Blog

Viewing: Jobs
Page
of 1

Carpenters recruit by showing off training center Posted by on

There's welcome news for construction contractors in New England worried about a current or looming skilled labor shortage. Today, more than 900 students currently enrolled in vocational high schools or programs are visiting the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, Massachusetts today.

During their visit, they're learning more about the comprehensive training programs available in the diverse carpentry trade. They're also seeing some of the most sophisticated facilities in the country, combining state-of-the-art shop and work space with classrooms, dormitory, dining and recreation space.

Though some students may have experience in limited aspects of the industry, today's tour gives them a comprehensive view of the trade, work conditions and career opportunities available to trained, motivated and supprted trades workers.

A lack of skilled trades workers is consistently cited in surveys by employers as a limiting factor for company growth and their ability to deliver consistent quality work. Contractors signatory to the Carpenters union have the advantage of joint training programs and fairly negotiated wage and benefit packages that attract the most qualified applicants.

For more information on training programs visit nercc.org/training





CTA signs union agreement Posted by on

CTA Construction signed a collective bargaining agreement with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters on July 2nd. The contract represents a culmination of a long campaign by the Council and extensive discussions over the past few years between the two organizations.

CTA was founded in 2000 by Lyle Coghlin and Pat Tompkins. Over the past fourteen years, the company has emerged as one of the larger public construction contractors in Massachusetts, with an annual volume of $138 million in 2013. CTA was listed as the 12th largest general contractor in the 2012 Boston Business Journal's Book of Lists and is currently ranked as the 376th biggest firm in ENR's national survey.

"We are pleased that CTA is now a union contractor," commented Mark Erlich, NERCC's Executive Secretary-Treasurer. "We believe that access to a higher caliber of subcontractors and skilled carpenters will allow the company to grow even further."
 





Graduates begin to build pathways Posted by on

Eight women recently completed the five-week pre-apprenticeship Building Pathways New Hampshire training program. Building Pathways New Hampshire is a cooperative effort of the Carpenters Union, the State Building and Construction Trades Council and the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. It provides pre-apprenticeship training to unemployed and underemployed women in hopes of building the female ranks in the construction industry.


“We are working to diversify our trade and provide a pipeline to all interested and qualified people, which means we end up with the best possible workers, not just some of the best possible workers,” notes Carpenters Local 118 Business Manager Liz Skidmore, who has been active in both local and national "Sisters in the Brotherhood" programs and is helping to coordinate the Building Pathways NH program.


Carpenters Local 118 Business Manager Liz Skidmore speaks to the graduates. 

The five-week course was held at the Carpenters Training Center in Manchester and began on May 12th. The pre-apprenticeship training including OSHA 10, First Aid/CPR, construction math, materials handling, blueprint reading, labor history, blue collar financial planning.

The program aims to introduce participants to the variety of work opportunities available, in a hands-on environment. This training was offered by various trades’ training programs including: Carpenters Local 118, Floorlayers Local 2168, Piledrivers Local 56, Boliermakers Local 29, Heat and Frost Insulators & Allied Trades Local 6, IBEW Local 290, Ironworkers Local 7, Laborers Local 668, Painters and Allied Trades DC 35, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 131, and Sprinklerfitters Local 669.


Building Pathways graduates look at their completion certificates.

“All of these women were either unemployed or were working minimum wage jobs before beginning this pre-apprenticeship program,” notes Skidmore. “They are going from $7.25 an hour with no benefits to starting at $15 and hour plus benefits. This really is moving these eight women into family-sustaining careers.”

All eight graduates have applied to various trades Apprenticeship Programs. Two have already been accepted into the Plumbers and Pipefighters Local 131 Apprenticeship Program.

“Programs like Building Pathways New Hampshire show the community and elected officials a bigger picture about what it means to be union. We want everyone who is qualified, capable and willing to work hard.” 

For more information about the Building Pathways New Hampshire program click here.
 





