Viewing: Helping Hammers
of 1

Helping Hammers: Boston Fire Department Moon Island Posted by on

As union carpenters, we understand the importance of training, from reaching our full potential as crafts workers to making sure we're as safe and whole going home as we were arriving at the job. For members of the Boston Fire Department, training is even more important. Day in and day out, they're working to save the lives and property of the people of Boston. That’s why Boston Firefighters Local 718 recently enlisted the help of the New England Carpenter Training Fund for our latest “Helping Hammers” endeavor.As part of their supervised training, union carpenter apprentices built a structure to be used in Rapid Intervention and Thermal Imaging Rescue training. It was built at the Boston Fire Training Academy on Moon Island in Quincy, MA, and will be invaluable to their ongoing firefighting and lifesaving training programs.

Helping Hammers: Peddocks Island Chapel Restoration Posted by on

This past summer, apprentices with the New England Carpenters Training Fund ( NECTF) completed work on a unique project on Peddocks Island, one of the largest islands in Boston Harbor. Over a hundred apprentices traveled to the island over the course of a year for onsite hands-on training restoring the Peddocks Island Chapel.

Considered one of the most historic of the thirty-four Boston Harbor Islands, Peddocks has the longest shoreline of any of the islands and a very diverse landscape making it very attractive to visitors. With many of the island’s buildings in severe disrepair, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) implemented a plan to preserve the island’s history while keeping it safe for visitors. One of the most significant projects was the restoration of the most iconic feature of the island: the chapel located near the island’s main dock.

The scope of work needing to be done at the chapel was daunting, and the Boston Harbor Island Alliance reached out to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the NECTF asking for help with labor on the $1.8 million chapel restoration project.

The island experience offered a unique work opportunity for apprentices. While being taught general work conditions and site safety, apprentices also learned the logistics of planning to work in an isolated environment and how to adapt and adjust accordingly.

NERCC produced this documentary video of the work the apprentices completed at the chapel, including footage from various stages of the project and interviews with some of the people involved.

Peddocks Island is open to the public and accessible by private boat or by ferry. Visit Mass DCR or to learn more.

Rebuilding a community, not just a building Posted by on

In early 2009, an electrical fire damaged a Worcester building that served as a home to the Stone Soup Community Resource group, a collection of volunteer organizations. With plenty of community support, but scarce funding, the group faced an uncertain future. Local 107's Dave Minasian was an active member of Stone Soup and was able to organize help from friends in the union and the New England Carpenters Training Center to join an effort to make the space usable again.

YouthBuild Boston served as the general contractor on the project. YouthBuild helps low-income young adults between the ages of 16-24 work towards their GEDs, while learning job skills through training and pre-apprenticeship programs. In need of skilled labor to partner with, Local 107 member volunteers and apprentices working under the direction of NECTC instructors stepped up and became an integral part of the rebuild process.

The green rebuild included fire repairs, energy retrofit weatherization work, electrical and heating system updates, and wheelchair accessibility improvements.

The Carpenters and Boston Cares Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Training Fund teamed up with Boston Cares, the region’s largest volunteer mobilizer, to help them with their campaign to build 500 beds for children in need in 2014.

Instructors from the NECTF helped complete the design for the toddler beds so that they can be easily assembled by volunteers with minimal training. In advance of each volunteer day, member apprentices mill the lumber and prep all of the stock. Corporate and individual volunteers then assemble the beds at various locations, including the Carpenters Center and New England Carpenters Training Center. 

According to the Mass. Coalition for the Homeless, more than 1,500 Greater Boston school children do not have a bed, which affects their self-esteem, ability to learn, and likelihood of graduating from high school. Boston Cares works with social workers at several non-profit partners to find homes for each bed.

Volunteers assemble beds at the New England Carpenter Training Center. 

Mayor Walsh attends 'Lemonade Day' workshop at Carpenters Center Posted by on

Lemonade Day is a national event designed to empower young entrepreneurs using a classic kid-business venture – the lemonade stand. On Lemonade Day, mentors teach basic business skills while helping kids start and run their own lemonade stands.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters played an important role in Lemonade Day Boston, which will take place on May 3rd, by hosting a Build-a-Stand workshop at the Carpenters Center.

