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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.

Third year apprentices lead the way Posted by on

Mark Erlich, NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer, spoke to a group of apprentices attending the Third-Year Apprentice Program at the International Training Center (ITC) in Las Vegas.

The UBC developed this leadership training program to give third year apprentices a greater understanding of the Brotherhood and the construction industry, and of the role union members play in the success of both. Participants learn how professionalism, productivity, skill, and attitude contribute to their own success as well as that of their employers.

One hundred and eighteen NERCC members have participated in this training program to date.

The following members participated in this skills development program earlier this month: Matthieu Chandler, Local 33; Jeannot Dube, Local 111; Elvis Elezi, Local 24; Chris Evans, Local 107; Jonathan Falcucci, Local 26; Nathan Fontaine, Local 56; Christopher Garabedian, Local 33; Andre Gatlin, Local 94; Daniel Harpool, Local 94; Rashon Holloway, Local 94; Cameron Howell, Local 624; Kelly Johnson, Local 210; Peter Kopchik, Local 210; Dakota Lannan, Local 67; William Lavallee, Local 43; Roman Malkinski, Local 67; Marlon Martinez, Local 40; Jonathan Miller, Local 535; Hermenegildo Modesto, Local 1305; Christopher Nocella, Local 218; Neal-Dra Osgood, Local 40; Nickolas Rasetta, Local 535; Tyeka Robinson, Local 108; Nicholas Schulz, Local 56; Kenneth Schuurman, Local 26; Zachary Sharby, Local 275; Daniel Sharpe, Local 2168; Solomon Smith, Local 108; Shawn Spellman, Local 218; Patrick Varone, Local 33; Samantha Webster, Local 33; W. White, Local 40; Moneisha Williams, Local 40; and Michael Wonoski, Local 33.

TAGS: NECTF, Training

NERCC is Building a Winning Lineup Posted by on

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is using a comprehensive program to educate and activate members who have shown they have the stuff to lead the union into a successful future. Informally called the ".300 Hitters" program, in reference to baseball's most productive hitters, it is held in the the union's spectacular International Training Center in Las Vegas over the course of several days. The first group of 150 members from throughout New England participated in the program and share their impressions in this video. At least one additional group of members from New England will participate each year.

TAGS: Training, Ubc

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.

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

Labor Guild releases Fall schedule Posted by on

The Labor Guild's School of Labor Management Relations has released its schedule of classes for the fall semester. Classes begin September 15th and run through November 10th. All classes are held in one of two periods between 7:00 - 9:30 PM.

Classes will return to SEIU 1199's Dorchester facility for the Fall 2014 term. Local 1199 is located in the Corcoran-Jennison Building, 150 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester, at the Bayside Expo Business Center. 

A full class list is available at

The mission of the Labor Guild is to provide engaging, high-quality, affordably-priced Labor-Management education. Each term, 8-10 courses are offered in a variety of topic areas including: labor law, negotiations, union goverance, leadership, public speaking,and economics. 

For more information, visit or call 781-340-7887.

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. 

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.

Take your career to the next level Posted by on

 The NERCC has developed a uniquely tailored program with Wentworth Institute of Technology's College of Professional and Continuing Education which allows members to earn college degrees at a discounted tuition rate and a schedule that fits the needs of working carpenters.

On June 25th members can participate in a lunchtime webinar to learn more about the program.Click here to learn more about the program including curriculum requirements, academic schedule, and the application process. 

Members lend skills and time to help build 'Techstyle Haus' for global energy-efficiency competition Posted by on

Members from Carpenters Local 94 recently volunteered to help students from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Brown University prepare for the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe. The international competition, showcasing the latest in energy-efficient design and construction, will take place this year in Versailles, France.Members helped the team of students construct their entry, named Techstyle Haus, a one-of-a-kind passive home design with an enclosure made entirely of textiles.

