Meaning Behind the Shield

But really, the words and sentences don’t need explanation, they speak for themselves, and that is intentional.

The Meaning Behind the Shield

Responsibility. Consistency. Effort.

These words are used every day by millions of people. Inside the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, concepts such as responsibility, consistency and effort are part of a collection of key words that represent the vision of the Brotherhood. 

This collection is constructed primarily from the messages of General President Douglas J. McCarron. Each word symbolizes the significant attributes of a strong, successful and professional carpenter, one who builds strong and leads the way on and off the jobsite. 

To illustrate both the vision and the values of the UBC, each word has been incorporated into a special UBC shield developed and used by the Department of Education and Training (DET) to reinforce this message. 

In the West Building at the International Training Center, a new display in the lobby provides visitors with a deeper look into the meaning behind the shield. 

The general president’s motto: “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me” stands above the exhibit, setting the tone for the inspirational material below. The most symbolic of the words are highlighted and described further — again with the general president’s vision ringing through. 

For example, the UBC defines “Responsibility” as this: “Leadership is about being responsible. The responsibility rests on your shoulders to be dependable and accountable for yourself and for those who rely on you.” 

“The quotes were derived from the input of several people, starting with General President McCarron, and are meant to complement our learning points and objectives,” said DET Executive Director Randy Eppard. 

“But really, the words and sentences don’t need explanation, they speak for themselves, and that is intentional.” 

The overall goal is for the UBC to be the most productive workforce in North America and to capture a 70% market share. The DET is charged with developing leaders who are dedicated to transforming the UBC by continuously strengthening their own skills and further developing partnerships with contractors and owners. 

Which brings us back to the word shield. These words are synonymous with the UBC’s strategic priorities and define the values and commitment of a transformational leader and a constructive culture. In the classroom, we use these words and quotes to talk about the “how and why” in developing effective partnerships. 

“Leaders drive culture, and the lessons in the classroom are highly successful in changing behaviors in the field to meet the challenges we face in the construction industry,” Eppard added. 

The word shield represents what it feels like to be a part of the UBC, while the West Building exhibit sends a personal message to each and every member. Together, the two become a blueprint for creating the most productive workforce, the most productive culture, and the best trade organization we can be.