NERCC to be recognized at White House Summit Posted by on

The efforts of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, as part of the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues to increase women’s participation in the construction trades, are being recognized nationally at the White House Summit on Working Families this Monday. NERCC Business Representative Liz Skidmore will represent the NERCC and the PGTI at the event, which is being hosted by the White House and the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress. Both President Obama and Vice President Biden will be attending the event.

The White House planning committee for the Summit asked the National Task Force on Tradeswomen's Issues for two "Best Practices" for getting more women into the trades. The Task Force presented them with the Minnesota Vikings stadium project, which set hiring goals and has hired a lot of women, and the work being done in New England by NERCC and the Policy Group on Tradeswomen's Issues (PGTI), which is convened by Skidmore, Susan Moir of UMass Boston Labor Resource Center, Brian Doherty of the Boston Building Trades and Janet Jones of the Dorchester Roxbury Labor Committee.

The PGTI has established a multi-stakeholder strategy of bringing key players together over time to build relationships, share expertise, identify and implement solutions. The group has met at the Carpenters Center every other month for six years and includes city, state and federal officials; General and sub-contractors, academics, compliance officers, tradeswomen, and union leaders. During this time they have published two reports: Unfinished Business, an analysis of all research done on tradeswomen in the last 25 years in the US with policy recommendations and Finishing the Job, a how-to manual for meeting hiring goals on specific construction projects. 

Women's employment has risen from 3% to 6% of all hours worked in Boston over the last few years, a statistic made even more significant when considering the simultaneous increase in the number or work hours over the past two years.

Additional work being done by PGTI that has earned them recognition as a national best practice includes moving from 35 years of supply-only (recruitment and pre-apprenticeship training) to a supply and demand strategy that includes the supply work and adds demand - working to improve compliance with hiring goals. As a result of their work, the Integrated Science Center at UMass Boston building project, which is the first project in Boston that has met hiring goals for all three established goals (residents, minorities and women) over the course of the project.

PGTI has also compiled compliance numbers online in searchable, downloadable databases by a number of entities including the City of Boston, UMass Boston (for their $700 mil PLA), and the MA Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. These databases are now being used by GCs and project owners to review past compliance history and in evaluating which contractors to hire.

As stated on the summit’s website, “the White House Summit will convene businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates and citizen to discuss policy solutions that can make a real difference in the lives of working families and ensure America’s global competitiveness in the coming decades.”

Learn more about the work of the PGTI by visiting their website here. To follow the events happening during the White House Summit on Working Families click here.





Seems like a clear objective, right? Posted by on

Union Carpenters continued their show of support for the "Jobs Not Jails" campaign over the weekend in Boston. Among the members of Local 107 and 108 who attended a rally on the Boston Common were NERCC Council Reps Rocky Thompson and Manny Gines, who were visible in this story on Boston Channel 7s news coverage.

Carpenters Locals 107 and 108 endorsed the Jobs Not Jails campaign this month. It is calling for the Commonwealth to spend $2 billion building schools, roads, and other public projects rather than building and expanding prisons.

The group is looking for volunteers to hold up banners covered with 30,000 petition signatures around the State House from 11:00 AM- 1:00 PM next Wednesday, April 30th. For more information about the campaign, including ways to help, visit JobsNotJails.org.





Everett mayor finds out for himself Posted by on

An unhappy Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria has a few questions for Fairfield Residential after an in-person visit to a project in the city. Fairfield is converting the old Charleston Chew factory into luxury apartments. The project has been touted as a producer of quality housing stock, but also good employment for Everett-area workers.

 When DeMaria spoke with a couple of carpenters on the project, they told the mayor they were being paid in cash on a piece-work basis and weren't getting any benefits. They were working for Wendy's Drywall, a subcontractor to VPS Drywall, a subcontractor to Metric Construction, the general contractor for one of the buildings on the project. Metric has had issues in the past with hiring subcontractors who don't meet area standards.

