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Training: first and foremost Posted by on

Few programs are as important to the construction industry as training, and no one trains carpenters like the Carpenters Union.

The Carpenters Union focuses on helping all carpenters, whether they've been working in the industry for thirty years or they're just getting their start. We're committed to providing well-rounded carpenters across the entire range of building disciplines.

Check out the schedule of classes being offered this fall and winter in Connecticut to find the class and schedule that??s right for you.





Labor Secretary Visits Carpenters Center Posted by on

Joanne Goldstein, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development paid a visit to the Carpenters Center this week to learn more about apprenticeship and upgrade training.

Last month, the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund was awarded a $166,000 grant to train and certify long-term unemployed carpenters in metal framing and drywall installation. The money originated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act, often referred to as the "Stimulus Bill. It was part of $1.2 million that was dispersed by the state to support ??efforts to equip Massachusetts workers with 21st century economy skills.??





Labor Secretary visits Carpenters Center Posted by on

Joanne Goldstein, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development paid a visit to the Carpenters Center this week to learn more about apprenticeship and upgrade training.

Last month, the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund was awarded a $166,000 grant to train and certify long-term unemployed carpenters in metal framing and drywall installation. The money originated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, often referred to as the "Stimulus Bill. It was part of $1.2 million that was dispersed by the state to support ??efforts to equip Massachusetts workers with 21st century economy skills.??





Reception for Wentworth graduates held at Carpenters Center Posted by on





Flynn elected to NERCC EBoard Posted by on

Brother Thomas Flynn of Local 67 was elected to the Executive Committee for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters at the quarterly Delegates meeting in Millbury on Saturday. Running unopposed, Flynn will serve out the current term, which expires in
2013. He had held the position on a pro tem basis since the resignation of Richard Dean.

Flynn currently serves as the Political Director for NERCC, the Executive Director of the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program and is the Regional Manager for Locals 33, 40, 67, 218 and 723.

Flynn was nominated by Local 107's Jack Donahue. The nomination was seconded by John Murphy of Local 33.


TAGS: Nercc



Interesting post on when it is appropriate to use ... Posted by on

Interesting post on when it is appropriate to use metal stud framing. I did not know that load-bearing is a consideration. That's why I leave it to the experts. There are numerous options in regards to the types of construction methods used in houses. Metal stud framing is less prone to mildew than wood, is fire resistant, durable, and is water resistant.These are a few of the advantages to metal stud framing over wood. A great resource is McGraw Hill's Sweets Directory of Construction products. While I do work for them, they honestly offer all of the important information you need for this kind of project in one place. I highly recommend them. You won't be disappointed.




Training: the union difference Posted by on

Training programs are in full swing with a fall schedule of classes to help members develop new skills or improve on the ones they've got. It's the training and skill that makes union carpenters the best value in the construction industry. And members that have a wider set of skills enjoy greater work opportunities, whether it's sticking with a company or finding a new place to start.

Check out the schedule of classes being offered this fall and find the class, location and schedule that's right for you.


TAGS: Training



Apprenticeship Expo 2010 is next Friday Posted by on

2010 Apprenticeship Expo
Friday, October 1, 2010
New England Carpenters Training Center
13 Holman Road, Millbury, MA
508-792-5443



Come see professional union carpenters showcase their skills in the following areas:
General Carpentry
Concrete Forms
Interior Systems/Drywall
Interior Finish/Cabinet Install
Floorcovering
Piledriving
Commercial Diving
Mill Cabinet
Best Practices in Health Care Construction
Lull/Lift
Alucobond Panel Installation
Green Construction/Lead Awareness
Scaffold Erector
Millwright

Visitors, including vocational school students and instructors, will be given guided tours of the training facility.

Join us on October 1st to get a first hand look at what it means to be a union carpenter!

For more information, contact the New England Carpenters Training Center at 508-792-5443.


TAGS: Training



Reason for optimism? Posted by on

An article in the Boston Business Journal last week indicated that an increased volume of filings with the Boston Redevelopment Authority is fueling some hope for increased building in the future.

