Latest News

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.

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.

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.

SSMRC volunteers help build fishing weigh-in pavilion

Union volunteers, including members of Millwright Local 1192, will soon complete site work and construction of a public fishing weigh-in pavilion at Alabama’s Smith Lake.