October 2020
Council makes historic investment in training centers across Southeast
The SSMRC's value proposition to our business partners is that we will help them get their products to market the fastest and keep them there the longest by providing safe, professional, productive millwrights on every project.

To do this, we need to keep pace with technology changes. And that requires continued, top-level training. The SSMRC is committed to providing members with that training. That's why our organization has invested $3.5 million in our affiliated training programs in recent years.

Read on and watch the video message below from EST Wayne Jennings to learn more about recent projects.

If you have a question you would like EST Jennings to answer in a future video message, text it to 855-577-7672 or email it to info@southernstatesmillwrights.org.
Charlotte, North Carolina, training center set to open in January
"As long as I've been in training, I've heard from members who say they pay dues, work, and have to drive all way to Augusta or Kennesaw to get training. I'm looking forward to having a training center that's centrally located so those members don’t feel left out. I’m also looking forward to bringing in new members. Opportunities for millwrights in this area are out the roof. There are a lot of power plants and food-and-beverage facilities."
–Shon Douglas, director of education and training, Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust

The new training center sits on 6 acres of land the Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust Fund purchased in 2018 with help from a $300,000 grant from the SSMRC. The location is within 5 miles of interstates 77 and 85, and a traffic study revealed 57,000 vehicles pass the property each day. Learn more about the Charlotte Training Center here.
Fast Facts

Total investment: $6 million

Total square footage: 25,000

  • 15,000 square feet of shop space
  • 5,000 square feet for local offices and union meeting room
  • 5,000 square feet for classrooms and training offices

All-new training equipment will include:
  • Two mechantronics/robot stations (will provide pre-requisite training for the UBC mechatronics course);
  • State-of-the-art welding shop with 10 clean-air welding booths; and
  • A conveyor prop for training on floor conveyor and power and free monorail systems used in many manufacturing processes such as automotive and food and beverage.

Main benefits:
  • Centrally located for members' convenience
  • High-visibility location to help with recruiting members and marketing to potential industry partners
  • Shop layout is open so visiting contractors can easily see all types of training provided
Construction of new Nashville training center to begin in 2021
"It will be a place where all our members will have access to the latest technology and training. We'll have more room to train in, and a nice site to bring contractors to. We'll hold open houses for surrounding high schools and vocational schools to increase recruitment. I believe it's also going to help us secure more work."
–Greg Williams, executive director, Mid-South Carpenters Training Trust Fund
Williams said the goal is to break ground by early January. The training center will be built on 4 acres of land located on Veterans Memorial Parkway, which connects to highly visible U.S. Hwy. 41 (Murfreesboro Highway) in Lavergne, Tennessee. The SSMRC provided a $300,000 grant to help purchase the property.
Fast Facts

Total square footage of new facility: 25,000

Total square footage of current facility: 10,000

Training equipment will include:
  • Computer room to do NANTeL training for nuclear power plants;
  • Two mechantronics/robot stations (will provide pre-requisite training for the UBC mechatronics course); and
  • A conveyor prop for training on floor conveyor and power and free monorail systems used in many manufacturing processes such as automotive and food and beverage.

Main benefits:
  • More space for training
  • Additional training opportunities
  • High-visibility location to help with recruiting members and marketing to potential industry partners
New Russellville, Arkansas, training center
Architect's renderings of new building
Current facility
"The main advantage will be more space. This will kind of be like moving from a hotel to a new house. We started in a small, two-room facility and moved to the current location, which is 10,000 square feet, and now we’re moving to a new building that's more than double that size."
–Ed Wright, training director, Arkansas/Oklahoma
Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Program
Additional space is needed because of the growth of the apprenticeship program. The 4-acre site of the new Russellville training center is in a highly visible location close to the interstate. The SSMRC provided a $300,000 grant to help purchase the property. Construction is set to begin as soon as possible.
Fast Facts

Total square footage of new facility: 20,000-30,000

Total square footage of current facility: 10,000

In comparison to the current facility, the new building will include:

  • Additional classrooms, with state-of-the-art technology;
  • More training space; and
  • Extra administrative space for local offices.

Main benefits:
  • More space for classroom and hands-on training
  • Better facility to showcase to contractors and potential industry partners
  • High-visibility location to help with recruiting members and marketing to potential industry partners
New classroom building with auditorium planned for Florida training center
New welding booths installed in early 2020
"We’ve been providing some of the top training in the UBC, and now we'll have a facility that is comparable to the types of training we're providing and that allows members to see where their training contributions are going. We’ve been getting by with less for a long time, and to see the fruits of the hard work everyone has put in – that’s what I’m most proud of."
Jimmie Jordan, director, Florida Carpenters Training Trust Fund

The current building on the Tampa training center's 5-acre site was built in the 1970s. It now houses expanded and upgraded training space, including new welding booths installed in early 2020. Classes are being held in portable buildings until the new facility is completed. The SSMRC has provided a $200,000 grant for the expansion.
Fast Facts

Total investment: $1.5 million to $2 million

Square footage of current classroom/admin space: 3,700

Square footage of new classroom/admin/auditorium facility: 12,000

Square footage of existing shop facility: 8,000

Square footage to be added to shop facility: 2,000 (for a total of 10,000 square feet)

The new building will include:
  • Four classrooms with the latest audio-visual technology and power outlets built into the floor for student use;
  • An auditorium for orientations and general-information classes;
  • A lunch break area; and
  • Additional office space.