BRA approval is necessary for most project approvals within the City. The agency expects to review 57 proposals before the end of 2010, about what it reviewed in 2007 and up from significantly from the 23 it reviewed last year, according to the BBJ.

While not all projects presented to the BRA end up being built, the significant increase may indicate developers are feeling more comfortable about moving their projects forward.





Brodie, longtime Management Trustee for Funds passes away Posted by on

Theodore "Ted" Brodie passed away last week at the age of 81. Brodie was the owner of the New England Insulation Company based in Canton, Massachusetts for 50 years. The company was a longtime union contractor with the Carpenters union and Brodie served on the New England Carpenters Combined Benefit Funds and its predecessors. Brodie was a very well respected member of the construction community and was awarded with the Cushing Gavin Award for Excellence in Labor-Management relations from the Labor Guild in 1995. A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, October 9th at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Duxbury, MA




Carpenters Center buzzing with activity Posted by on

Though the industry might be slow, carpenters are busy. They're keeping busy while keeping up their skills with upgrade training. The Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship Training Program began its fall semester of classes last night and the turnout was incredible.

More than 100 union carpenters were at the brand new Carpenters Center in Dorchester, which serves as the home of the BCATP as well as the headquarters for the New England Regional Council some Local Union affiliates and the Vision Center. The program ran no less than eleven classes last night, including: Computer literacy, LEED/Green building, Labor History, doors and hardware, drywall certification, CAD, Building Code First Aid/CPR, and Best Practices in Health Care Construction.

Every classroom was filled to capacity, the shops were in use and the parking lot was bursting at the seams. The scene was exactly what was envisioned when the Carpenters Center was conceived and built: union carpenters at all levels coming together to sharpen their skills and make their next project their best project.

For more information on classes being held in Boston or other areas of New England, check the listings or contact information on this page of necarpenters.org. Remember that when you increase your skills, you increase your chances for employment.





Union favorites do well on primary night Posted by on

Primary elections were held in three New England states last night, with mostly positive results for union-endorsed candidates. Favored candidates ran unopposed or against token opposition in most primary races in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts yesterday.

In contested races, Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch fought off a primary challenge while District Attorney Bill Keating won the Democratic nod to replace retiring Congressman Bill Delahunt. Both were endorsed and actively supported by union carpenters. Union carpenters also supported a group of state representatives and state senators in Massachusetts who were all successful, with a single exception.

There was disappointment in Rhode Island, too, where incumbent state representative Chris Fierro lost his primary battle to retain a seat in Woonsocket. Fierro works for the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program and had served on the House Finance Committee.





Reception for Wentworth graduates held at Carpenters Center Posted by on


The New England Regional Council of Carpenters held a post-graduation celebration to recognize the twenty-nine union carpenters who graduated with an Associate??s Degree in Construction Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

The graduates and their families, along with representatives from NERCC and Wentworth, including Wentworth??s President Zorica Pantic gathered on the second floor of the Carpenters Center to celebrate the great achievement.

The twenty-nine carpenters were the first class to graduate since the NERCC launched this special program with Wentworth in the fall of 2008. The tailored program enables union carpenters to earn an Associate??s degree in Construction management from the prestigious school in as little as two years. The program gives members credit for completing a four-year apprenticeship in Massachusetts and could also give credit for other qualified classes members have taken.

NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich spoke at the event about one of the goals of the program, which is to bring on-the-job field experience back in to construction management.

??What I think we have done with this program is combine the best of both worlds. The industry does need people who are educated, it??s no longer just enough to come out of the field and apply your experience of supervision, you have to have computer skills, budgeting skills, a whole range of skills. That, to me, is the ultimate goal of this program: to fuse the educational skills that Wentworth provides with the hands-on, real life, practical skills that you??ve learned in the field."


NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark
Erlich and Wentworth President Zorica Pantic.

Erlich then congratulated the graduates. ??My hat goes off to those of you who went through this program. This is not an easy program. Wentworth is a tremendously excellent educational institution and it is very demanding. They didn??t tailor their programs for us, we had to meet their standards. I want to congratulate and applaud you. Thank you all for what you do, because you are the future of the Carpenters Union.??