In preparation of the workshop, first-year apprentices at the Carpenters Center built lemonade stands from materials donated by NERCC signatory Gilbane, Inc. During a workshop held at the Carpenters Center, young volunteers from local elementary schools and YMCA programs worked alongside apprentices to assemble and paint the stands. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh stopped by to visit the workshop.

"The Carpenters Union has always been active in the community,” said Mayor Walsh. “They do so much work like this and they do it quietly. These young people get to see the apprentices working teaching them some skills. It is incredible. This is great for the Carpenters Union to do something like this.”

Launched in Houston in 2007, the event has spread to 36 cities in the US and Canada. An estimated 3,300 schoolchildren will participate in Lemonade Day Boston by planning, building and running lemonade stands throughout the city.


Apprentices prepare for Lemonade Day Posted by on

First-year apprentices at the Carpenters Center built lemonade stands this week in preparation for a visit from Lemonade Day Boston volunteers next week. Lemonade Day is a national event designed to empower young entrepreneurs. The New England Regional Council of Carpenters will play an important role in Lemonade Day Boston by hosting a Build-a-Stand workshop at the Carpenters Center. Young volunteers will get assistance from union carpenters in designing and building their lemonade stands for the May 3 event.



The event is scheduled to take place on April 23. Among the atendees for the Build-a-Stand workshop will be Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

The Carpenters Center is the headquarters of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Apprenticship and Training Fund. In addition to the administrative staff fo the reigonal governing body of the United Brotherohood of Carpenters and a handful of affiliated local unions, it includes extensive classroom, meeting and shop training space. It also houses the union's vision center and a private primary care health practice specially tailored for union members, called Carpenters Care.

A project to be proud of Posted by on

Union carpenters are playing a part in healing communities in Connecticut. Members of Local 43 are working with union contractors C & R Concrete and Giordano Construction on a playground in Hartford, which kicked off this weekend. It is being done in conjunction with the Sandy Ground Project, which will build 26 playgrounds, one for each of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

The playground is being built in memory of Ana Grace Marquez-Greene at Elizabeth Park. Ana's parents grew up and started their family in the area. The New Haven Register published a nice piece on the effort.

Work is expected to be completed in time for an April 4 groundbreaking, which was Ana's birthday.

One last job for the Mayor Posted by on

On the eve of his last First Night as mayor, Tom Menino called on help from his friends at the Carpenters union one last time and union carpenters gladly stepped up. Menino was set to participate in the First Night parade and the honor of building his float fell to Lyle Hamm, Paul Gangemi and Jim Barr.

The three donated their time to turn a trailer bed into a replica of one of Boston's famed Public Garden "Swan Boats." They attached one of the swans and park benches to the decking, then built safety railings along the side, with a contoured shape that matched the pontoons on the actual swan boats.

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."

Carpenters on election day Posted by on

Boston voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new Mayor and City Council. Many of these race extremely close, so we urge you to vote and encourage others to vote. If possible, be active on election day in support of candidates endorsed by the Carpenters union.

Members will gather for election day activity at 11 am at a location nearest their home. Locations are listed below.

Dorchester--McKeon Post
East Boston--973 Saratoga Street
East Boston--18 Meridian St
Hyde Park--214 Neponset Valley Parkway
Jamaica Plain 668 Centre Street
Mattapan--Russell Auditorium
South Boston--Ironworkers Local 7
West Roxbury--46 Rockland St, West Roxbury
Fields Corner--1157 Dorchester Ave
Roxbury--155 DudleySt
West Dorchester--Russell Auditorium
CoC/4 Corners--Russell Auditorium
Charlestown--Teamsters Local 25
Back Bay/Beacon Hill/South End--11 Beacon St
JP/Hyde Square--315 Centre St


A Safe Home for Sydni Posted by on

Volunteers from the Carpenters Union were part of a very special project in South Boston, transforming the home of Sydni Pecevich into a space where she can learn and grow.

