigators can better ensure prevailing wages and benefits are paid to workers on federal projects.
SSMRC, CSCRC staff talk union issues with Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate
SSMRC and Central South Carpenters staff met with Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister July 18 to discuss issues, including worker misclassification, that affect union members and the law-abiding contractors who employ them.
$1 Billion in Airport Funding to Benefit Union Millwrights and Contractors
In the next year, $1 billion in airport-terminal-improvement projects will begin at 85 airports across the country. Funding for the projects comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and represents the first year of a five-year program to invest $5 billion in terminals.
Updates proposed for Davis-Bacon prevailing-wage law
For the first time in 40 years, the U.S. Labor Department is proposing comprehensive updates to the Davis-Bacon Act. The changes would speed up prevailing wage updates, improve efficiency, and ensure prevailing-wage rates keep up with actual wages.
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.
Full pension benefits saved for millions of union workers, retirees
Pensions are now secure for millions of union workers workers and retirees who were at risk of losing their benefits, the U.S. Labor Department announced July 6.
Construction of Ford’s biggest manufacturing complex will provide work for hundreds of union millwrights
Union millwrights from across the South and beyond will be needed to build the largest auto-production complex in Ford Motor Company’s history. Ford announced last year it will build the $5.6 billion project in Stanton, Tennessee.
Union members receive much better pay, benefits, Congressional report shows
The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee has released a study showing that, compared to their non-union peers, union members earn 10.2% higher wages and are 18.3% more likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance.
Labor Department holding forums on worker misclassification
Employers and employees are invited to U.S. Labor Department online forums about worker misclassification. Employees who are misclassified as independent contractors are deprived of employer-provided health, retirement, and other benefits as well as Social-Security and Family-and-Medical-Leave-Act benefits.
Local 2411’s George Schwab transitioned into union from military service
George Schwab, a millwright apprentice in Local 2411, has been a member of the SSMRC since June of 2020 after taking advantage of the Helmets to Hardhats program to ease his transition into a construction career after serving in the military.
Oklahoma cuts unemployment benefits period by 10 weeks
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law May 20 that reduces the time Oklahomans can receive unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 16 weeks beginning in January of next year.
SSMRC political director: Take into account new voting laws and make a plan to vote
Primaries are happening across the South; make a plan to get out to vote. Voting laws across some of the Southern states have changed. Here’s what you need to know.
$2.5 billion aluminum mill in south Alabama to provide opportunities for SSMRC millwrights, partnering contractors
aluminum-recycling mill in Bay Minette, Alabama, will provide a wealth of opportunities for SSMRC partnering contractors and millwrights to install robotics and other equipment at a 3,000-acre site.
Governors attack order requiring labor agreements on large federal projects
Governors of nine states in the SSMRC’s 11-state jurisdiction have signed a letter opposing an executive order issued in February that requires project labor agreements on large, federally funded construction projects.
Side, roofing panels being installed at Nashville Training Center
Both side and roofing panel installation is going well during construction of the $5 million, 25,000-square-foot training facility in Nashville, Tennessee.
Local 1263 member Ellis Griffin uses years of experience to help bring up the next generation
Since he became a union millwright in 1994, Ellis Griffin has worked across all 11 of the council’s states in nearly every industry that the SSMRC serves, and while he mainly sticks to turbine work these days, he takes pride in serving as a mentor to the apprentices working alongside him.
SSMRC, UBC fighting tax fraud because it harms workers, law-abiding contractors, communities, taxpayers
Regional councils and locals that make up the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, our parent organization, participated in more than 200 events and initiatives across the United States and Canada during construction-industry Tax Fraud Days of Action, April 11-16, 2022.
Central Region representatives attend Mobile Oilmen’s Golf Tournament
Representatives from the SSMRC's Central Region attended the Mobile Oilmen's Annual Golf Tournament in late April, with the council sponsoring a hole at the tournament to bring exposure to more than 450 participants from industries in the Gulf region.
Local 1192 business representatives attend charity sporting clay shoot
Local 1192 Business Representatives Clint Smith and Les Roberts partnered with Plant Barry and Alabama Central Credit Union at the 2022 Plant Barry APSO Sporting Clay Shoot to help raise money for children in Alabama who are facing life threatening conditions.
UBC Military Veterans Program training center opens near Fort Campbell
A new training center that is part of the Military Veterans Program run by our parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, began training its first class of applicants earlier this month. The Clarksville, Tennessee, center is serving soldiers transitioning out of the U.S. Army at nearby Fort Campbell.
Senator’s plan would raise taxes on 40% of Americans, end Social Security, Medicare
A proposal by a Republican U.S. senator from Florida would increase income taxes for the lowest-earning 40% of Americans and allow all federal legislation to "sunset" within five years, meaning programs including Social Security, Medicare, and more would end unless Congress reauthorized them.
SSMRC sisters: Please register to attend the April 26 SIB meeting
All women in the SSMRC are invited to attend a Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee meeting that will be held online Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. Central time.