Following Erlich??s remarks, Wentworth??s President, Zorica Pantic, said a few words. ??It is wonderful to be here and to see that the efforts that were started a couple of years ago came to fruition. In working with the Carpenters Union, we were able to develop a very demanding program and it is a great match between the needs of the carpenters?? profession and the practical education that Wentworth provides. We are very pleased, [the program] surpassed all of our wildest dreams.??

Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Director Ben Tilton individually recognized each graduate handing them certificates, along with Erlich and Pantic, to recognize them for their great achievement. A small reception followed the speaking program.




Why Labor Day? Posted by on

Here's a great piece on Labor Day and unions, co-authored by Tom Iacobucci, Director of the Massachusetts Carpenters Training Fund. It ran in the Newburyport Daily News.


TAGS: Unions



Labor Day Message from Doug McCarron Posted by on

Doug McCarron, the General President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, posted this Labor Day message on the UBC website.


TAGS: Ubc



Labor and political discontent Posted by on

NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich was quoted in a Boston Herald piece on Labor Day about the discontent among union members with the current economy and how that might impact upcoming elections.





Happy Labor Day! Posted by on

A message to union carpenters...

The construction industry is facing one of its toughest period in a long time. But as union carpenters, we still have reason to be proud. Proud of our skills, our union and the history of working people in which we all play a part.

Though now as often viewed as the milestone for the end of the summer, Labor Day exists to recognize and celebrate the working men and women of the United States who make it what it is. Few have more of a visible impact than the construction workers who build the roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, offices and homes of America.

So congratulations on the very important role you play by giving your skills, your hard work and your dedication. You have earned the respect of our nation.

To learn more about the origins (some disputed) of Labor Day, we invite you to visit the three articles linked below and to share them with others so that they might better understand and appreciate the role that unions have played and still play in our country.

The History of Labor Day, from the United States Department of Labor.
The Origins of Labor Day, from the News Hour with Jim Lehrer (2001).
Why Do We Get Labor Day Off? by Brendan I Koerner, for Slate.com.


TAGS: Unions



W.Mass training joins Mass fund, Millbury Posted by on

The Western Massachusetts Carpenters Training Fund this week voted to merge with the Massachusetts Carpenters Training Fund and participate in the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury. Apprentices from Western Massachusetts Local 108 will begin training at the NECTC in October.

The Eastern Massachusetts Training Fund voted to merge with the Western Massachusetts Fund and change its name to the Massachusetts Carpenters Training Fund. The Western Massachusetts Fund becomes the fourth major participant in the Fund, which was formed last year as the Eastern Massachusetts Carpenters Training Fund when programs from Central Massachusetts, Southeastern Massachusetts and Northeastern Massachusetts merged.

Jason Garand, Business Manager for Local 108 said the merger will offer his members multiple improvements.

??Where we??ve had a program that ran from April to October with one instructor teaching everything, members will now be able to train year round with multiple instructors that are the very best at what they do. There is a fulltime coordinator that does nothing but work on developing a scheduling training and helping members access the programs.??

Garand said Local 108 apprentices will benefit from participating in a truly regional program. The Western Massachusetts construction market, he said, has traditionally been more self-contained than other areas, but that things have started to change dramatically. Building relationships and learning about conditions in other locals will better prepare apprentices to succeed, he said.

Bert Rousseau, Chairman of the Massachusetts Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund (MCATF) said ??This merger will improve efficiency and provide members the opportunity to participate in the MCATF Journeyman Skills Training Enhancement Program (STEP) through courses offered in our Northeast, Southeast, Central and now Western MA Training centers.??

Additional information about trainings through the program is available on the web at NeCarpentersTraining.org.


TAGS: Training



NERCC, Carpenters Center featured in Dorchester Reporter Posted by on

The Carpenters Union is a traditional organization that has been around for over a hundred years. While it has a very rich history, it is also very modern and innovative. The design of the Carpenters Centers celebrates both the history and the future of the Carpenters Union.

Reporter Matthew DeLuca, with the Dorchester Reporter, recently visited the Carpenters Center to get a closer at what he calls ??the changing nature of unionism.??