“It’s a self-sustained passive solar home for competition and structure will assembled and dismantled multiple times, so they have to learn how to combine steps,” notes Local 94 member Ted Lafond. “Our members were here trying to help them reason through and understand the assembly process.”

The international Solar Decathlon competition challenges students to build energy-efficient and innovative solar-powered homes. Students from the two schools teamed up with a group from the University of Applied Scinces Erfut in Germany to design the 800-square foot house, which is made of a Teflon-coated woven fiberglass, commonly used in sports domes. NERCC signatory contractor Shawmut Design and Construction is a sponsor of the project.

“In the field, when we’re going to put up walls we lay everything out, snap lines and get everything set. Everything is laser sharp, plumb sharp,” notes Local 94 member Frank Taraborelli. “The students installed the first panel down and said ‘well this looks like the way it goes’ and anchored it, they soon ran into problems. We stepped in and taught them how to lay it out.”

“We didn’t really have a strong idea of the right way to put the core together to make sure it was plumb and square,” notes RISD graduate student and TechStyle Haus project manager Sina Almassi. “We were just kind of in over our heads. They got us squared up. Having them help us is really going to make a big difference.”

The team of volunteers from Local 94 was instrumental in helping the students lay out and install the interior of the structure, which includes a kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area and loft. It was quite fun working with these students,” said Taraborelli. “They really learned something here.”

Hats off to the team of volunteers from Local 94: Ted Lafond, Frank Taraborelli, Kevin Hart, Ryan Del Toro, Gary Roy and Carl Noelte.

NECTF hosts graduation ceremony Posted by on

On May 1st, the New England Carpenters Training Center hosted a graduation ceremony for the 2013 New England Carpenters Training Fund Apprentice Graduates. 129 members, representing 20 locals, completed their training in the apprenticeship program in 2013. Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters was the Keynote speaker.

Four members were specially recognized with awards given out at the ceremony. Local 107 member Corey Wagner, Local 94 member Alex Palmisciano and Local 56 member Thomas Stone each received the Golden Hammer Award. This award is given out each year to one member from each of the trades represented in that year’s graduating class. It is awarded to the graduate demonstrating outstanding craftsmanship and dedication to the profession.

Local 33 member Emerson Ocampo received the Zachary Constant Award, recognizing the graduating apprentice who displays an all-around commitment to the craft, the union and the community.

Congratulations to all of the graduates!

Congratulations, Grads! Posted by on

Wentworth Institute of Technology held its Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Of the 293 students who graduated from the institute, we want to congratulate the following Carpenter’s Journeyman who successfully earned their degrees:

- Peter Russell Cook, Local 40, Associate Degree, Magna Cum Laude

- Luke Hourican, Local 33, Associate Degree

- Keith Irwin, Local 40, Associate Degree, Cum Laude

- David Anthoney Kulikowski, local 67, Master’s Degree

- Daniel J. Lovell Jr., Local 2168, Master’s Degree

All members are encouraged to continue their education and continuously enhance their skills as it will increase employment, safety on the job site, and productivity in such a competitive market. Learn more about this uniquely tailored program here

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.

NECTC teams up with Boston Cares Posted by on

Apprentices from the New England Carpenters Training Center are working today at the Carpenters Center with volunteers from Boston Cares to construct thirty beds as part of the Boston Cares Bed Project, which has committed to building 500 beds in 2014 for children in need.

Ahead of the volunteer day, apprentices prepped the stock for the beds: cutting head boards, bed slats and rails. Apprentices are now helping the Boston Cares staff lead volunteer work crew comprised of students who are all Gates Millennium Scholars participating in a week-long alternative spring break program.

“The whole concept of this building, from the very beginning, was that not only would it be a training center for the Carpenters union, but it would be a convenient place for the community and all the organizations that we have relationships with to use,” said Mark Erlich, NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer.

“We have benefitted from the economy and job possibilities in the City and it’s only right that we give back. This is one of many examples of our efforts to do that.”