Oklahoma, Louisiana consider cutting duration of unemployment benefits
Several state legislatures, including those in Oklahoma and Louisiana, are considering cuts to their unemployment-benefit programs that would reduce the number of weeks people can receive aid, lower weekly benefit amounts, or make work-search requirements tougher.
Georgia lawmakers approve program that would reward contractors for employing apprentices
Georgia contractors will soon be able to "sponsor" apprentices in U.S. Labor Department-registered apprenticeship programs for high-demand careers and receive a "contract completion award" of up to $10,000 for each apprentice who remains in their employment through program completion.
Local 1192’s Andrew Sims puts a priority on safety as superintendent
Local 1192 member Andrew Sims has been a member of the SSMRC for nearly 20 years and a field superintendent for nearly a decade, and his commitment to safety for his fellow millwrights has led to recognitions from Atlantic Plant Maintenance.
Federal task force releases recommendations for promoting worker organizing
The White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment has released a report with nearly 70 recommendations that promote worker organizing and collective bargaining.
NLRB attorney speeding to protect workers, unions
The National Labor Relations Board's new head lawyer has been working quickly to beef up legal protections for workers and unions and to increase penalties for violations of the National Labor Relations Act.
Work continues on Tennessee Training Center
Construction of the Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund's new training facility in Tennessee continues to go well, with the PEMB (Pre-Engineered Metal Building) steel erection currently underway.
SSMRC members, staff attend Get Out To Vote Conference
Six members and staff of the SSMRC gained valuable information and tools to share by attending the 2022 Get Out To Vote Conference, held by our parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, at its International Training Center in Las Vegas.
Training coordinator, apprentices attend career expo
Representatives of the Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust recently attended a career expo at Savannah Technical College to talk to more than 40 high school juniors and seniors and their parents about opportunities within the SSMRC and UBC.
Council staff participate in labor roundtable with vice president, DOL secretary
Two SSMRC staff members were among a small group of union leaders who met with the U.S. vice president and labor secretary in Durham, North Carolina, on March 2, sharing concerns about unfair competition from law-breaking contractors and about the need for government policies that support contractors who hire skilled workers and provide good wages and benefits.
Trampas Jackson’s military experience led to seamless transition into union
Until 2018, Local 216 journeyman Trampas Jackson had spent all of his adult life serving in the military or in a federal job, but when it came time to chart a new course in his life, he chose the work of a millwright in the SSMRC.
Helmets to Hardhats offering prize giveaway to veterans
Helmets to Hardhats has partnered with Milwaukee tools to offer giveaways for its weekly Worksite Wednesday posts. Each veteran featured in the posts will receive a free tool package from Milwaukee Tools consisting of a jobsite speaker and a compact cooler.
Arkansas training center nearing completion
The new millwright and carpenter training center in Russellville, Arkansas is about 85% complete. With square footage between 20,000 and 30,000, the new center will provide two-to-three times the space of the existing facility.
Georgia bill would help protect workers from misclassification, loss of benefits
A bill in the Georgia House of Representatives would change the definition of "employment" to include "services performed by an individual for wages" unless the individual is free from control or direction over the performance of such services.
Re-vote begins at Alabama Amazon warehouse
Workers at a Bessemer, Alabama, Amazon warehouse are voting for a second time in less than a year on whether to join a union. If they vote in favor this time, the Bessemer facility will be the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States.
President signs executive order requiring labor agreements on large federal construction projects
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Feb. 4 requiring project labor agreements on federal construction projects that cost more than $35 million. Project labor agreements are collective bargaining agreements between building trade unions and contractors that determine wages, employment conditions, and dispute-resolution processes.
Southeast Carpenters help pass law clamping down on contractor non-payment of workers’ compensation premiums
A law enacted in Tennessee last year with the help of the Southeast Carpenters Regional Council will make it tougher for unethical contractors to get away with not paying workers' compensation insurance premiums.
OLMS rescinds Trump administration rule that unjustly burdened unions
The Office of Labor-Management Standards has rescinded a Trump-administration rule that imposed unjustified and burdensome paperwork requirements on labor unions.
NBC Nightly News: Unpaid construction workers go hungry while others profit
Focusing on a case that began in Iowa with the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters giving aid to six construction workers who were starving, NBC Nightly News broadcast a special segment on wage theft in the construction industry.
Council EST and political director discuss labor issues with Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams
In a meeting with Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Jan. 31, SSMRC leaders discussed labor issues including visa-program abuses, project labor agreements, and tax and workers' compensation fraud by unscrupulous contractors.
See county-level information on projects the American Rescue Plan Act is funding
A provision of the American Rescue Plan Act allocated $65.1 billion to every county in the United States. According to the National Association of Counties, this funding is providing "direct, flexible aid."
U.S. Congress considering legislation that would reduce costs for working families, invest in union apprenticeships and rural communities
Efforts continue in the U.S. Congress to pass Build Back Better legislation that would assist working families with child- and elder-care costs, reduce health-care costs, housing, and education costs, and invest in union apprenticeships, rural communities, and union-built clean-energy projects including wind-turbine installation.