VPS continues a bad history. The company was ordered by the Massachusetts Attorney General to pay workers more than $4,000 in wages due to prevailing wage violations on the controversial Hannover High School project. They were also hit with more than $3,700 in fines by OSHA for safety violations, including one the agency deemed a "serious" violation. Finally, they were investigated by the United States Department of Labor for failing to pay workers more than $40,000 in overtime wages. They agreed to pay $17,500.

Carpenter Ramon Ochoa with Mayor DeMaria, NERCC Organizer Mario Mejia, Local 218 Business Agent Richard Pedi and Carpenter Moises Urias.

 Fairfield Residential is national builder and manager of multi-family housing that claims to be a leader in their industry. They claim they often work as their own general contractor and can effectively manage designs, budgets and time-lines.

 DeMaria was not happy to hear workers talk about being treated this way in his hometown and committed to following up to see that things were changed and didn't happen again.

An adjacent building, being built by union wood framers is progressing without incident.

 





Revere again votes yes on casino Posted by on

Plans for Mohegan Sun to build a $1.3 billion hotel and casino at the Suffolk Downs horse track in Revere were approved by voters in that city for a second time yesterday. The fate of the project still hangs in the balance, as it will now go head-to-head for state approval for the single Eastern Massachusetts gaming license with a proposal by Steve Wynn in Everett. State officials are expected to hand down a decision in May or June. Union carpenters in Revere played a significant role in the campaign to approve the proposal, as they have in each of the gaming votes across the state.

Yesterday's vote was the second held for a proposal at the site. An earlier version was voted down by Revere and Boston voters, which led to modifications of the project so that the gaming facility would sit entirely on the Revere portion of the Suffolk Downs property.

As part of the state's approval of legalized gaming, three gaming licenses will be issued for casinos and one for a slot parlor. One casino license will be issued in a zone in western Massachusetts, one in a zone that covers the central and eastern part of the state, excluding southeastern Massachusetts and one is being held for a proposal for a Native American-owned proposal in southeastern Massachusetts. MGM Resorts has received local approval for a casino in Springfield, the only pending proposal for the western zone. A proposal for the southeastern zone is still pending.

Three slot parlors proposals by different developers are under consideration for locations in Raynham, Leominster and Plainville.





Building a future for Essex Agricultural Posted by on

Thanks to Chris Marzullo, a Local 26 member working as a Foreman for G.O. Services. Brother Marzullo sent us pictures of a pole barn they're building for the new Essex Agricultural School in Danvers, Massachusetts. The new school building itself is being built by union carpenters employed by Gilbane and their subcontractors. The pole barn is one of several out-buildings that are or will be completed as part of the project.

 





Globe features Erlich piece Posted by on

The Boston Globe today published an opinion piece by Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

As inequality grows, 'union candidate' offers attractive vision
11/12/13
Boston Mayor-elect Marty Walsh was labeled as the union candidate early in the race. Columnists and debate moderators manufactured a perspective that Walsh’s labor affiliation was his candidacy’s albatross. Walsh does have a strong personal and family union background and recently served as the head of Boston’s building trades unions. But he had also been a state representative for 16 years with a legislative record on a full array of public policy issues.

Read more...

 





Walsh unites Boston, elected Mayor Posted by on

Buoyed by the support of a broad coalition that included union workers, minority communities, small business owners and middle class residents, State Representative Martin J. Walsh was elected Mayor of Boston last night, defeating City Councillor John Connolly. Walsh will succeed the enormously popular Thomas Menino, who is the city's longest serving mayor.

The following statement is from Mark Erlich, Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, which endorsed Walsh in both the primary and general election. Erlich is also a Boston resident.

"Last night, Marty Walsh was elected to serve as the next Mayor of Boston. Marty's victory has implications far beyond the city's borders. Boston is, in many ways, the primary economic engine of New England and the leadership at City Hall sets the tone for the regional development and construction industry. For the past 20 years, Mayor Tom Menino has been a staunch ally of construction's union sector and his stance has helped our members find gainful employment in Boston and beyond.