New Hampshire begins to build pathways Posted by on

The Building Pathways program, which has earned praise for its work in Boston to publicize apprenticeship opportunities in the building trades within minority communities has been deployed in New Hampshire. The goal in the Granite State is to seek out women who are interested in careers in building trades to participate in a five week pre-apprenticeship program in May and June. Carpenters Local 118 Business Manager Liz Skidmore, who has been active in both local and national "Sisters in the Brotherhood" programs, is helping to coordinate activity.

Two information sessions have already been held and two more are scheduled for March 17 and 24. Yesterday, Governor Maggie Hassan announced plans to visit the March 24 session as a show of support.

Those interested MUST attend an entire information session. Sessions are being held at Plumbers Local 131, 161 Londonderry Turnpike in Hookset from 6-7:30. Late arrivals will not be allowed entrance. No RSVP is required. For more information, contact Liz Skidmore or Joe Gallagher at 603-948-8161 or

A short ad has been produced by the program and is being run on local cable access channels in Manchester, Concord and Nashua.The group has also set up a Facebook page.


Wentworth to host Spring Open House Posted by on

The NERCC has developed a uniquely tailored program with Wentworth Institute of Technology's College of Professional and Continuing Education which allows members to earn college degrees at a discounted tuition rate and a schedule that fits the needs of working carpenters. On March 25th, Wentworth is hosting an Open House for individuals interested in learning more about the program.

Date: March 25, 2014

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: 107 Dobbs Hall, 500 Huntington Ave., 1st Floor

Register online by clicking here

2013 Carpentry Expo Posted by on

The 2013 Carpentry Expo was held last week at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA. Over 1,000 students, representing 43 high schools attended the event. Students, along with their teachers, were given guided tours of the training facility by members of the NERCC staff. 44 NERCC apprentices participated in the event working on projects throughout the facility. These live demonstrations gave the students a better look at what a career as a union carpenter might look like.

Live demonstrations included: Infection Control Risk Assessment, Interior Systems, Flooring, Residential Wood Framing, Scaffolding Erector Certification, Cabinet Installation, Door Hardware, Finish Carpentry, Welding, Concrete Formwork, Insulated Concrete Forms, Pile Driving, Under Water Welding, Exterior Siding, and Stair Layout and Framing.

New London enacting local hire, training ordinance Posted by on

The city council of New London, Connecticut has approved an ordinance that will require contractors bidding for city construction projects valued at more than $1 million to hire local workers and provide apprenticeship training. New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has pledged to sign the ordinance when it reaches his desk.

The ordinance was proposed by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and publicly supported by members and NERCC Business Representative Chris Bachant. It passed the Administration Committee before winning a vote of the City Council the following week.

"This ordinance allows a percentage of workers from New London or New London County be required to work on a job,'' Bachant told the New London Day. "And any company working on a city project must comply with the Connecticut apprenticeship program. This is an opportunity. It's not just a job. We're offering a career."

There was opposition to the ordinance among the city council and from the editorial page of New London Day. Following the vote of the full city council, Mayor Finizio published an opinion piece in the Day rebutting criticisms of the ordinance and restating his support.

"Low bidder rules for construction projects, without the protections that this ordinance provides, favor the success of bids that use lower quality and less trained workers. While a bid awarded may, in today's dollars, be less than a union construction bid, the buildings built are not of the same quality," Finizio wrote.

"A responsible contractor ordinance, combined with appropriate budgeting for routine maintenance, will lower costs to city taxpayers in the long term by building, and maintaining, better quality buildings."

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.

Meet Our Community - Eamonn Murphy Posted by on

Brother Eamonn Murphy left Ireland to seek a career in Boston in the summer of 1998. In February of the following year, he joined Carpenters Local 33 as first year apprentice. From the onset, Brother Murphy showed a thirst for knowledge and has fully embraced the opportunities available to all members of the Carpenters Union. He now works as an Estimator and teaches other union carpenters as an instructor at Wentworth Institute of Technology’s College of Professional and Continuing Education. Read more of his story here


Meet Brother Murphy Posted by on

The following video story about Local 33 Brother Eamonn Murphy, a carpenter who has participated in the Wentworth Program as both a student and an instructor was recently posted in the Meet Our Community section of Click here to see more stories. 