Tim Hurd honored by Millwright Local 1000
The members of Millwright Local 1000 recently honored Tim Hurd with a plaque to recognize his craftsmanship, attention to detail and years of dedicated service to the local’s membership and to the Millwrights Apprenticeship Training Program.
Southern District Vice President earns his 45-year service pin
Congratulations to the UBC Southern District Vice President Dennis Donahou for earning his 45-year service pin, marking the amount of time he has remained a member in good standing with the UBC.
Study reveals so-called ‘right-to-work’ states have worse economic, health, social, civic outcomes
During an eight-year period of national economic expansion following the recession of 2008, the 27 U.S. states with so-called “right-to-work” laws experienced slower economic growth, lower wages, higher consumer debt, worse health outcomes, and lower levels of civic participation than states without those laws, according to a study released last year.
Study shows 39% of construction families need public assistance, costing tax payers $28 billion per year
A report the University of California Berkeley Labor Center released in January reveals that 39% of construction worker families nationwide are forced to enroll in one or more safety-net programs to make ends meet.
Council staff meet with Alabama politicians, industry leaders
Three SSMRC representatives discussed the benefits of our workforce with Alabama political and industry leaders during the Manufacture Alabama Annual Legislative Reception and Dinner held in Montgomery on Jan. 11.
What the proposed Tennessee Right-to-Work Amendment would mean for working families and who would really benefit
In November of this year, members who live in Tennessee will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed amendment – Amendment No. 1 – that would add a falsely named “right-to-work” clause to the state constitution.
U.S. Senate debates voting-rights legislation
The U.S. Senate is debating two bills that would establish rules regarding voting and elections. Supporters say the legislation – the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – would make it easier for hard-working American citizens to vote while strengthening election security and limiting corporate influence on elections.
Member Spotlight: Jesse Beilig
Jesse Beilig, a member of SSMRC Local 1554 since 2015, is a Labor Coordinator and Resource Coordinator for Universal Plant Services in its Nashville, Tennessee office. He credits the training and educational opportunities offered by the UBC and SSMRC for sparking his interest in labor relations and in taking on more leadership roles in the union.
U.S. Supreme Court blocks OSHA vaccine mandate
On Jan. 13, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked a mandate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that would have required all employers with 100 or more employees to require those employees to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to be tested weekly and wear masks at work.
Sisters throughout the South attend first SSMRC Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee meeting
The first SSMRC Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee meeting was a great success. Forty-three sisters from across the South attended the virtual meeting held on Jan. 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time.
Local 216 members receive service pins
Several members of Local 216 received service pins during the Local's Christmas dinner earlier in December.
Bartley named millwright instructor at Baton Rouge training center
Jack Bartley was recently named the new instructor for Local 729 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Labor Department launches Apprenticeship Ambassador Program
The video above announcing the Apprenticeship Ambassador Program features UBC member Jovan Johnson and Barbara Hampton, president and CEO of SSMRC partnering contractor Siemens USA.
U.S. Labor Department proposes ending Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program
The Labor Department is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would eliminate the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program started under the Trump administration so the department can direct its resources toward Registered Apprenticeships (union apprenticeship programs are "registered apprenticeships").
SSMRC provides compressors for training centers in Moss Point, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The SSMRC recently purchased compressors worth approximately $30,000 each for the Moss Point, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, training centers.
Training instructors needed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky
The Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund is considering hiring one full-time instructor and one part-time instructor to deliver carpenter and millwright craft training through the United Brotherhood of Carpenters' Military Veterans Program at the Army base in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
SSMRC Sisters: Attend the Jan. 4 virtual SIB meeting and get a free t-shirt
All women in the SSMRC are invited to attend the council's first Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee meeting. The meeting will be held online Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. Central time.
Growing labor movement gains victories at Amazon, Starbucks
During the past month, the National Labor Relations Board ordered a new union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, and, for the first time, workers at a Starbucks store voted to unionize.
Apprentice Appreciation Day held at Savannah training center
Millwright apprentices in the Savannah, Georgia, area and their families celebrated a day of fun and information at the Savannah training center on Dec. 4. Forty apprentices and more than 25 family members, friends, and walk-ins participated in Apprentice Appreciation Day.
Local 1263 members receive service pins
Four members of Local 1263 received service pins during a ceremony held Dec. 14. Most of the members are from South Carolina and the Augusta, Georgia, area and are employed at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia, and at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
Community Service Challenge Award Winner: Mike Hines
The reason Mike Hines enjoys his job as a union business agent is the same reason he has been volunteering in his community since high school. Both undertakings allow him to practice his guiding philosophies: make things better than you found them and help provide equal opportunities.
Member Spotlight: Matt Bartles
Matt Bartles is helping young people get into good-paying jobs while also combatting a shortage of skilled welding professionals. Matt Bartles first heard the term “millwright” from a guest speaker at the technical college he was attending in 2010. A decade later – after completing the millwright apprenticeship, working in the field, and becoming a […]
Military vets training program creates pro millwrights and carpenters
The UBC's Military Veterans Program is wasting no time prepping our nation’s heroes to hit the ground running as professional union millwrights or carpenters once they complete their military tours.