"Marty's election will only serve to further elevate the profile of unions in our region. As a building trades leader who spoke proudly of his involvement in the labor movement, his victory flies in the face of the prevailing political winds that dismiss or attack the value of unions in today's society. Marty had to withstand withering attacks in the Boston media that claimed he would bankrupt the city by not being able to stand up to the city's public employee unions. Marty never backed down from his loyalty to organized labor as the best vehicle to re-build the middle class in the city.

"This election has national implications. While there have been a few Senators and Congressmen that have been clear about their pro-union beliefs, it is far more rare to find someone running for an executive position -- Mayor or Governor -- who doesn't feel the need to criticize unions in an effort to show they are "fiscally responsible". Marty made it clear that you can be committed to running a sound budget in a major American city and still maintain respect for trade unions.

"Marty was also able to win the support of nearly all of the elected officials from the city's minority community, demonstrating that today's labor movement is welcoming, diverse, and inclusive.

Marty is a personal friend of ours, a friend of the Carpenters, a friend of labor, and a friend of all those people who want to work, play by the rules, and have a chance at the American Dream.

Thanks to everyone who worked to get Marty Walsh elected. It can be the beginning of a new era for labor and politics."





Wage equality, training the focus of NH forums Posted by on

People in New Hampshire are learning more about unions and the wage and training opportunities they offer thanks to panel discussions being held, which elected officials and Carpenters Local 118 Business Manager Elizabeth Skidmore.

The forums focus primarily on the wage gap between men and women and are being sponsored by the NH AFL-CIO and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, which is 23 cents and hour in New Hampshire and 18 cents nationally. While women are still under-represented in construction, Skidmore points out that wage equality is not an issue in the union sector.

“In union construction, women make exactly the same as men,” Skidmore said at one of the forums. “Starting 35 years ago, when women started getting into construction. Every hour we work, every dollar we get paid, we get paid exactly the same.”

In addition to collective bargaining agreements ensuring equal pay, unions also offer apprentice and journey level upgrade classes, which allow for entrance and advancement in the industry. Each of the forums, held in Manchester and Portsmouth, received prominent media coverage, including quotes from Skidmore.
 





The Carpenters Union gets the job done! Posted by on

First they helped it win approval, now they're helping it become a reality. Union carpenters in Bridgeport are now building the Fairchild Wheeler Multi-Magnet School, a combination of facilities and programs that are bringing excitement and hope to a troubled area. The building will be LEED Gold Certified and offer Aeronautics, Information Technology and Zoological/Ecological programs underwritten by corporate sponsors. The 340,000 square foot building is the largest school project in Connecticut's history and is employing hundreds of local trades workers.

 

See more of this project and others in NERCC's Project Portfolio.

 

 





Construction shows job growth, but slow Posted by on

News from the US Department of Labor on construction employment was slightly positive in October with the addition of 17,000 jobs in preliminary data. Jobs in the construction industry increased for the fifth consecutive month, reaching 5.53 million. The trend that could continue following rebuilding efforts tied to Hurricane Sandy.

The industry still has a ways to go to reach employment levels enjoyed before the recession. Seasonally-adjusted employment numbers showed more than 7.7 million construction jobs through much of 2006, but then heavy, steady job losses in the industry from October of 2008 through February of 2010s. Since then, employment numbers in the industry have varied month-to-month between 5.45 and 5.56 million jobs.

The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' website has an interesting graph and table tracking seasonally adjusted jobs in the construction industry, starting in January 2002.





MA Construction Unions support Warren's 'Rebuild Now' plan Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters, along with the Massachusetts Building Trades Council and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, officially announced their support of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's "Rebuild Now" infrastructure investment plan.

Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, and Frank Callahan, president of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council ,told reporters that the industry needs a boost and that a plan like Warren's has the potential to put its members back to work.

Read more online here.