Apprentice Graduation Ceremony Posted by on

 On April 25, the New England Carpenters Training Center hosted a graduation ceremony for the 2012  New England Carpenters Training Fund Apprentice Graduates. 101 members, representing 15 Locals, completed their training in the apprenticeship program in 2012.  Keynote speakers included: Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, NERCC; William Irwin, Executive Director, Carpenters International Training Fund; David Powell, Director, Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts; and Larry Carr, Dean, Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Congratulations to all of the graduates! 


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.

Contractor: Being union is beneficial to all Posted by on

David Rampone, President of Hart Engineering, a signatory contractor based in Cumberland, Rhode Island isn't shy about being a union contractor. Last year he volunteered to be one of the latest union contractors to do a radio ad on behalf of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. Now, he's published an opinion piece in the Providence Journal explaining why his business is better with a union partnership. Click through to read it.

The following opinion piece appeared in the January 10 print edition of the Providence Journal-Bulletin.

The benefits of employing unionists


Regarding Charles Chieppo’s Dec. 20 column, “Unions are 1 percenters in Mass.,” in which he portrayed the construction industry inaccurately:

As the chief executive of a major Rhode lsland construction firm that does work all over New England, I’ll set the record straight. I am the president of Hart Engineering Corp., a general and process mechanical contractor founded over 70 years ago and based in Cumberland.

While I have read several opinion pieces by “public-relations experts” articulating the “evils” of the unionized construction industry, it needs to be pointed out that these experts have no actual experience in the construction industry and draw their conclusions based purely on anecdotal information provided by those who wish to see the unionized construction industry fail.

For the record, the National Labor Relations Act lets construction companies decide for themselves whether to be affiliated with the industry’s trade unions. It is the only industry that has such a provision. Since its inception, our firm has made the business-driven decision to be affiliated with several trade unions — a decision that has been beneficial to both our company and employees.

Currently we employ more than100 union tradesmen and women on dozens of jobs, large and small, throughout New England. These employees receive a fair wage, full health-care benefits and pension contributions — a package that lets them provide their families with a respectable standard of living. And in light of the negative attention cast on public-sector unions in these times, note that unionized construction workers are not guaranteed employment. In fact, Rhode Island unionized construction workers average about 1,500 hours worked a year. They do not receive vacation time, sick days or holiday pay, nor do they receive any benefits if they do not work the required number of hours a year — usually between 1,200 and 1,400, depending on the trade union involved.

Beyond my own company, the performance of Rhode Island’s trade unions and union contractors speaks for itself. There are more than 200 local contractors with union agreements in the Rhode Island area, and there have been more than 50 all-union project labor agreements (PLAs) worth billions of dollars completed in this area, including most of the state’s highest-profile projects. Most of these PLAs have been in the private sector.

These agreements symbolize the marketplace at work. Owners, construction managers and contractors enter into these agreements for one reason only: It is in their best interest to do so. And why? The trade unions in partnership with their contractors invest millions of dollars annually recruiting, training and retraining their workers to provide the safest, most skilled workforce in our industry. In today’s world, owners want their projects completed safely, on time, under budget and to the highest level of quality possible. That is why owners from small firms to Fortune 500 companies enter into project labor agreements.

While there are far fewer PLAs in the public sector than in the private sector, they are becoming more prevalent. However, before any public entity in Rhode Island can implement a PLA, it must complete an independent “objective and reasoned” study that recommends their use.

The trade unions’ record of providing contractors and owners with a safe and productive workforce is unmatched in our industry. Those who oppose them assert that using nonunionized workers would provide the owner with great savings. Unfortunately, those savings are usually the result of substandard wages, failure to provide health-care benefits to employees, or misclassifying employees to pay them a lower wage.