Meet Teresa Harmon, the new office manager for Millwright Local 1554:
Jeff Smith, director of the SSMRC's Central Region, introduces Teresa Harmon, the new office manager for Local 1554.
Local 729 president and council delegate James Perniciaro passes away at age 61
Millwright Local 729 president and SSMRC delegate James Perniciaro passed away on Oct. 31 due to complications from COVID-19. He was a kind, compassionate, generous person and will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and union brothers and sisters.
Send a video to help us celebrate National Apprenticeship Week
National Apprenticeship Week is next week, Nov. 15-21. We want to celebrate by highlighting your stories. Please send us a short video we can post on SSMRC social-media platforms.
Get a free t-shirt when you take the 101 Constitution online course
The SSMRC will send you a free t-shirt after you complete the online course "101 Constitution: U.S. Government and Labor Law," which is hosted in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Department of Education and Training's Learning Management System.
OSHA announces COVID-19 vaccine, testing rule; appeals court puts rule on hold
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced on Nov. 4 an Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing. Two days later – after multiple lawsuits were filed – the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals put the new rule on hold until the court system decides its legality.
Robotics training equips millwrights with in-demand skills
Two robot stations at the Charlotte, North Carolina, and Arlington, Texas, training centers are preparing millwrights to work in the automotive industry and in other manufacturing facilities that increasingly use automated systems.
Bipartisan infrastructure bill set to be signed into law
In a bipartisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a historic investment in the nation's infrastructure. The Senate passed the infrastructure legislation in August, and the bill is set to be signed into law soon.
Member Spotlight: Jeffery Phillips
Jeffery Phillips, a recent graduate of the Millwright Military Veterans Program, has experienced a crash course in on-the-job training since he transitioned out of the Army in August.
Union millwrights help build largest nuclear power station in U.S.
Millwright Local 1263 members Jeremy Rentz and Derek Igou tell about their work as foremen for TurbinePros on the Units 3 and 4 construction project at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle nuclear station.
Mitchell leading millwright training in Moss Point, Mississippi
Meet Robert Mitchell, the new millwright training instructor in Moss Point, Mississippi. Mitchell has been a member of Millwright Local 1192 since 2013.
We’re investing in Gulf Coast training centers
The Southern States Millwright Regional Council is making significant investments in Gulf Coast training centers, ensuring the area’s power-generation and petrochemical industries have continued access to elite craftspeople with the complex skills these industries demand.
SSMRC provides certified wind-turbine technicians
The Southern States Millwright Regional Council is gearing up to supply wind-turbine commissioning and maintenance mechanics to fill a growing labor need as the wind-power industry expands.
UBC vaccine verification system now available
To meet the demands of contractors, the UBC has launched an online portal to upload proof of COVID-19 vaccination through Training Verication Cards. The portal can be accessed through the UBC Mobile App or from your TVC Card.
Labor Department reinstates Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship
The U.S. Department of Labor announced on Sept. 20 the appointments of 29 members to serve on the newly reinstated Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship, which will provide advice and recommendations on issues related to registered apprenticeship (union apprenticeship programs are "registered apprenticeships").
Bills in Congress would create jobs for union millwrights, lower taxes and expenses for working-class families
Congress continues to work on approving a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget reconciliation bill, both part of the Build Back Better plan that would create jobs for union millwrights and lower taxes, childcare costs, and other expenses for working-class families.
Get to know Robert Strickland, a new business agent for Local 1263
Robert Strickland, a former Marine and an eight-year member of Local 1263, which covers Georgia and the Carolinas, began working as a business agent for that local in September.
Regional directors attend Southern Automotive Conference
Two SSMRC regional directors networked with representatives of automotive-industry manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors during the Southern Automotive Conference, held Oct. 13-15 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Millwright Local 1192, Mammoet Industrial Services tackle Gulf Coast airport expansion that represents series of firsts
Travel to oceanside communities in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle has increased tremendously in recent years, and millwrights from Local 1192 are helping expand the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport to accommodate the growth.
Carpenters’ Helping Hands provides grant to Local 1554 member whose home was flood damaged
Flood waters rose so quickly on Aug. 21 in Waverly, Tennessee, that Michael T. Davis had to escape his home by climbing through a window and into his boat, which the water had pushed against the house.
Member Spotlight: Jessie Patterson
Local 1263 member Jessie Patterson has achieved goals quickly in her millwright career and has discovered a passion for helping others do the same. Finding the millwright trade after leaving the military in 2012 took Jessie Patterson several years, but she’s been on a fast track ever since.
Union millwrights play vital role in building life-saving proton-therapy center for cancer patients
Union millwrights are working with partnering contractor Boldt to double the size of a Houston, Texas, medical center that delivers the most advanced and precise form of radiation therapy to cancer patients.
