February 2021
Council leaders set goals and provide work-opportunity outlooks for the year ahead
The SSMRC's regional directors and nuclear representative have made videos highlighting expected work opportunities, setting goals for 2021, and providing information on other important developments in their areas. You can view the videos below.
David Bonds, Nuclear Office representative:
Logan Brown, Eastern Region director:
Jeff Smith, Central Region director:
James Rowland, Western Region director:
Western Region
Local 216:
Work is picking up quickly through the month of February in both Arkansas and Oklahoma. We have multiple paper-mill projects kicking off at Clearwater, Gypsum, and Kimberly Clark. Power-gen projects are kicking off as well, with outages at Magnet Cove and Union Station.

Local 729:
Work has finally started to pick up in Louisiana. There are multiple projects starting up in February, along with two nuclear outages around the corner that also include capital work.

Local 1421:
The work in 1421 has picked up a bit throughout January, with projects in San Marcos at Urban Mining and in Corsicana at Skanska. In February, turbine work will kick off, leading to more turbine work in March. We also have a small crew at Tesla with multiple employers that have been awarded pieces of the project that should start truly kicking off later this month or in early March.

Local 2232:
Work has picked up at MD Anderson with the new proton treatment center. We also have had several turbine outages and even more are on the schedule. On the petrochemical side, work has kicked off at Valero in Texas City and at Dow Deer Park.
Central Region
2021 is looking to be busy, and prosperous times are ahead of us. However, if you are traveling outside of your home local jurisdiction for work, please check in with the local that has jurisdiction where you are procuring work. Please take advantage of all opportunities to enhance your skill sets (for example: forklift, welding, aerial lift, rigging) through the training department.

Local 1192:
  • In Huntsville, Alabama, the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing project is well underway, and various contractors on site will continue to hire over the next couple of months, as needed. Please make sure to have your OSHA 10, forklift, and aerial-lift certifications. Riggers and welders will be in high demand as well.
  • McAbee Construction is kicking off a Plant Barry project in Bucks, Alabama, and will hire as needed.
  • Craig Construction is hiring up to perform an outage at Costellium. 
  • A Browns Ferry outage is scheduled for February. If you are interested, please call David Bonds, our nuclear representative, at 817-781-3322.

Local 1554:
  • General Motors has pushed its outage back, with a new date to be determined. Please reach out to Steve Williams at 615-874-8591 for details.
  • Cary Specialized Services is kicking off a project at Blue City Brewery in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Skanska is preparing for an outage at Arconic.
Eastern Region
Local 2411:
  • Coker Industrial Contractors has a two-month job coming up at the sawmill in Lake City. 
  • W.W. Gay has several small, one-day jobs lined up every other Wednesday and is bidding on more jobs coming up in February. W.W. Gay's usual, pop-up emergency jobs are starting to pick back up as well.
  • Milton J. Wood Company has its usual crew busy at various sites around North Florida.
  • Cogburn Bros. has turned in several bids for the spring outage season. 
  • Millwrights are working on machinery installations and upgrades with Atlas Industries at the Anheuser-Busch can plant.
  • Siemens and APM are conducting maintenance in Gainesville, Florida.
Local 1263:
  • RCC and TurbinePROs are at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 construction project.
  • There are several nuclear outages in Georgia and North Carolina. Contact David Bonds at dbonds@ssmrc4070.org if you are available.
  • Connor outages are planned for Plant Jack McDonough. Two units are scheduled for this spring, and two units are scheduled for fall.
  • IPC Lydon is continuing to fingerprint and background check for the Atlanta-airport project.
  • CR Meyer's Macon mill job is still growing.
Local 1000:
  • We have been working jobs with SGS, APM, and TOPS Field Services on power generation.
  • We're still needing experienced compressor millwrights for full-time maintenance with UPS at the Limetree Bay refinery in St. Croix.
  • Western Industrial has a a FedEx project at Miami Airport coming in 2021. 
  • We're still working on the Miami Transit project with Sissco Hoist.
  • We are working in Orlando Airport with Commercial Contracting Corporation.
  • We're also working at Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports with Jordim.
  • We are working in the phosphate industry with Central Maintenance, Gulf Coast Industrial, and Preferred Maintenance.
  • A&B maintenance work at Gopher Recycling is ongoing.
  • We're working with Airco Power at Teco Polk Power Station.
Member Spotlight:
Esther Freeman’s career has included art, welding, and teaching at a technical college; now she’s hooked on being a millwright.
Esther Freeman has always had a penchant for the mechanical. She enjoyed working on cars growing up. But her welding career started with art.

“I originally got into welding through sculpture,” Freeman said. “I loved foundry [a process in which castings are produced by pouring liquid metal into a mold]. So I did a lot of casting and worked with metal, concrete, and wood.”

Freeman studied sculpture at an arts college, then went into the trades for financial stability. She expanded her welding skills at a technical college before working in fabrication and heavy industrial settings. Freeman was a welding instructor at a technical college in Tennessee when Steve Williams, a business agent for Millwright Local 1554, paid a visit in 2017, just as the welding school was shutting down. He suggested Freeman become a millwright.

“I already wanted to join the union,” Freeman said. “And the more I learned about the millwrights, the more I thought it would be a good fit.”

So she went for an interview at Local 1554. In December of 2020, Freeman became a journeyman millwright. She’s also a part-time welding instructor at the millwright and carpenter training center in Nashville, where she lives.