Main benefits:
  • Plenty of space for the current size of the apprenticeship and continuing-training programs and room to significantly grow the programs
  • A more professional, state-of-the-art look to match the caliber of training the programs provide
Arlington, Texas, training center gets exterior upgrade, drainage repairs, and new training equipment
Architect's rendering of new façade
LEFT: Building before renovations; RIGHT: Drainage work in progress
Supporting structure for new conveyor-training equipment
"The building in Arlington is a very nice building. It has lots of space for training and it has wooden support beams – the same as the UBC training facility in Las Vegas. It just needed an upgrade, more curb appeal, because it’s a little dated. The new conveyor and robot equipment will help because a lot of our members work at the GM plant right down the road."
Paul Jones, executive director,
Gulf Coast Carpenters & Millwrights Training Trust Fund
Renovations are underway and should be complete by the first of the year. This month, the Arlington training center received equipment for two mechatronics/robot stations. The supporting structure for the conveyor equipment was installed two weeks ago, and a class of students will begin installing the conveyor equipment this week.

The SSMRC contributed $500,000 toward the building upgrade and the new training equipment.
Fast Facts

Total investment: $800,000

Square footage of Arlington training center: 35,000

Construction date/type: The facility was built in the early 1980s using tilt-wall construction. Exterior walls are made of concrete.

The façade remodel will include:
  • Removal of wings and earthen berms that covered one-third of some walls
  • A complex drainage system to get water falling from roof away from building
  • Replacing wood on front of building
  • New signage, new paint in the beige, red, and blue UBC color scheme, and new landscaping

New equipment includes:
  • Two mechantronics/robot stations (will provide pre-requisite training for the UBC mechatronics course); and
  • A conveyor prop for training on floor conveyor and power and free monorail systems used in many manufacturing processes such as automotive and food and beverage.

Main benefits:
  • Additional training opportunities
  • Updated facility to showcase to contractors and potential industry partners
UBC Sisters in the Brotherhood Virtual Caucus to be held in conjunction with Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference
The SSMRC's parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, is holding a UBC Sisters in the Brotherhood Caucus Friday, Oct. 16, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will feature guest speakers, including General Secretary-Treasurer Thomas Flynn, and the opportunity to connect with other Sisters in the Brotherhood. Register here.

The virtual event is being held in conjunction with the Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference, which will also be held virtually. Learn more about the Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference here.
Eastern Region
In the Eastern Region, we are experiencing a sizable manpower shortage. If you are not on a job or assigned to an upcoming job, please register on the Mix 20/20 out-of-work list. We ask that every member of Locals 1000, 1263, and 2411 help us support our contractors with safe, professional, and productive craft so that we can hold onto the market share we have all worked so hard to gain.
–Logan Brown, Eastern Region Director
Recent information for members working at the Vogtle Units 3&4 site:
Central Region
We are busy within the automotive and power-generation industries this fall. If you are available for work, please put yourself on the out-of-work list and reach out to your business agent. 
–Jeff Smith, Central Region Director

Local 1192:
  • Mazda Toyota Manufacturing in Huntsville, Alabama, is getting underway and will continue to hire over the next couple of months. Please make sure to have your OSHA 10, forklift, and aerial-lift certifications. Riggers and welders will be in high demand as well.
  • Power generation is looking to be busy for the fall. Plant Daniels began its turbine outages on Sept. 10 for units 4A-B. Daniel unit 3A started on Sept. 26. 
  • Alley Crane and Rigging is now signatory to the 1192 CBA and is looking to perform work within the jurisdiction. 