Local 1263 Business Agent Michael Hamilton retires
After 45 years as a member of Local 1263 and 31 years as the local’s business agent, Michael Hamilton will retire on Sept. 30. Mike will be greatly missed, and we wish him the best in retirement! Michael Hamilton has held many leadership positions within the SSMRC, United Brotherhood of Carpenters, and UBC Millwrights. In […]
New online course covers U.S. government and labor law
All SSMRC members now have access to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters' online course "101 Constitution: U.S. Government and Labor Law," which is hosted online in the Department of Education and Training's Learning Management System.
SSMRC Central Region, Local 1192 host labor-management meeting
SSMRC Central Region Director Jeffrey Smith and Local 1192 Business Agents Clint Smith and Lessie Roberts hosted a labor-management meeting last month at the Florence, Alabama, training center. The event also included a tour of the training center for partnering contractors.
Proposed federal bill would restrict union-organizing efforts
Anti-labor legislation that would amend the National Labor Relations Act to severely restrict the ability of unions to organize workers from within companies has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Siemens Generation Services, SSMRC millwrights leverage long partnership, new technology, and lessons learned to complete project at Farley Nuclear Station four days early
Using a new technique called “virtual alignment,” Siemens Generation Services and Southern States Millwrights replaced 40-year-old machinery during a spring 2021 upgrade of Unit 1 at Farley Nuclear Station near Dothan, Alabama.
Local 1192 members earn SSMRC Community Service Challenge Award for leading effort to support striking miners
Mitchell Howton knows what it’s like to work at the Warrior Met Coal mine in Brookwood, Alabama. He hasn’t forgotten being underground 14 hours a day, seven days a week, with the promise that next week he would get Sunday off – a promise that never materialized.
Member Spotlight: Emerson Romero
After immigrating to the United States and working as a scaffold builder in refineries, Emerson Romero found a perfect career fit as a union millwright.
Stellar millwright performance at MTM facility lands new work across South
After working successfully with SSMRC millwrights at the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama, a previously non-union contractor has established a union division and signed agreements with several locals in the SSMRC's jurisdiction.
U.S. Congress members attend Charlotte training center open house
An open house for elected officials, contractors, and community and economic-development organizations was held Aug. 26 at the new millwright and carpenter training center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
SSMRC developing Sisters in the Brotherhood committee
Several SSMRC sisters have begun building a Sisters in the Brotherhood (SIB) committee for our council. Find out how you can get involved.
SSMRC awards scholarship to Women in Construction Program graduate
The SSMRC and two of its partners presented a scholarship tool package on Aug. 17 valued at more than $1,000 to Asia Lewis, a recent graduate of the Moore Community House Women in Construction Program
Local 2411 business agent urges Jacksonville City Council to use local apprentices on city-funded construction projects
Labor leaders, including Millwright Local 2411 Business Agent Robert Jeffers, spoke to the Jacksonville, Florida, City Council on Aug. 10 about the need for city-funded construction projects to utilize local residents enrolled in Registered Apprenticeship Programs.
Nuclear Office preparing for Fall 2021 outage season
With the delta variant of COVID-19 cases rising, minimizing exposure to the virus is top of mind for utility companies and our employers. We are seeing some adjustments and new requirements being put into place.
Delta Variant 101: What to know about the COVID strain that’s causing a rapid rise in U.S. cases
Learn about the delta variant of COVID-19 through 13 questions and answers about what makes it different from previous COVID strains and more.
U.S. Senate passes $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill
The U.S. Senate has passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that would provide $73 billion for electric grid and power infrastructure, $55 billion for water systems and infrastructure, $25 billion for airports, and more.
Millwrights from Local 1192 retrofit coal-mine conveyor system 12 stories below Earth’s surface
Southern States Millwrights helped contractor Power Techniques Inc. install three massive chutes to prevent free-falling material from damaging conveyor equipment in Alabama's largest mine.
Millwright instructor needed in Moss Point, Mississippi
The Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund is hiring a full-time millwright instructor to deliver millwright craft training for apprentices and journeyman at the Moss Point, Mississippi, training center.
Looking for full time millwright instructor in Moss Point, MS
The Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund is hiring a full-time millwright instructor to deliver millwright craft training for apprentices and journeyman at the Moss Point, MS training center.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh meets with ESTs
Union member and U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh (pictured first row, middle) met with regional executive secretary treasurers at the UBC's International Training Center last month.
Council leaders report on the first half of 2021 and give work-opportunity outlooks for the rest of the year
The SSMRC's regional directors have made videos reporting on the first half of this year, highlighting upcoming work opportunities, and providing information on other important developments in their areas.
Member Spotlight: Ben Higginbotham
A member of Millwright Local 2232 since 2013, Ben Higginbotham will begin serving as national millwright and pile driver recruiter for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America on July 19.
New training center in Russellville, Arkansas, will triple training space, include wind-turbine training hub
Construction of a millwright and carpenter training center is underway in Russellville, Arkansas. Compared to the current facility, the 35,000-square-foot new center will offer additional classrooms with state-of-the-art technology and more training space.