Sydni was diagnosed with a grapefruit-sized malignant brain tumor when she was just two months old. She had nine months of chemotherapy and eighteen surgeries in her first two years of life. She is now eight years old, and although cancer-free, she was left with disabilities that require 24-hour supervision.

As Sydni got older it became apparent that the tight quarters of her family’s home were not sufficient to accommodate all of her needs. The Carpenters Union, along with other Building Trades volunteers, stepped up in a big way to help her family turn her home into a space for her and her siblings to grow.

More play, thanks to union carpenters Posted by on

A group of union carpenters from Local 275 in Newton recently got together to help out another local playground. The members built a new perimeter consisting of four side walls at the Franklin Playground as a UPP event in coordination with "Newton Serves."

Pictured are members that came out to lend a hand. Back row, left to right: Kevin Kelley, Matt Matheney, Desmond Trainor and Keith Farley. Middle Row, left to right: John McClintock, Rick Scales, Eric MacKinley, John Burrows, Steve Donnelly and Robert Tedeschi.Front row; William Newton.

Meet Our Community - John Costello Posted by on

Local 624 Brother John Costello helped organize the Hardhats for Hunger food drive on a jobsite in Bridgewater, MA. Read more about his story here

NERCC thanks volunteers Posted by on

Earlier this month, the NERCC hosted an event at the Carpenters Center honoring the members and contractors who contributed their time, talents, and resources to the construction of the new National Teaching Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti. Representatives from the hospital attended the event to thank the volunteers for their efforts. Dr. David Walton, Chief Operating Officer, and Jim Ansara, Director of Design & Construction, spoke at the event and shared updated pictures from the hospital, which was scheduled to open the next morning.

Representatives Martin Walsh and Linda Dorcena-Forry also attended the event, thanking all of the volunteers and contributors to the project and handing out citations to each of the members who volunteered on the project.

After the citations were awarded, there was a presentation of the video (below), “Helping Hammers: Carpenters in Haiti,” which outlines the massive donations of time, materials and skills that were needed for the project to succeed.

Congratulations to all the union members who applied their skills to this transformative project that will benefit thousands of people for years to come.

Scott Berry, Local 111; Michael Biasella, Local 40; Eric Bickford, Local 2168; Joe Bickford, Local 2168; Joe Broderick, Local 535; Peter Carroll. Local 111; John Colbert, Local 40; David Cormier, Local 43; Michael Costello, Local 40; Jorge DeBurgo, Local 2168; Ryan Donovan, Local 2168; Patrick Feeney, Jr., Local 67; Hans Gabriel, Local 40; Michael Jacques, Local 2168; Stephen Lavache, Local 40; David LeBlanc, Local 2168; Peter Leyden, Local 33; Bruce McKenna, Local 33; Stephen McKenna, Local 275; James Murray, Local 94; Mynor Perez, Local 2168; Michael Robinson, Local 210; Andrew Smith, Local 43; Timothy Sullivan, Local 24; and David Young, Local 2168.

Thanks to the following contractors who contributed to the project:
Contract Flooring Installations, Mark Richey Flooring, Shawmut Design and Construction, Shock Brothers, Central Ceilings, H. Carr & Sons, John Moriarty and Associates, Cheviot Corporation.


Meet Our Community - C.A.P.T.S. Posted by on

Local 26 Brother Mark Brings and his family started C.A.P.T.S. (Calling All Patriots Troop Support)
in an effort to support military service members deployed overseas. Check out his story here: 

 To see more stories like this, visit the Meet Our Community page. 

Ice Fishing Derby Posted by on

The 5th Annual New England Carpenters Ice Fishing Derby will be held Sunday, February 17 from 7am-2pm at Singletary Lake in Millbury, Massachusetts.