Old Colony built in 1 1/2 minutes...sort of Posted by on

The New England Carpenters Labor-Management Program is proud to provide an interesting look at the work of union contractors and carpenters at the Old Colony Housing Project in South Boston. The time lapse video, synchronized to music was shot over the course of a year, during the project's first phase. Suffolk Construction was the Construction Manager.

Union carpenters employed by Suffolk Construction and numerous subcontractors were proud to recently complete Phase One of the redevelopment of housing at Old Colony in South Boston. The project involved demolition of old buildings and construction of 116 energy efficient affordable apartment units as well as a 10,000 square-foot community center and other improvements and amenities. As the largest property managed by the Boston Housing Authority, demolition and construction was completed on a 15 acre occupied site containing 850 housing units. The project changes the face of a community and the lives of many who will live there.

Video of the three buildings in this piece was gathered over the course of a year, from December 2010 through December 2011 during almost weekly visits. Videographer Ellen Webber of the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program produced the piece.

See more pictures of this project in our online portfolio
 





State-by-state job numbers Posted by on

While AGC contractors are cautiously optimistic about job growth in the construction industry for the coming year, the last year has been one of mixed results in New England. According to numbers presented by the AGC from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted, three of the six New England states experienced modest job growth in the construction industry. Two states saw continued job loss, while Vermont remained largely unchanged.

By adding 800 jobs, New Hampshire's 3.6% increase in construction jobs put it 5th in the country. Massachusetts and Maine were 12th and 13th respectively. Rhode Island saw the loss of 1,200 construction jobs, making its performance 44th in the nation.

Here are the percentage job gains/losses for the New England states in the 12 months ending December 2010. The full table of 50 states is available here.

Connecticut: -4.9%
Maine: +0.8%
Massachusetts: +1.2%
New Hampshire +3.6%
Rhode Island: -7.1%
Vermont: 0%





A look at job loss/creation Posted by on

In the second edition of White House White Board, Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, looks back at the President??s record on the economy through the perspective of the last three years in private sector employment.

From WhiteHouse.gov.



"Here??s the bottom line: when President Obama came into office in January of 2009, we were in the middle of the worst economic crisis this country has seen since the Great Depression. Through the Recovery Act, tax credits for working families and small businesses, and investments in the industries of the future, we are getting back on the right track. We went from losing nearly 800,000 jobs in a single month as the President came into office to our ninth straight month of private sector job growth last month.
We still have a lot of work to do. Times are still tough for millions of Americans who are out of work, and we??re not going to rest until those folks can find a job.
"


TAGS: Economy, Jobs, Obama



Portland Jetport groundbreaking Posted by on

Congratulations to union contractor Turner Construction and union carpenters in Maine. A groundbreaking was held today for the $75 million expansion of the Portland Jetport. The project will involve several phases that will add three gates, double the size of the existing terminal, add to baggage handling capacity and update and upgrade de-icing and security capabilities, among other improvements.

The project will add scores of construction and permanent jobs without cost to the city. Funding is coming from existing fees being charged to passengers as well as stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Pictured at the groundbreaking, below, from left to right; Charlie Buuck of Turner Construction, John Leavitt, Business Manager for Carpenters Local 1996 and Pete Hamill of Turner Construction.

Also at the groundbreaking were, below from left to right: Portland Mayor Nick Mavadonis, Portland City Councilor Dan Skolnick, Leavitt and Congressman Mike Michaud.


TAGS: Jobs, Maine



American workers getting smaller share of wealth they create Posted by on

Stop us if you've heard this one before. The Christian Science Monitor has run a story saying that American workers are creating more wealth through productivity, but getting a far smaller share of the wealth they create.

American labor isn't getting its full share of the nation's output.

Indeed, its share is at a "record low," says Charles McMillion, chief economist at MBG Information Services, a Washington consulting firm. "Labor has no leverage." So wages have been "depressed, stagnant, or falling" for some 30 years.

Much of that lost compensation went to business and its owners. Last year, for example, businesses raised workers' hourly pay a little (2.2 percent) but cut their hours a lot (5.1 percent). The result? The remaining workforce became considerably more productive, creating more goods and services per hour worked.