In the lobby on the third floor of the new Carpenters Center at 750 Dorchester Avenue are sleek black chairs and hardwood floors and the receptionist behind her desk hums along to the radio on this quiet August afternoon. Beside the long counter of the reception desk is a small metal sculpture of a carpenter wielding a hammer that make one think more of a dentist??s office or the Museum of Contemporary Art than Woody Guthrie and Eugene V. Debs.

This idea, that unionism has changed in recent years, is reiterated again and again through the new building, both in details of its structure and design and by the people who work there.
To read the article, click here. You can also read the article on the Dorchester Reporter's website here.





Conn Carpenters, Operators step back from Building Trades Posted by on

On the heels of Connecticut Building Trades Council Ben Cozzi??s resignation, Carpenters Local Unions 24, 43 and 210 in Connecticut have taken a step back from their participation in the group. A joint letter from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and Operating Engineers Local 478 to employer associations, users, and major CMs/GCs states that ??in the creation of future project labor agreements or other collective activities, no one is authorized to speak for or sign documents on behalf of either the New England Regional Council of Carpenters or the Operating Engineers, Local 478 other than our own two organizations.??

Cozzi, a member of the Operating Engineers, resigned his position as President of the Connecticut State and New Haven Building Trades Council this week after the National Building and Construction Trades Council passed a resolution prohibiting members of International unions not affiliated with the National Building Trades from holding offices with state, regional or local Building Trades. Though not members of the National Building Trades, the Operating Engineers and Carpenters have participated in state and local Building Trades Councils around the country as area conditions dictate.

An election for President of the Connecticut Building Trades is to be held this fall, in which Cozzi was expected to face a member of another union. There had been talk that a Cozzi victory would have spurred an election protest with the National Building Trades to have Cozzi disqualified because of his membership in an International union that does not participate in the National Building Trades. That, combined with the explicit motion by the National Building Trades spurred Cozzi??s resignation.

In a related development the Plumbers Union has also withdrawn from the Connecticut State Building Trades, citing the upcoming election and the events leading to Cozzi??s resignation.


TAGS: Connecticut



Wall Street Journal says immigration slowed sharply in recent years Posted by on

The Wall Street Journal published an article this week citing a Pew Research Center study that the number of illegal immigrants entering the United States had slowed dramatically in the last two years compared with the beginning of the decade.

??The influx of illegal immigrants plunged to an estimated 300,000 annually between March 2007 and 2009, from 850,000 a year between March 2000 and March 2005, according to new study released Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group.??


The article contains a preliminary debate about the dramatic drop in immigrants, quickly dismissing increased border security as having any major impact. The leading factor cited, not surprisingly, is the economy.
The mortgage crisis and ensuing economic slump have slashed jobs in construction, tourism and other sectors that are the mainstay for low-skilled Latin Americans. Immigrants already in the U.S. are struggling, and word of their hardship is dissuading those back home from flocking to the U.S.

"People don't want to come now; they know the economy is bad," said Braulio Gonzalez from Guatemala, who has been scraping by as a day laborer outside Los Angeles.


TAGS: Media



Carpenters say their new center speaks to their community roles Posted by on

As published in the Dorchester Reporter
by Matthew DeLuca, Special to the Reporter


In the lobby on the third floor of the new Carpenters Center at 750 Dorchester Avenue are sleek black chairs and hardwood floors and the receptionist behind her desk hums along to the radio on this quiet August afternoon. Beside the long counter of the reception desk is a small metal sculpture of a carpenter wielding a hammer that make one think more of a dentist??s office or the Museum of Contemporary Art than Woody Guthrie and Eugene V. Debs.

This idea, that unionism has changed in recent years, is reiterated again and again through the new building, both in details of its structure and design and by the people who work there.

??We??re not just working for our own interests,?? said Vincent Scalisi, who with Chris Shannon manages business development for the NERCC. ??We are part of the fabric of the community. We??re coaching baseball teams, we??re the guys sitting next to you in church.??

Scalisi is from Hyde Park and Shannon lives in Canton, but both of them say they spend more time at the facility in Dorchester or on other union business in local neighborhoods than they do at home.
??I tell people I sleep in Canton but I live in the city,?? Shannon said.