Organizer Joe Broderick will be set up at 5am at the lake, which can be accessed by West Main Street in Millbury. Look for a banner with the carpenters emblem by the boat ramp. There is a $20 fee to enter. Twenty-five percent of proceeds will be donated to the Valley Tech Educational Fund

Power augers will not be allowed before 7am and no tickets will be sold after 9am. Awards and a shore drawing will be held at the boat ramp at 2pm. Prizes will be awarded to the heaviest fish of any species, with 40% of proceeds going to the winner, 25% to 2nd place and 10% to 3rd place. Ties will be broken by fish length. All fish must be brought in alive.

For questions, please call Joe Broderick of Local 535 at 781-983-1383.

Helping Hammers: Carpenters in Haiti Posted by on

On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti, devastating an already impoverished nation. With much of the country's medical infrastructure destroyed, plans that were in place to build a 110-bed community hospital had to be revamped. The Ministry of Health, along with Partners In Health, launched a far more ambitious plan to build a 320-bed state-of-the-art teaching hospital in Mirebalais, which is located thirty-five miles north of Port-au-Prince in the Central Plateau.

Haiti's building industry, however, was simply unable to meet the needs of the new building design. Massive donations of time, materials and skills would be needed for the project to succeed. Union carpenters and contractors stepped up to the challenge to help secure materials and volunteer their time and labor to help build the hospital while teaching Haitian workers valuable craft skills 

To learn more, check out the piece NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich wrote for Commonwealth magazine about this amazing project following a trip to Haiti in 2012.

Community Partner: RI Family Shelter Posted by on


Members in Rhode Island have been helping families faced with one of the harshest realities of a volatile economy, homelessness. For many years, members of Carpenters Local 94 have been raising funds for the Rhode Island Family Shelter, located in Warwick.

Carpenters Local 94 holds an annual Dollars for Food Drive to raise money for the shelter.In addition to the monetary donations, carpenters have volunteered time and labor on site to help with various projects throughout the facility. These projects include a complete renovation of the basement, creating meeting space and a large playroom.

Learn more here


Community Partner: The United Way Posted by on

Volunteer carpenters were an integral part of a United Way project in Framingham, MA, transforming the former Framingham RMV Building into the new United Way Pearl Street Cupboard and Café. The facility is capable of serving more than 1,000 customers a month.

Learn more about the project, including a video profile piece, by clicking here.



SIB lends a hand to RTB Posted by on

Congratulations on a job well done to eight union carpenters who pitched in a lot of time and effort to help the Rebuilding Together Boston Program on their National Rebuilding Day. The women members, who participated through the Sisters in the Brotherhood program, worked on three sites in the city, adding experienced, skilled hands to the effort.

Rebuilding Together Boston works on an annual basis to repair and renovate the homes of economically disadvantaged homeowners (including the elderly, veterans, families with children, single parent households, the physically challenged and others in need) as well as non-profit-owned facilities (community centers, schools, worship centers, etc.) in the City of Boston. RTB provides its services at no cost to recipients due to the generous support of foundations, corporations, individuals and vendors.

This year's projects on National Rebuilding Day included: six homes in Mattapan, Dorchester and Roxbury; Pine Street Inn Veterans’ housing, a residence for formerly homeless women, and the Nazareth Residence for Mothers and Children.

Members involved in the effort included: Joan Bennett, Local 33; Theresa Haymon, Local 33; Maureen Owen-Ewings, Local 67; Marcia Williams-White, Local 33; Karen Blandino, Local 67; Judy Sullivan, Local 67; Mikey Myles, Local 67 and Liz Skidmore, Local 118.



The Union connection in Haiti Posted by on

For over a year, union carpenters and other trades workers in New England have been lending their time and valuable skills to assist in the construction of a hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti. After the devastating earthquake, the hospital is a source of hope in many ways. NERCC's Mark Erlich recently visited Haiti and wrote a piece for CommonWealth magazine about this amazing project.

Click here to see pictures taken by Mark Erlich during his trip.

Members organizing motorcycle ride Posted by on

A group of union carpenters are organizing a motorcycle ride to benefit lung cancer research. The "New England Carpenters Ride For Research" will take place October 2, rain or shine.

Registration will take place from 9-11am at Slaters in Bolton, Massachusetts. The ride will start promptly at 11:30. The cost is only $15 for riders and $10 for passengers.