Spradley named director of Arkansas-Oklahoma Training Program
Bryan Spradley is the new director of the Arkansas Oklahoma Apprenticeship and Training Trust Fund. Spradley has been a union carpenter for 16 years and began his instructor career in 2013.
COVID-19 vaccine information and resources
Much information and a wealth of resources surrounding COVID-19 vaccinations are now available. Check out some of them here.
Member Spotlight: Aaron Tapley
Twenty-nine-year-old Aaron Tapley has risen through the apprenticeship ranks and is now a foreman for industrial construction firm Milton J. Wood, based in Jacksonville, Florida.
Community Service Challenge winner: Dwight Murrah
Community service isn’t something Dwight Murrah does every now and then on a Saturday. It’s woven into his friendships, his marriage, his hobbies, and his relationship to the neighborhood where he lives.
SSMRC sponsors run benefiting Recovery Resource Council
The SSMRC was a major sponsor of the annual Unity Run, held in Whitney, Texas, and benefiting the nonprofit Resource Recovery Council, which provides mental and behavioral health care in 20 North Texas counties.
Millwrights and carpenters honor Arkansas’ fallen soldiers
Members of the Southern States Millwright Regional Council and the Central South Carpenters Regional Council helped create a tribute to fallen soldiers at the Veterans Memorial Park in Russellville, Arkansas.
SSMRC recruits at hot-rod-racing event
SSMRC staff operated a recruiting booth at a National Hot Rod Association event in Concord, N.C., in May. Business agents handed out hundreds of flyers and brochures.
Construction begins on $5 million training center near Nashville
Representatives of the Southern States Millwrights and Southeastern Carpenters, along with state and local officials, broke ground May 24 on a $5 million, 25,000-square-foot training center near Nashville.
Member Spotlight: April Crownhart-Swan
When April Crownhart-Swan was 7 years old, she told her mother she was going to be a race-car driver and a union member. She has accomplished both goals.
SSMRC millwrights play critical role in reopening Limetree Bay refinery after nearly 10-year shutdown
Work to bring the Limetree Bay refinery back online wrapped up the week of April 26, and millwrights are transitioning to long-term maintenance roles.
Governors ending extra unemployment benefits
Several governors in our jurisdiction have announced they will end participation in a federal unemployment program that gives workers an additional $300 per week.
To prevent falls, be aware of and correct hazards
During the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, we're sharing information about fall hazard awareness in oil and gas industrial settings.
All U.S. residents 18 and older to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by April 19
Click above to read answers to frequently asked questions about the vaccine and to find out where vaccinations are available.
SSMRC members and Local 1192 provide meal for miners on strike in Alabama
Thanks to donations from SSMRC members, Millwright Local 1192 provided 100 meals on April 20 to miners striking against unfair labor practices in Brookwood, Alabama.
SSMRC set to capitalize on American Jobs Plan that would fund infrastructure
The federal infrastructure proposal announced March 31 at a carpenters union training center would provide funding for power-generation projects the SSMRC is set to capitalize on.
Local 1263’s James West retires after three decades
March 31, 2021, was the professional stopping point for a stalwart of Millwrights Local 1263 in Kennesaw, Georgia. James B. West officially retired on that date.
Local 1554 to accept nominations and hold elections in May and June
Millwright Local 1554 will accept officer nominations and hold elections at four locations across Tennessee in May and June.
SSMRC helps educate workers, media, attorneys general during Tax Fraud Days of Action
Construction-industry tax fraud harms workers, their families, contractors who play by the rules, and entire communities, which lose tax revenue.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh lays out his vision
New U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh laid out his vision for American workers, including increasing union membership and strengthening protections for workers’ rights.
Labor Department offers $31 million to apprenticeship programs
The U.S. Department of Labor announced last month it is making $31 million in grants available to create Registered Apprenticeship Technical Assistance Centers of Excellence.
Update on Spring 2021 nuclear outage season
The 2021 spring outage season has had its challenges, but is wrapping up as a success.
SSMRC millwrights secure more than 32,000 work hours after fraud scheme unveiled
Korean workers who had fraudulently entered the United States under the Visa Waiver Program were repeatedly caught trying to work at the SK Innovation plant in Commerce, Georgia, at rates that would undercut U.S. wages.
Member Spotlight: Mark Jones
Mark Jones began working for EthosEnergy in 1997 as an apprentice and forklift operator. Last year, EthosEnergy promoted him to senior vice president of union field services.
Senate confirms Marty Walsh as new labor secretary
The U.S. Senate confirmed Marty Walsh as secretary of the Labor Department on March 22.
Local 1192 moving to newly purchased building
Millwright Local 1192, which covers Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle, has purchased a 6,080-square-foot office building to accommodate rapid growth.