For 70 years we have provided our clients with the safest, most capable and productive work force in the industry, and our employees with a fair wage and benefits for them and their families. We are proud of what we have been able to achieve with our union partners.

David Rampone is president of Hart Engineering Corp., in Cumberland.  

Got Training? Posted by on

Registration is now open!

Registration is now open for 2013 Spring Semester. All training is provided FREE to UBC members. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early!

To register, log onto the training website by using your UBC number (found on your union card) and your date of birth.

Check out for more info. 


Wentworth now offers Associate Degree to NERCC members at NECTC Posted by on

Through a partnership between Wentworth Institute of Technology and the New England Regional Council of Carpenters members can advance your career by earning an Associate of Applied Science in Building Construction Management. Courses are now being offered at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA.

* Classes held at New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA
* Convenient evening and weekend classes
* All members receive 33% tuition discount
* Graduates of the Apprenticeship Training Program earn 22 credits towards Associate degree
* The balance of 42 credits can be completed in as little as two years

The program begins on January 7, 2013. To complete an online application visit

To speak with an admissions counselor, please contact Ashley Roberts at 617-989-4651 or by emailing

For more information about oppoturnities available through this unique program, click here

NECTC Holds Annual Apprenticeship Expo Posted by on

The 2012 Carpenters Expo and Apprenticeship Career Day was held on Friday, October 19, at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA.

705 high school students, representing thirty-three schools, toured the facility and learned about the opportunities available to those who pursue a career as a member of the Carpenters Union.
Vendors, retailers and carpenter organizations were on hand with exhibits and informational handouts.

The small group guided tours of the training facility gave students and their instructors the opportunity to see professional union carpenters and apprentices showcasing their skills in the following areas: flooring, interior systems, infection control risk assessment, exterior siding, residential wood framing, scaffold erector certification, cabinet installation, door hardware, finish carpentry, stair layout & framing, concrete formwork, structural insulated panel systems, insulated concrete forms, pile driving and under water welding.

TAGS: Events, Training

Wentworth Information Sessions Posted by on

Come find out about the Wentworth program!

Wentworth will be presenting information about registration, fees, and other requirements to participate in their Construction Management Associates and Bachelor degree programs. Graduates of our apprenticeship program will receive 22 college credits toward their degree. All carpenter participants will receive one-third off of their tuition at Wentworth. Participants at either session may register with Wentworth.

 The sessions will be held at the Carpenters Center in Boston, MA, and the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA.

New England Carpenters Training Center -- October 13th 2012 @ 9:00 a.m.
RSVP at (508) 792-5443 no later than Tuesday, October 9th

The Carpenters Center (2nd Floor) -- October 17th 2012 @ 5:00 p.m.
RSVP at (617) 782-4314 no later than Tuesday, October 9th

New England Carpenters Training Center -- November 7th 2012 @ 5:00 p.m.
RSVP at (508) 792-5443 no later than Wednesday, October 31st

For more information about this partnership click here. 

CT Apprenticeship receives training grant Posted by on

The Connecticut Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Program received grant money as part of Eastern Connecticut’s implementation of the CT Green Jobs Funnel Initiative. The money will be used to hold a 24-hour Safe and Green: Best Practices in Health Care Construction in Occupied Facilities Training Program combined with a 16-hour Green Tradesmen Training Program.

The grant money will allow up to twelve NERCC members to take the course. As part of the requirements of the grant, the members must be residents of a municipality in Eastern Connecticut.

The course will involve four days of classroom work and one day of hands-on training. Topics to be covered include: the challenges of performing safe and green construction in a healthcare facility; an overview of the various types of healthcare facilities and the uniquely hazardous environments they present; controlling contaminants; guidelines, precautions, and infection control measures; and mold remediation and removal.

The class is scheduled to begin on August 13th.