For more information email necarpentersmcride at gmail dot com or contact the American Lung Association at 781-314-9005 or via ehicky at lungne dot org.

Boston neighborhood celebrates success Posted by on

A Boston neighborhood struggling to fight off longstanding problems with crime, exacerbated in recent years by foreclosure, may be starting to make lasting change thanks to coordinated neighbor activity and housing improvements fueled in part by union carpenters.

Two years ago union contractor Bilt Rite renovated four buildings on Hendry Street in Dorchester, largely with the help of union carpenter apprentices as part of city program to initiate change. More on those efforts here.

This weekend, the Hendry Street Neighborhood Watch will celebrate efforts to improve the neighborhood and seek greater resident involvement. The Dorchester Reporter published a story on the event, putting it into proper context regarding work in the neighborhood.

This event follows the neighborhood watch group??s June 6 meeting, which attracted 47 new Hendry Street resident members. Saturday??s block party will be a way to gather even more members and commemorate the club??s work since its inception last summer, said organizer Beto Rosa, community organizer at the Dorchester Bay EDC.

In many ways, Saturday??s event will act as a backdrop to the work done by the Dorchester Bay EDC in relieving foreclosure pressure in the area. The area around Coppens Square had been known as the ??hotbed of the foreclosure crisis,?? says Jeanne DuBois, executive director of the Dorchester Bay EDC.
DuBois says that a key part of neighborhood stability is to ensure that invested residents own and occupy houses. This, combined with the community organizing efforts of the Hendry Street Neighborhood Watch, can improve the neighborhood.

??This area had a history of crime and lawlessness,?? DuBois said. ??Little by little, the Hendry Street Neighborhood Watch is taking it back.??
Congratulations to the residents of the Hendry Street neighborhood and union carpenters who played a part.

Fall River carpenters get kudos Posted by on

Congratulations to members of Local 1305, who are getting a well deserved pat on the back from the Fall River Herald News for their volunteer work to build a concession stand and restrooms for Durfee High School. The paper featured the union's work in a front page story and praised them in an editorial piece.

Haiti Hospital project seeks carpenters, volunteers Posted by on

Partners in Health is looking for volunteer union carpenters and other trades workers to assist in the construction of a badly needed hospital in Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake last year. Background information about the project, which is being spearheaded by Jim Ansara from Shawmut Design and Construction, is available in an article published in the New England Carpenter magazine last winter. All travel and in-country expenses would be covered by the program and power tools would be provided. They are asking volunteers to commit to only 8-14 day trips between September and February and to bring their own hand tools.

For details about the current status of the project, please download and view this Powerpoint presentation by Partners in Health. To contact Partners in Health about becoming a volunteer, visit this page.

Worcester members build a garden for the village Posted by on

This weekend, members of Carpenters Local 107 and YouthBuild lent their skills to a garden project at the Plumley Village housing development. Raised garden frames were built by YouthBuild and then installed by members of Local 107. The project was supported by numerous city and state groups. Twenty-four families living in Plumley Village have already signed up for plots in the new garden.

The carpenters' work drew the attention of, which posted about the project complete with photos.

Helping out on the project were Brothers Fred Taylor, Wayne Johnson, Sean Peek, Jim Turner, Luis Tirado & Manny Gines

All photos courtesy of Mike Benedetti.
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Play ball! Posted by on

Carpenters from Local 424 volunteered their time to build a new snack bar at a local Little League field in Braintree, MA. The snack bar was built at Hollingsworth Park, which hosts over 700 players a year. The volunteers saved the league an estimated $10,000.

??That??s money that we would have had to raise and pay off. It means a lot to the program,?? said Steve Guilbault, the vice president for the League??s Board of Directors.

The donation drew the attention of Town Hall, who praised the union??s efforts.

??In these challenging times, this kind of volunteer effort is especially valued,?? said Peter Morin, the chief of staff and operations for Braintree.

The volunteer carpenters completed the project in just 5 days. Permanent signage recognizing the efforts of the Carpenters Union will be hung on the outfield wall in the Spring.