DOL proposal would strengthen worker wage protections
The U.S. Labor Department is proposing to rescind two final rules that would significantly weaken protections afforded to American workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Member Spotlight: Travis Harkey
Travis Harkey of Atkins, Arkansas, has been doing mechanical work since he was 14, but he didn’t find out what a millwright was until he was 27.
OSHA enhances COVID-19 worker protections
OSHA is conducting a COVID-19 national emphasis program focused on high-risk industries and employers that retaliate against employees who complain about workplace hazards.
Why the union election at Amazon is such a big deal
The Amazon election could signal the growth of labor unions in general, after decades of decline, if legislation such as the PRO Act were to become law.
American Rescue Plan to provide relief payments to individuals and assist businesses, schools, etc.
A $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill called the American Rescue Plan became law on March 11.
Charlotte, North Carolina, training center is open for business
The new Charlotte training center sets the stage for state-of-the-art training and new industry partnerships.
SSMRC helps apprentices attend training in Houston
The SSMRC recently paid off a $1.3 million mortgage on the Houston training center in exchange for the center setting up a travel fund for apprentices living more than 75 miles from the center.
SSMRC appoints Thomas Brown to lead Local 1421 in north Texas
The SSMRC has selected Thomas Brown as business agent for Local 1421, which covers north Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.
Construction begins on $5 million millwright training center in Arkansas
Ground was broken March 8 for a $5 million, 35,000-square-foot millwright and carpenter training center in Russellville, Arkansas.
Local 1554 fighting right-to-work bill
Local 1554 is partnering with other building and construction trades and the AFL-CIO to combat a bill in the Tennessee General Assembly that would add Tennessee’s right-to-work law to the state constitution.
Thank you to the women of the SSMRC
In recognition of International Women's Day, Women's History Month, and Women in Construction Week, we would like to thank all the sisters of the SSMRC for their contributions to our union.
U.S. Labor Department to expand union apprenticeships
To strengthen registered apprenticeship programs (union apprenticeship programs are "registered"), the U.S. Labor Department announced last month it has halted the duplicative non-union apprenticeship system.
Rickey Moore tapped to lead the Mid-South Training Program
Rickey Moore has been named executive director of the Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund.
Get to know the PRO Act
The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act would strengthen federal laws that protect workers’ rights to join unions. Learn more through a fact sheet.
Member Spotlight: Esther Freeman
Esther Freeman has always had a penchant for the mechanical. She enjoyed working on cars growing up. But her welding career started with art.
OSHA issues stronger COVID-19 worker-protection guidelines
OSHA has issued stronger worker-protection guidelines to help employers and employees reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Limetree Bay refinery resumes operations
Congratulations and thank you to the SSMRC members who helped the Limetree Bay refinery in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, resume operations.
Expansion of Vogtle nuclear power plant nears completion
Thank you to the SSMRC members who have helped build Units 3 and 4 at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Georgia.
Classes to begin at new Charlotte, North Carolina, training center this month
Classes are scheduled to begin this month at the new training center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Members who live in the Carolinas will no longer have to travel to Georgia for training.
Union history set to be made in Alabama
Workers in Bessemer, Alabama, could form the first union at an Amazon warehouse in the United States. The location for this potential "first" has been called surprising due to anti-union sentiment in the region.
Check with your state health department to learn when you are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine
While the COVID-19 vaccination program is a federal initiative, each state determines who is eligible to receive the vaccine and when.
COVID-19 cases declining, but remain at high levels; precautions still needed
COVID-19 cases in the United States have dropped nearly 30 percent in the past two weeks, but public health officials say more contagious variants of the virus and relaxed precautions could lead to a resurgence.
Siemens thanks craft labor partners, including millwrights, in new video
Siemens Energy has released a video recognizing the importance of union millwrights to the success of its customers in the electric-power-generation industry.
SSMRC partner Southern Company named one of Fortune magazine’s ‘World’s Most Admired Companies’
SSMRC industry partner Southern Company has been named to Fortune magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.”
Council leaders set goals and provide work-opportunity outlooks for the year ahead
The SSMRC's regional directors and nuclear representative have made videos highlighting expected work opportunities in 2021.
Local 1192 member featured in Florence Times Daily
An article about Local 1192 member Joey Hildreth ran as the main feature on the front page of the Florence Times Daily. We're so proud of Joey and her career!
Construction of Charlotte, North Carolina, training center is complete!
Construction of a $6 million training center in Charlotte, North Carolina, is now complete, and classes are scheduled to begin in February.
Exterior renovation of Arlington, Texas, training center nears completion
The new facade of the Arlington, Texas, training center is nearing completion. The final steps of the exterior upgrade will be new signage and landscaping.
49 states at highest COVID-19 risk level
COVID-19 cases and deaths are surging across the United States. Please help protect yourself and your family, friends, and co-workers by following Centers for Disease Control guidance and taking the COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification online course.
Council leaders recap 2020, telling how COVID-19 affected work opportunities
The SSMRC's regional directors and nuclear representative have made short videos summarizing work in their areas in 2020. Click the headline to view the videos.