The building on Dorchester Avenue houses the New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC), Pile Drivers Local 56, Mill and Cabinet Local 51, Wood Frame Local 723, Floor Coverers Local 2168, and the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Center. There is also a branch of First Trade Union Bank and a Carpenters Vision Center, where union members are eligible for new eyeglasses annually.

The floor of the building that Shannon and Scalisi work on is also occupied by offices for community outreach, which doesn??t always mean picket lines (though Scalisi does say that when he??s going somewhere to support a political cause, his family usually goes with him.) Alex Miklowski, a recent graduate of Emerson College, is part of the new way the NERCC is trying to get its message out. On her desk is a bank of computer screens and behind her on a coat rack is her pink hard hat. ??I was drawn to this position when I read a posting for it that said, ??to describe the working man.????

Shannon said that local strikes and walk outs typically receive little media coverage, so he and Scalisi decided they were going to produce their own videos and post them online. ??This whole way we??re trying to do marketing, I don??t know if anyone else in the country does this.??

Alex is editing a video that shows a confrontation between a two non-union workers, one who wants to stay on strike until they receive back pay and another who wants to go to his job. The argument gets heated, and Scalisi and Shannon say that many non-union workers, when they are given support by the NERCC, take quickly to the ideas of unionism.

Shannon said that the NERCC often tries to lend support to non-union workers who are not being paid, or are otherwise treated unfairly.

??We expose it,?? he said. ??In the United States, not getting paid for the work you??re doing is a big thing. We try to expose the injustice.?? Supporting these workers leads to an ??evening of the playing field,?? Shannon said, and benefits NERCC workers as well, 40 percent of whom are currently unemployed.

Part of the changing nature of unionism includes developing relationships with communities of immigrants, particularly from Vietnam and the Caribbean, who have entered the trades. For Scalisi, it is a matter of the union??s survival ?C either the union assimilates these new communities or the union will be left behind. For Shannon, it??s a matter of demographic shifts, as workers from Kerry are joined by workers from Port-au-Prince. They both say that, though some times there are communications difficulties, these new communities and the union get along very well.

??There is no standard affirmative action per se, but there is absolutely no prejudice,?? Scalisi said.
Craig Ransom, a native of Dorchester, does community organizing for the union. He also coaches local baseball and football teams.

??The advantage that I have is a lot of the workers look like me,?? Ransom, who is black, said. He also says that he can usually tell as soon as he meets someone interested in the union whether or not that person will be a successful carpenter.

Shannon and Scalisi agree. It is a matter of how one carries one??s self, the tools one brings to a job, how they conduct themselves on a job site. ??If you??re not diligent and sincere, you don??t get in,?? Ransom said. ??It has to do with background and family history. How you were raised is important.??
For Ransom, Shannon, and Scalisi, whose children have received college educations and do not plan on entering the union, recruitment is important.

??We want to find good workers for when the next big boom is,?? Scalisi said.

Preparing for that next boom, whenever and whatever it may be, has become an important part of the union??s work, Shannon said. The union is predicting that hospitals, biotech, and housing are what will keep their members swinging hammers in the near future, and they are contacting developers well before projects are begun to present what they see as the value of union labor.

??There are a lot of developments that could happen if money came into the market,?? Shannon said.
When that money does come, it will be the training that the union has invested in its laborers that will make them attractive to developers.

??Our guys are trained and they??re carpenters, this is what they do every day.??

Training takes place on the lower levels. Down one floor from Scalisi??s and Shannon??s office are classrooms equipped with computers and projectors. The walls of some of the rooms are designed to fold back, so that the union can also host larger gatherings.

Down the hall is a room where the union teaches welding, but which also stands for the union??s whole enterprise in their new home. The outside wall is a row of windows that look out on the Southeast Expressway, and Scalisi, who himself started as an underwater welder and pile driver, and who describes the exactitude of a good weld in artistic terms, said that he hopes when classes are in here at night drivers will slow down to watch the sparks, and perhaps wonder for a moment what is being made.

To view this story on the Dorchester Reporter's website, click here.


TAGS: Media



Labor Day address from Hilda Solis Posted by on


TAGS: Unions


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