The Local 424 volunteers were: Dave Curley, point person and project foreman; Steve Paker; Steve Singleton; Brian Knox; Tom Duncanson; Dave Shurtleff; Brian DuBois; Joe MacLellan; and Frank Baxter.

The Boston Globe ran a piece about the volunteer efforts, it can be read here.

Helping Hammers on the job in Grove Hall Posted by on

Union carpenter apprentices in Boston are working with Community Labor United to make repairs to Boston homes so that they can qualify for weatherization improvements available through Renew Boston. One of the first homes they have worked on is Betty McGuire's house in Grove Hall. Thanks to the effort, it will soon be one of 150,000 homes Renew Boston hopes to serve in the next ten years.

Lending (skilled) helping hands Posted by on

Carpenters Local Union 275's Volunteer Organizing Committee volunteered to build the deck and install the chairlift to help a struggling family in Natick.

The family has a fourteen year old boy Dougie with Autism and Duchene??s Muscular Dystrophy and has been wheelchair bound since January 2008. They needed a deck built on to the back of their house and a chairlift to take him down to the backyard so he could enjoy the yard with his brothers and sisters. Prior to the chairlift being build he had to be carried down by two adults which was very difficult and sometimes impossible as he is growing up.

The following members volunteered over a combined 150hours!! Bruce Whitney, Ricky Scales, Ron Brown, Mike Rogers, Brian Rogers, Rick Mills, John Brennan, Tyler Brenan, Kelly Calkins, Shane Rosenquist, Dorson Ace, Phil Frank, Mike Cormier, Jason Linton, TJ Gallant and Rick Ilsley with organization and George Benjamin with taking all the pictures.

The V.O.C. believes it is very important to be active in our own communities and our members participate in several Volunteer activities throughout the year!

More pictures available here.

Also, see coverage in the MetroWest Daily News.

Local 1996 Participates in Day of Caring Posted by on

As reported in the Portland Herald Press

PORTLAND ?? Two dozen volunteers descended on the Children's Museum and Theater of Maine on Thursday. They went to work weeding flower beds, freshening the paint on a scaled-down pirate ship, applying finish to picnic tables and dismantling the aging Taj Mahal clubhouse.

"We have plenty of stuff for them to do," said Matt Chamberlain, a member of the museum's exhibits and operations staff.

The volunteers were among more than 1,000 people from various companies and organizations who turned out for the United Way of Greater Portland's 18th annual Day of Caring.

After gathering for a kickoff breakfast at Back Cove, the volunteers fanned out to 90 projects at 60 nonprofit organizations. They did chores ranging from yard work to public relations consulting to painting. And yes, they did windows.

Day of Caring was a small event when it started in the early 1990s, with only about 10 projects, said Suzanne McCormick, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Portland.

"Over the years," she said, "the nonprofits have come to depend on this day for their capital improvements," and the event has grown.

At a playground for PROP's child care program, several men from Local 1996 of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters took apart an old play structure. The agency has wanted to do the job for several years, but every year something more pressing has come up, said Kevin Dean, who supervises PROP's child and family services field staff.

"It's pretty simple for us," said Dana Goldsmith, the local's training coordinator for northern New England. "At the onset, we didn't know what we were going to be facing. A few of us brought our own tools."

About 70 volunteers helped the Salvation Army sort food that had been collected by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

When the volunteers arrived at the warehouse, they found mail totes containing 50,000 pounds of food, said Capt. Penny Shaffer of the Salvation Army in Portland. The volunteers worked in assembly-line fashion, sorting and boxing the donated food.

"People are coming with a willing spirit to do whatever needs to be done," Shaffer said.

After most of the volunteers had finished, three teens from Long Creek Youth Development Center were still loading boxes -- marked for categories like "BEANS," "MAC & CHEESE," "BAKING" and "SAUCE" -- into a trailer attached to a pickup truck.

"I just asked who wanted to go. Today's our first time here," said Jeff Bachelder, juvenile program manager for the unit, which is geared toward boys who are nearing release and includes regular community service activities.

