December 2021
TRAINING
Apprentice Appreciation Day held at Savannah training center
Forty apprentices and more than 25 family members, friends, and walk-ins participated in Apprentice Appreciation Day at the Savannah training center Dec. 4. They met with local and regional leaders, toured the facility, and the apprentices competed in two contests. Learn more about the event.
UBC Military Veterans Program earns DOL recognition, grant
The U.S. Department of Labor has recognized the UBC's Military Veterans Program with a 2021 Hire Vets Gold Medallion Award. The program also is receiving a Labor Department grant to assist military service members and their spouses dislocated by pandemic-caused delays. Through this grant, 39 MVP graduates received $1,500 each to purchase tools in 2021. In 2022, graduates will get $1,500 for tools and the program will receive $2,750 per graduate.

We can't wait to welcome more graduates from this initiative into the SSMRC. Read more about the program.

2021 MVP graduating classes:
SSMRC provides compressors for training centers in Moss Point, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The SSMRC recently purchased compressors worth approximately $30,000 each for the Moss Point, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, training centers. Members will use the compressors to train for work in the petrochemical and related energy fields.
COMMUNITY SERVICE CHALLENGE AWARD
Mike Hines’ goals as a community volunteer and a business agent focus on leveling the playing field with educational and job opportunities.
The reason Mike Hines enjoys his job as a union business agent is the same reason he has been volunteering in his community since high school. Both undertakings allow him to practice his guiding philosophies: make things better than you found them and help provide equal opportunities.

“I feel like I've been very fortunate with my life and what I've been able to do," Hines said. "I really think that we all need to try to help people to help themselves.” Read more about Mike Hines.
Nominate someone to be the next Community Service Challenge winner. Let us know how you or another SSMRC member is volunteering in the community, helping other members, etc. Send an email to omcmurrey@ssmrc4070.org or call/text 1-855-57-SSMRC (1-855-577-7672).
Do you have a question for our EST?
If you have a question you would like SSMRC Executive Secretary Treasurer Wayne Jennings to answer in an upcoming video, please reply to this email or leave a message at 855-57-SSMRC (855-577-7672).
MEMBER NEWS
Join the SSMRC Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee
The SSMRC has started a Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee. If you would like to join, please fill out the form here. You also can request to join our private SIB Facebook group. Be on the lookout for an invitation to a virtual meeting that will take place Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. Central time.
Matt Bartles is helping young people get into good-paying jobs while also combating a shortage of skilled welding professionals.
Matt Bartles first heard the term “millwright” from a guest speaker at the technical college he was attending in 2010. A decade later – after completing the millwright apprenticeship, working in the field, and becoming a millwright training instructor – Bartles is the one giving presentations about the millwright career path. Learn more about him.
Local 1263 members receive service pins
Four members of Local 1263 received service pins during a ceremony held Dec. 14. Most of the members are from South Carolina and the Augusta, Georgia, area and are employed at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia, and at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
Thank you to all our apprentices
During National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 15-21, we heard from several millwright apprentices about their favorite parts of the apprenticeship program. You can watch their videos below. The SSMRC would like to thank all its apprentices for their dedication to learning the millwright craft. We look forward to seeing where your careers take you!
More on National Apprenticeship Week and the first National Women in Apprenticeship Day:
For the first time, National Women in Apprenticeship Day was held during National Apprenticeship Week. See how the U.S. Labor Department celebrated both events:

Member Milestones
Congratulations to the following members, who became journey-level millwrights between Oct. 16 and Nov. 15, 2021.
Local 1421:
Hugo Miranda
Greg Singleton

Local 2232:
Tyler Brockner
Local 1554:
Russell Keith Chilcutt
Mitchell McCullough
Ryan Ottinger
Pedro “Pete” Mendez
William Sohocki
Nicholas James Reed
Aaron Huffman
Logan Reed Crain
The SSMRC mourns the loss of the following members, who passed away between Oct. 10 and Nov. 15, 2021.
Local 1421:
David Hartless
Aubrey Boyd
Local 729:
James Perniciaro

Local 1000:
Elton Conrad
WORK UPDATES
Get a free t-shirt when you take the 101 Constitution online course
The SSMRC will send you a free t-shirt after you complete the online course "101 Constitution: U.S. Government and Labor Law," which is hosted in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Department of Education and Training's Learning Management System.

At the beginning of each month, the council will mail t-shirts to members who completed the course during the prior month. If you have already taken the course, we will send your shirt in early December. Learn more about the course here.
AT&T announces deals for union members
The AT&T Union Sales Team is providing several promotions (listed below) for union members. To learn more or sign up, click here.
LABOR AND ECONOMIC NEWS
Growing labor movement gains victories at Amazon, Starbucks
After shrinking for decades, the labor movement has gained momentum in 2021. Google employees created their first union this year, and tens of thousands of workers have gone on strike at companies including Nabisco, Kellogg's, and John Deere. Members of the United Mine Workers of America have been on strike in Brookwood, Alabama, since April.

During the past month, the National Labor Relations Board ordered a new union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, and, for the first time, workers at a Starbucks store voted to unionize. Read more about both these developments.
New minimum wage on federal contracts announced during event in Alabama
A new Department of Labor rule will raise the minimum wage for workers on federal contracts to $15 per hour beginning Jan. 30. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh announced the rule in Birmingham, Alabama, alongside workers, including union members, who talked about how the rule will help their communities. Learn more: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20211122-0
U.S. Labor Department proposes ending Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program
The Labor Department is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would eliminate the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program started under the Trump administration so the department can direct its resources toward Registered Apprenticeships (union apprenticeship programs are "registered apprenticeships").

The proposal is part of the Biden administration’s larger apprenticeship effort, which includes expanding and strengthening the Registered Apprenticeship model and investing in pipelines to these programs. In the proposal to eliminate IRAPS, the department stated that IRAPs create a duplicative system that could lead to lower quality standards for training and poorer safety and welfare protections for apprentices compared to Registered Apprenticeship Programs. Learn more.
Labor Department launches Apprenticeship Ambassador Program
The video above announcing the Apprenticeship Ambassador Program features UBC member Jovan Johnson and Barbara Hampton, president and CEO of SSMRC partnering contractor Siemens USA.
The unemployment rate dropped from 4.6% to 4.2% in November, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report. Over the past three months, the U.S. has added an average of 378,000 jobs per month. 83% of the 22.4 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 have been recovered.
COVID-19 NEWS
COVID-19 cases are rising again, but with precautions, you can still gather safely with family and friends this month
COVID-19 cases are rising again in most regions of the country, including the South. While the Delta variant of the virus is still the dominant strain in the United States, the Omicron variant is quickly gaining a foothold. According to scientists studying COVID-19, the Omicron variant spreads much faster than any other variant and prior infection does not provide as much protection against Omicron. Public-health experts warn that even though Omicron has caused fewer hospitalizations in South Africa compared to previous strains, that situation might not be the case in other countries.

The good news is that you can still take steps to gather safely with family and friends this month. This article offers tips for doing that.
Vaccine Fact or Fiction:
Can COVID-19 vaccines alter a person's DNA?
Click one of the buttons below to learn the answer and find out more about COVID-19 vaccines.
Get the SSMRC Member E-News and other information via text