Latest News

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 man-hours of work 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.

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.