SSMRC makes historic investment in training centers across the Southeast
More than $20 million is being invested in new union millwright training centers and training-center upgrades across the Southeast. These investments will address the shortage of skilled industrial construction workers affecting many areas.
UBC releases statement condemning riot at U.S. Capitol building
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, our parent organization, released a statement regarding events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Click the headline to read the statement.
United Brotherhood of Carpenters applauds selection of Marty Walsh for secretary of labor
Our parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, has announced support of President-elect Biden’s selection of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as Secretary of Labor.
Local 2411 celebrates 70th anniversary and honors retiring Business Agent Paul French
In December, Millwright Local 2411 celebrated its 70th anniversary and honored Paul French, who is retiring as business agent after 12 years in that position and 50 years as a union millwright.
Southern Company releases COVID-19 quarantine guidelines
Members working at Southern Company facilities or considering employment at Southern Company sites should be aware of these COVID-19 quarantine/isolation guidelines released Dec. 30.
Get to know Guy Carter, a millwright training coordinator and president of Local 1000
Guy Carter, training coordinator and Local 1000 president, began his career as a millwright at age 38 and discovered a love of teaching six years later. He also continued working through a cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2018.
Nonprofit organizations need holiday donations
James Rowland, Western Region director, represented the SSMRC at the BIC Alliance Christmas Open House in League City, Texas. As part of the event, our council donated a toy to Galveston Urban Ministries.
Member discusses quality in Vogtle newsletter
Robert Boynton, a Millwright Local 1263 member and a general foreman for RCC, was quoted in Vogtle's Quality Newsletter.
CDC guidance for protecting yourself and others during the holiday season
As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to increase across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering guidance for celebrating the winter holidays.
Arlington, Texas, training center upgrade, including exterior remodel and new equipment, almost complete
The Arlington training center's exterior remodel is nearing completion! The new façade is part of an $800,000 upgrade that also includes new training equipment.
Check out what our apprentices had to say during National Apprenticeship Week
Thank you to all the apprentices who helped us celebrate National Apprenticeship Week by telling us why they chose to become union millwrights.
Get to know Robert Jeffers, a new business agent for Local 2411 in North Florida
Q: How long have you been a millwright and a union member? A: I have been a union millwright for nine years. I was non-union for three and a half years before I joined Local 2411.
Mazda Toyota project in Huntsville, Alabama, set to provide work opportunities throughout 2021 and beyond
Local 1192’s work at the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant under construction in Huntsville, Alabama, is going well after kicking off this spring. Check out these updates.
Member Spotlight: At age 75, Joey Hildreth is working 10-hour days and promoting the millwright trade to other women
After Joey Hildreth began working as a millwright in 1974, she didn’t see another female millwright on a jobsite for at least four years. But that didn’t shake her confidence in her career choice.
Charlotte, North Carolina, training center nears completion
After a year of construction, the new millwrights and carpenters training center in Charlotte, North Carolina, is nearing completion. The most recent work includes electrical wiring, plumbing-fixture caulking, painting, and installing of drop ceilings.
With coronavirus cases surging, please take precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your co-workers
COVID-19 cases are increasing dramatically in most parts of the United States, including the South. The 7-day moving average of new cases nationwide is more than 110,000, which is more than double what it was a month ago.
Please help us raise funds for a Miracle League field in Nashville
Please help the SSMRC support the Miracle League of Music City, which has launched a year-end campaign to raise the final $250,000 needed to break ground on on the $2 million Miracle League Complex.
Council makes historic investments in training centers across Southeast
The SSMRC has invested $3.5 million in our affiliated training programs in recent years. Learn about projects underway or upcoming across the Southeast.
Heads up: Some CBD oils contain THC, which can cause failed drug tests
Members should be aware some CBD oils contain THC, and this can show up in a drug screening. Do your research before using any CBD product.
Know the rules and deadlines for early in-person and mail-in voting
States have different rules and deadlines regarding early in-person and mail-in voting. Know your what to do to make sure your ballot is counted.
Proposed rule could make misclassifying workers easier
The U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed regulation last month that could make it easier for employers to misclassify workers.
Member Sterling Martin earns Community Service Challenge Award
The SSMRC is honoring Local 1192 member Sterling Martin with the Community Service Challenge Award for his work at Alabama’s Smith Lake.
UBC Sisters in the Brotherhood Caucus to be held Oct. 16
The SSMRC's parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, is holding a UBC Sisters in the Brotherhood Caucus Friday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Member Spotlight: Calder Manley, a Local 1192 journeyman
Calder Manley, a military veteran and member of Local 1192, currently works at the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama.
City Council approves new Nashville-area training center
The LaVergne, Tennessee, City Council approved construction of a new Nashville-area training center on June 30.
Please complete the online COVID-19 Preparedness course
The COVID-19 Preparedness course can help you protect yourself and others on jobsites. Instructions for accessing the course have been updated.
UBC Constitution changes based on convention voting
At the 42nd General Convention of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (our parent organization), delegates approved a number of amendments and changes to the UBC Constitution.