Worcester passes new REO Posted by on

The Worcester City Council this week voted to move forward with a newly proposed Responsible Employer Ordinance for public construction in the city by a 9-1 vote. The result comes after an anti-union contractor association and corporate-backed "research" group threatened long, expensive litigation if the ordinance was passed.

The City of Worcester has had a Responsible Employer Ordinance in place since 2005, but the City Manager had suspended portions of it recently out of concern that the entire ordinance would be eliminated on legal challenge. Councilors worked with various groups to re-write portions of the ordinance--most significantly to retain the language requiring contractors to participate in apprentice training programs--to put it on safer legal ground.

The Merit Construction Alliance, which represents nonunion contractors, has been using the Worcester Regional Research Bureau to back its opposition to standards for public construction in the city. According to, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau is "privately funded by a host of corporate sponsors." Their top sponsors consist mostly of banks, law firms and insurance companies. When a City Councilor asked for clarification on who the group was and what function it serves, the head of the organization claimed she was somehow being "attacked" and blamed unions. In arguing that the newly drafted REO wouldn't stand up to legal scrutiny, the group's own work seemed to be less than convincing.

Union carpenters were very active in pushing for passage of the revised REO, participating in rallies, attending hearings and lining up support from Council members. Supporters also got a boost from Susan Mailman, the president of Coghlin Electrical Contractors, who wrote a convincing opinion piece in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette detailing why opposition to the REO was built on false assumptions.

Wentworth Information Sessions Posted by on

Information sessions are being held for members who would like to learn more about degree programs available through the union at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Two sessions are scheduled in the coming weeks.

Saturday, April 21 at 10AM: 750 Dorchester Ave., Boston, MA

Saturday, May 5 at 9 AM: 13 Holman Rd., Millbury, MA

Learn more general information about the program by clicking here.

NECTC in the news Posted by on

WWLP/TV-22 televised the following story on the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA. First-year apprentice Jose Parrilla and NECTC Training Director Bert Rousseau were interviewed for the piece. 

See the report on WWLP's website by clicking here.

TAGS: Media, Training

Our Work - New England Carpenters Training Center Posted by on


Learn more about this project by clicking here to view it in our online portfolio

Carpenters training key to industry's success Posted by on

A news story on a FOX affiliate in Wisconsin focused on the need for craft training in the state. The state's education superintendent visited a training center for the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, a UBC affiliate, where apprentices are learning AND earning. Union apprentice Evan Gibbs is highlighted in the piece, talking about how he came to be an apprentice and what it will mean for his future.

Valley apprenticeship program recognized:

TAGS: Training, Ubc

Helmets to Hardhats Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is proud to be a participating member of the Helmets to Hardhats program, offering training and career opportunities to military veterans.

TAGS: Training

Fall training classes posted Posted by on

The New England Carpenters Union Apprenticeship & Training Funds have announced the Fall Semester 2011 Training Schedule. Class listings have been posted on the training website at Members can easily log in to register for classes using only their member U number (on their union card) and the day, month, and year (e.g. 01 02 1960) of their birthday.

Sign up now to sharpen your skills or develop new ones that will expand your work opportunities. Adn sign up online to ensure your place in upcoming classes.

TAGS: Training

Union carpenters earn Wentworth degrees Posted by on

Ten members of NERCC-affiliated Local Unions were among the honorees at graduation ceremonies held at the Wentworth Institute of Technology this past weekend. The members received their Associates Degree in Building Construction Management through a program developed and specially tailored for union carpenters a few years ago.

The union carpenter graduates were: Nathan James Aldrich (Local 33), Bryan K. Bartlett (Local 218), George F. Daou (Local 107), Edward Farrell (Local 67), Katie Jenkins (Local 33),Daniel Kuja (Local 33), William John Lynch (Local 67), Michael Morton (Local 40), Evan Payne (Local 33), James Michael Souther Jr. (Local 40). Brothers Aldrich, Lynch and Souther graduated "cum laude," an honor bestowed on those graduating with a grade point average between 3.5 and 3.74 on the 4.0 scale. has articles and videos on the program for those interested in learning more.