Learn more about Freeman and her journey by reading the Q&A here.
Local 1192 member featured in front-page newspaper article
This article about Local 1192 member Joey Hildreth ran as the main feature on the front page of the Florence Times Daily. We’re so proud of Joey and her career! Click here to read the full article.
Member Milestones
Congratulations to the following members, who advanced to journeyman status between Dec. 16, 2020, and Jan. 15, 2021.
Local 1000:
Charles Brinson
Shawn Gerstenmyer
Jeramy Gomer
Danny Heeter
Yiannis Karvounis
Trevis Walker

Local 216:
Al Bryant
Local 1263:
Bobby West
Chance Anderson
Dylan Braddy
Easam NeeSmith
Garrett Phillips
Jorge Guzman
Joseph Johns
Matthew Wacht
Steven Parianos
Timothy Capps
Timothy Curry
Timothy Stevens
Travis Hope
Local 1421:
Alex Kirkpatrick

Local 1192:
Jeremy Oglesby

Local 2232:
Jeremy Oglesby
Fabian Leal
Lee Lopez
Carlos Zuniga

The SSMRC mourns the loss of the following members, who passed away between Dec. 16, 2020, and Jan. 15, 2021.

Local 216:
Amos Rabbit (45 years of service)

Local 2232:
William Sandlin (50 years of service)

Expansion of Vogtle nuclear power plant nears completion
Thank you to the SSMRC members who have helped build Units 3 and 4 at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Georgia. As the project nears completion, Bechtel Corporation has released the following video outlining progress made in 2020.
Limetree Bay refinery resumes operations
Congratulations and thank you to the SSMRC members who helped the Limetree Bay refinery in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, resume operations. Limetree Bay Ventures announced Feb. 1 that the facility has begun production and commercial sales of refined products. The plant had been idled since 2012. Over the past two and a half years, hundreds of union millwrights have worked on the project. Read more here.
Apprenticeship training underway!
In January, millwright instructor Patrick Willingham taught the OSHA 30 course to Local 1263's newest apprenticeship class.
Classes to begin at new Charlotte, North Carolina, training center this month
Classes are scheduled to begin this month at the new training center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Members who live in the Carolinas will no longer have to travel to Georgia for training.

The training center sits on 6 acres purchased in 2018 with help from a $300,000 grant from the SSMRC. The council also donated new training equipment worth approximately $300,000.

Two mechantronics/robot stations will provide prerequisite training for the UBC mechatronics course, and a conveyor prop will offer training on floor conveyor and power and free monorail systems used in many manufacturing processes such as automotive and food and beverage. A state-of-the-art welding shop with 10 Clean Air welding booths is part of the 25,000-square-foot facility.

Learn more about the new center here.
Southern Company named one of Fortune magazine’s 2021 ‘World’s Most Admired Companies’
SSMRC industry partner Southern Company has been named to Fortune magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.” The 2021 list ranks Southern Company among the top four electric and gas utilities worldwide, up two spots from last year.

Southern Company produces and sells electricity across the Southeast through subsidiaries Alabama Power, Georgia Power, and Mississippi Power, while also distributing natural gas through other units.

Fortune’s 2021 World’s Most Admired Companies is a ranking of the world’s most respected and reputable companies, based on a survey of almost 3,800 executives, directors, and analysts.

It is Southern Company’s 10th year being named to the list.

“At Southern Company, we operate every day knowing how we do our jobs – the behaviors we exhibit with customers and each other – is just as important as what we do,” said Southern Company chairman, president & CEO Tom Fanning. “Our uncompromising values – safety first, unquestionable trust, superior performance and total commitment – ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and govern our business for the benefit of all.”

Siemens thanks craft labor partners, including millwrights, in new video
Siemens Energy recently released the following video, which recognizes the importance of union millwrights to the success of its customers in the electric-power-generation industry.
OSHA issues stronger COVID-19 worker-protection guidelines
OSHA has issued stronger worker-protection guidelines to help employers and employees reduce the spread of COVID-19. Read the guidance here - https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework - and check out the "What Workers Need to Know" section. If you have safety concerns, including those related to COVID-19, on any jobsite, reach out to the job steward or business agent.
Union history set to be made in Alabama
Workers in Bessemer, Alabama, could form the first union at an Amazon warehouse in the United States. The location for this potential "first" has been called surprising due to anti-union sentiment in the region.

Employees at the BHM1 warehouse near Birmingham are seeking to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Ahead of a Feb. 8 mail-out of election ballots to approximately 5,800 workers, Amazon launched an aggressive anti-union drive.

Learn more about the effort to unionize here and about the anti-union drive here.
COVID-19 cases declining, but remain at high levels; precautions still needed
COVID-19 cases in the United States have dropped nearly 30 percent in the past two weeks, but daily case rates are still more than three times higher than they were during the pandemic's first peak in April and twice as high as they were during the summertime peak in the United States.

Public health officials say more contagious variants of the virus, which do not appear to be widespread in the United States yet, and relaxed precautions could lead to a resurgence of the virus.

All 11 states in the SSMRC district are still at the highest COVID-19 risk level.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has warned that cases remain “extraordinarily high” and people should not let down their guard, especially given that variants of the virus continue to circulate. She also urged Americans to get the vaccine when it is their turn.
Check with your state health department to learn when you are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine
While the COVID-19 vaccination program is a federal initiative, each state determines who is eligible to receive the vaccine and when. Criteria include age, health conditions, and work environment. To check whether you or your family members are eligible, click the appropriate state link below.

Read myths, facts, and answers to frequently asked questions about the vaccine here.

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