Local 1554:
  • TVA is still on track for fall outages. COVID-19 has changed processes and PPE requirements at most jobsites, and TVA is currently allowing only essential employees on site.
  • At GM in Springhill, things are slow but expected to pick up.
  • Cumberland City has an outage scheduled to kickoff.
  • Specialty Service group is now signatory to the 1554 CBA and is looking to perform work within the jurisdiction. 
Western Region
Brothers and Sisters,

The Western Region of the SSMRC is picking up more work every day. We have had several projects kick off with APM, SGS, Turbine Pros, Alltech, A Plus, UPS, TISS, and Axis Mechanical Group in the last couple of weeks. We seem to be fully back into the fall season, and I encourage everyone to get on your local's available-for-work list if you are not working. We have multiple projects coming up for APM, Siemens, Universal Plant Services, Axis Mechanical Group, Ethos Energy Field Services, and TISS across all four states in our region. Keep your training up to date and make sure you contact your local business representative for details.
James Rowland, Western Region Director
Nuclear Division
WE DID IT! The fall season manpower is complete! Thanks to everyone for having patience and dedication while we sorted through the pandemic, reductions in work scope, ever-changing schedules, and varying report-date adjustments. Although stressful for all, we never lost sight of our goal and kept a good attitude during these trying times. It is truly appreciated.

Heads up: CBD oil and drug testing
On another note, here is something new that came up during this season: CBD oil. CBD oil is a growing fad, as I would call it. I have used aromatic oils, homeopathic remedies, natural remedies, and things of this nature myself. With its claim of calming and sedative effects, CBD oil has become very popular.

Due to recent events, I now understand there are different “spectrums” of CBD oil. Some contain THC and some do not. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis (marijuana). Please be aware this can show up in a drug screening if the “full-spectrum” CBD oil is taken. Please do your research before you begin using any CBD-oil product.

Here is one place to start. Note the heads up on drug testing: "Because CBD products aren’t regulated the same way as drugs or supplements, you do run the risk of trace amounts of THC in any CBD product you buy. If you’re drug tested, you may want to avoid CBD products altogether."

And here's a warning from one CBD seller: “While it's unlikely you'd fail a traditional drug test from using our products, the possibility cannot be ruled out. There are just too many types of drug tests out there, and with hemp products still relatively new on the market, it’s hard to assume that all tests will distinguish between THC and other types of cannabinoids. If you’re subject to a zero-tolerance drug policy at work or elsewhere, please know that some of the more sensitive drug tests can come back positive for cannabinoids. If you’re unsure about where your company stands, better ask your HR department before you buy.”

Be Safe! Be productive! Be positive! 
– David Bonds, nuclear representative
Member Sterling Martin recognized for contributions to Smith Lake volunteer project
The SSMRC is honoring Sterling Martin with the Community Service Challenge Award for his work helping to build a handicap-accessible fishing weigh-in pavilion at Alabama’s Smith Lake early this year.

Union volunteers, including members of Millwright Local 1192, helped build the pavilion, pour sidewalks, and perform final grading work.

Martin, a Local 1192 member, volunteered at the site three days, contributing 24 service hours. He helped pour concrete for the weight station pad and sidewalks, removed concrete forms, and did clean-up work. He has also volunteered at food pantries.

"Sterling has a great attitude and work ethic and takes pride in being a union millwright," said Clint Smith, business agent for Local 1192. 

The pavilion provides water access and can accommodate fish tanks to help reduce stress on fish and increase release survival rates at the weigh-in site. It will host recreational anglers as well as high school, college, amateur, and professional tournaments. When tournaments are not is session, the pavilion will be open to the public. Read more about the project here.
Nominate an SSMRC member for the Wright Moves Community Service Challenge
Do you know someone who should be recognized for their community contributions? To nominate yourself or a union brother or sister for the SSMRC Wright Moves Community Service Challenge, please send the nominee’s first and last name, local number, and a description of their community service to info@southernstatesmillwrights.org or call/text the information to 855-577-7672. Challenge winners will receive a $250 gift card, a T-shirt, and a Stanley lunch cooler.
Millwright Local 1000 swears in apprentices
FROM LEFT: Jacob Koach, Tyler Mills, John Ham, and Coleman McDonough
Know the rules and recommendations for early in-person voting and mail-in voting
States have different laws regarding in-person early voting. So you'll know where to go and when to cast your ballot in the November elections, check out your state's rules here.

If you are voting by mail, the U.S. Postal Service advises mailing your ballot at least a week before your state’s due date, if not earlier.

If you plan to vote by mail and have not yet applied for a mail-in ballot, there's still time to do that in some states. Check out the deadlines here. Many states have expanded absentee-voting eligibility because of the coronavirus. Applying for an absentee ballot at vote.org/absentee-ballot takes only 2 minutes.
Proposed rule could make misclassifying workers as independent contractors easier
The U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed regulation last month that could make it easier for employers to misclassify workers –  including construction workers –  as independent contractors to deny them minimum wages and overtime.

Companies don’t have to pay independent contractors a minimum wage, overtime or a share of Social Security taxes, or contribute to unemployment insurance and provide workers' compensation insurance. Read more here.
Vaccine tracker provides latest updates on 44 coronavirus vaccines in human clinical trials
Scientists are racing to produce a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine tracker here can help you keep up with the latest advances.
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