In the museum's back yard, L.L. Bean human resources employees shared their adventures of the morning.

Heidi Baughman, a department coordinator, revamped the museum's birthday room with light yellow and turquoise paint.

"We're having a blast today," she said.

Tim Wachtl, an interviewer, helped to take down the Taj Mahal. The volunteers took off the foam dome and knocked off pieces with sledgehammers.

"We found out we're not men of steel," he said.

The influx of volunteers at the museum meant that its backyard -- a difficult spot to maintain because of its exposure to the elements -- would get some dramatic improvements quickly, said Chamberlain, the staff member.

Normally, the three members of the exhibit and operations staff would have to chip away at such a project, sometimes with help from one or two volunteers. But by lunchtime Thursday, Chamberlain was optimistic that the work would be finished in time for a members party on the deck in the evening.

"Whenever we get a group like this, it's really a big help," he said.

Green area renamed Posted by on

The Carpenters Union worked in conjunction with neighbors in the area to spruce up the pedestrian cut-though located on the corner of Dorchester Ave. and Howell Street.

The park has been renamed Paul??s Triangle in memory of long time Howell Street resident and community advocate Paul Markilis. Mr. Markilis?? family still resides on the street.

The neighborhood surrounding the park and the Carpenters Center is known as the ??Polish Triangle.?? In this area, Dorchester Avenue, Boston Street and Columbia road converge, literally, into a triangle that extends out into South Boston.

The triangular design of the pergola built by the Carpenters Union is part of an effort to brand the Polish Triangle neighborhood.

Desmond Rohan, neighbor and member of the McCormick Civic Association, which is involved in various beautification efforts throughout the community, including Paul??s Triangle, recently thanked the Carpenters Union saying, ??Your efforts will certainly make it possible to continue improving the area and without your support we would not have made the progress we have to date.??

The McCormack Civic Association, through the support of local merchants and businesses, recently hung wreaths for the holiday season along Dorchester Ave. To learn more about this group, visit their website at

Neighborhood improvement project Posted by on

The Carpenters Union has joined efforts with neighbors in the community to spruce up the pedestrian cut-through located on the corner of Dorchester Ave. and Howell Street.

A set of stairs were installed in the green area connecting Dorchester Ave to Washburn Street. Members of Piledrivers Local 56 fabricated the treads in the piledrivers shop. The the treads were cut to size, holes were predrilled, and the hardware to hold the treads in place was fabricated at the shop.

RDA Construction donated the greenheart timber used for the stair treads. This eco-friendly timber is used in dock and pier construction. The dense timber won??t rot when placed directly on the ground, as water cannot permeate it.

Other volunteers assembled a pergola in the green area. The douglas fir was donated by the Carpenters Union.

"Angels" from LU 210 get kudos Posted by on

Congratulations to Brother Mike Robinson and members of Local 210 in Connecticut. They recently helped a Bridgeport woman by building a wheelchair ramp on her home after another contractor had delayed, overcharged and then left her with a ramp that failed inspection twice.

The woman, who is blind and suffers from multiple sclerosis and renal failure was forced to live in a nursing home at a cost of more than $25,000 before she could have a ramp put on her house. A local contractor took 3 months and charged her more than $7,000 for shoddy work. She contacted a local television news program whose promotion of the story caught Robinson's eye. With materials donated by Home Depot, union carpenters tore down the old ramp and put up a new one in two days.

The story can be watched on Channel 8's website here.

Hendry Street video posted Posted by on

A video of renovation work done by union carpenter apprentices on homes on Hendry Street in Dorchester has been posted at

Menino cuts ribbon on Hendry Street Posted by on

The Mayor and media came out to Hendry Street in Dorchester again yesterday for a ribbon cutting on two formerly foreclosed properties that have been rehabilitated by union carpenter apprentices and union contractor Bilt-Rite. The event also served as a kick-off for the 30th season of "This Old House," which will film a similar project being done by a community group in Roxbury.