Ideally, business and labor would share about equally in productivity gains. Over the past three decades, though, business has reaped the bigger share. For every dollar of goods and services the United States produced in 1974, all employees reaped about 59 cents. Last year, their share had fallen to 55 cents. In a $14 trillion economy, that amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars in lost wages every year.


TAGS: Economy, Jobs



Carpenters to rally for jobs Posted by on

Carpenters will rally on Thursday, December 17th at 4:00 pm at Bronstein Park in Manchester, NH, located on the corner of Hanover and Beech Street, in the hopes of jump-starting a large project at Manchester??s Job Corps Center.

The project was brought to a halt in November when North Branch Construction, Inc. and the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) filed a bid protest that put an end to the project.

Any and all members are encouraged to attend the rally. Labor leaders, elected officials, youth leaders, and clergy and will be speaking at the event. Hot soup will be served.

For more information about the rally, contact John Jackson at 603-365-0426.

To learn more, visit www.Plaswork.org.





Mass construction job numbers Posted by on

Quincy Patriot Ledger Business Editor Jon Chesto tweets a link to a state release on jobs.

The bad news has reversed, but not in any meaningful way. From the release...

Construction gained 100 jobs in October, this sector's first monthly gain since February. At 108,400, Construction employment is down 22,100 or a 16.9 percent rate of job loss over the year.





Members join rally for Brockton plant, jobs Posted by on

Several hundred people, including union carpenters, members of the Building Trades and other union members braved the wind and rain last night to rally at Brockton City Hall in support of a proposal to build a natural gas plant in the city.

Brockton Clean Energy was being considered at a meeting of the Brockton City Council's Finance Committee. Construction of the project would create 300 union jobs for two years and provide necessary energy to the grid in Southeastern Massachusetts.


The event received coverage from the Brockton Enterprise in print and video form. See both at their site.

Members are encouraged to learn more about the project and contact elected officials in Brockton by visiting Brockton Clean Energy.com


TAGS: Jobs, Local 624



Connecting blue and green Posted by on

Some have traditionally tried to portray environmental causes as anti-business or too costly. But an interesting campaign in a former steel town in Pennsylvania is making a strong case for a connection between environmental protection and creation of traditional manufacturing jobs.

Named Carbon Caps=Hard Hats, it uses a charismatic Mayor who defies several stereotypes to make the case. There are several very effective video spots that have been produced.

Here's one of the ads. Others can be viewed here.


Here's a primer on Carbon Caps, excerpted from the site:

What is a carbon cap?
A Carbon Cap is a limit placed on carbon pollution. A national limit is set and carbon allowances (emission permits) are auctioned or allocated to companies. Companies that can reduce their emissions cheaply can make money by selling their extra allowances to others. This ensures overall emission reductions are achieved at low cost. And it gives everyone a profit motive to reduce pollution as much as possible. (Only large polluters are regulated under a Cap.)

New jobs americans [sic] can do tomorrow
Take the wind turbine. It??s a machine. Americans are good at machines. A typical wind turbine has 8,000 parts and is made of 250 tons of steel. Somebody??s got to make that steel, fabricate those parts, assemble those parts, deliver the assembled turbine to a wind farm, erect the turbine and manage the wind farm. That??s a lot of jobs right in the American workers?? sweet spot. And this is just one example. A Carbon Cap will create demand for energy efficient windows, LED lighting, ball bearings for turbines and thousands of other products. And by starting now, we??ll make sure these products are made here and exported all over the world. Instead of becoming more products we have to import.

New jobs create more jobs
Imagine a place like Braddock, Pennsylvania with new investments to supply clean energy industries. Once workers start bringing home paychecks, they start buying again. Making wind turbines is hungry work. The diner and the grocery store get busy again. The diner and grocery hire more workers. Those workers need clothes and cars and computers. Suddenly a dying town is a thriving community again.


TAGS: Jobs