For five months, groups of carpenter apprentices have been volunteering their time and skills to completely redo the three family properties on one of Boston's hardest hit streets. Rather than going to Millbury for their required one week training session at the New England Carpenters Training Center, they have been working on Hendry Street under the supervision of Instructors Dana Bean and Brian Austin.

Next door to the two completed buildings are two more that are nearing completion. Bilt Rite, which is serving as the developer and general contractors, will sell the two completed properties soon. They are scheduling an open house for the properties to take place in the coming weeks.

Samuel Richards, who have lived in the neighborhood for close to 30 years, came out to watch the ribbon cutting and praised the efforts of the Mayor, Bilt-Rite and the apprentices.

"When I moved here, the buildings were in pretty good shape, there was only one bad one in the neighborhood," he said. "Things have gotten bad. This is a good start [for rebuilding the neighborhood].People don't get scared when they come by and see this work being done. It's beautiful."

Mayor Tom Menino, who's been a close partner with the Carpenters union on many projects in the community, noted how important the project was both for Hendry Street and symbolically, for the city.

"In the past, we've seen the bad spreading int he neighborhoods. Now we're seeing the good spreading," he said. "It's our dream to have them owner-occupied and affordable. We want them to have a good effect on people wo live next door. The caprenters did a great job. Today we'll have placed where poeple hcan live and have a very good home."

The properties are being offered with low interest rates and tax incentives. The intent is to have them sell as owner-occupied, which will enable a buyer to use two rental incomes to pay the mortgage and be on site to maintain the property. For more information, contact the company at 617- 541-9777.

The Hendry Street project is one of close to a dozen that union carpenters have completed in the neighborhoods of Boston and other communities in recent years. By volunteering their time and work, union apprentices make help cities and towns affordably build or rehabilitate properties in need of serious TLC. The union also demonstrates its commitment to building communities where members, and the future generation of trades workers, live.

Carpenters help Boston Shine Posted by on

On Saturday, Carpenters Local 67 joined Boston City Council President Mike Ross and hundreds of other volunteers to help spruce up the Boston Common for "Boston Shines" a city wide cleanup program to spruce up the city for the upcoming tourist season. Forty rank and file members joined executive board members to lend their valuable skills to the effort.

On the event and the Local's relationship with Councilor Ross, Chris Shannon commented: "Mike Ross' district covers a lot of Local 67s jurisdiction and so we've gotten to know him well in the community and in regards to City of Boston business. His district covers the Longwood Medical Area, Fenway Park and Kenmore Square, Northeastern University and into Mission Hill. City councilors play key roles in bringing new construction projects through the neighborhood process and have a huge influence on how these projects get built. Mike's position as president of the city council means he is involved with projects throughout the city. He has been a great friend of Local 67 and has worked diligently to make sure that union carpenters participate in City of Boston construction projects. We're happy to cooperate with him on the business side, but also when it comes to helping out in the community, where we both try to play leading roles."

Local 67 Executive Board members Chris Shannon, Jay Glynn, Vic Carrara, Mike Kerin, Pat Sugrue and Pat Donavan were joined by rank-and-file members Greg Rouse, Allen McCoy, Modesto Osario, Lorenzo Rusconi, Mike Lavoie, Terence O??Connor, Jimmy Moran, Pierre Calixte, Brian Sugrue, Don Gillis, Albert Robinson, Jeff Glynn, Brandon Lewis, Wayne Thompson, Richard Attardo, Jesus Silva, Daniel Bruto, Trevor Harrigan, Erica Ross, Wendell Sinaise, Erik Goodrich, Al Briggs, Steve Buckley, Dave Lewis, Paul Teahan, John Joyce, Yusif Ali, James Hendricks, Mario Kennard, Richard Diangio, Rob Clarke, Mathew Ward, Steven Feeney, Mark Dellascio, Paul Hagberg, Latisha McQueen, Issiah McQueen, Reggie Joseph, Devon Clark, and Almarie Condry.

Who We Are - Union Town Posted by on

This video, first intruduced at the 2008 NERCC Convention, is titled "Union Town," features members who are active community members.