OSHA Certification Updates you should know about Posted by on

? OSHA no longer issues replacement cards for training that occurred more than three (3) years ago. Also there is a
$25.00 fee for replacing lost/misplaced OSHA cards.
? Some governmental jurisdictions are now requiring that workers renew their OSHA training every four (4) years in
order to work in that jurisdiction (e.g. State of Connecticut).
? OSHA 30 Certification is required for foremen and stewards performing work under the Boston and Eastern Area of
Massachusetts CBA. It is also a graduation requirement for apprentices in the Massachusetts and Boston
Apprenticeship programs.
? OSHA 10 Certification is required for apprentices and journeymen performing work under the Boston and Eastern Area
of Massachusetts CBA.
? OSHA 10 Certification is required by Massachusetts General Law for all who work on public construction sites.
? OSHA 10 is a stand-alone course and cannot be applied to OSHA 30 Certification.

TAGS: Osha, Safety, Training

Best practices program highlighted in HBJ Posted by on

The Hartford Business Journal this week showcased the union's use of the UBC's "Best Practices in Health Care Construction" program to train carpenters. The specialized training emphasizes the special conditions and concerns that exist while building in active health care facilities and techniques and behaviors that limit the dangers construction brings to a healing environment.

To learn more about the program, visit NERCC's "Health in Building" site or

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.

Replacement OSHA cards Posted by on

Members who have lost their OSHA certification cards should contact their local training program to obtain replacements. Members who are not able to produce their OSHA card could be prevented you from working.

OSHA has guidelines for obtaining replacement cards that members should be aware of." From page 15 of the linked document:

"Replacement student course completion cards will not be issued if the training took place more than three years ago. Trainers must provide their name, the student??s name, the training date, and the type of class to receive a replacement. Only one replacement may be issued per student. A fee may be charged by the Authorizing Training Organization to replace a course completion card."

TAGS: Osha, Training

Become a Union Carpenters' Apprentice Posted by on

Become skilled in a trade, and get paid to do it.
Benefits of Apprenticeship:

  • Paid "scholarship" - no or low-cost supervised training
  • Progressively increasing wage with excellent benefits
  • Nationally recognized credential - completion of Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Improved job security and standard of living
  • Opportunity for college credit
  • Pride and Dignity

Who: Anyone age 17 or older who is a High School graduate or has a GED, or has completed of a prejob preparatory course in Carpentry of at least six (6) months, such as United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC), Job Corps, or other approved carpentry apprentice preparatory course, or on-the-job training of six (6) months or 1500 hours experience in the construction field that would qualify an applicant as having met the minimum educational requirements. Women, minorities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.

How do I apply?
Applicants must attend an informational session at 6:00 PM on any one of the following Wednesday evenings:
June 22, 2011
July 27, 2011
August 24, 2011
September 28, 2011
October 26, 2011
November 30, 2011
January 25, 2012
at the New England Carpenters Training Center, 13 Holman Rd, Millbury, MA 01527

What is a Carpenters?? Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship is a training program where you earn wages while you learn to become a skilled carpenter. Apprenticeship combines classroom studies with on-the-job training supervised by a trade professional. Much like a college education, it takes several years to become fully trained in the trade that you choose. Unlike college, though, as an apprentice you??ll earn while you learn. At first, you??ll make less money than skilled workers; but as you progress, you??ll get regular raises. Once you have mastered the craft, you will receive professional wages.

Carpenters Union:
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is North America??s largest building-trades union, with more than a half-million members in the construction and wood-products industries. We recognize that for the union to remain strong, our signatory contractors need to succeed in today??s highly competitive marketplace ?C and our signatory contractors do that with workers committed to safety, productivity, and the proud legacy of our Brotherhood. Skills, safety, and productivity have brought our members fair wages, good benefits, and dignity in work and retirement since the Brotherhood was founded in 1881.

Equal Opportunity:
The Massachusetts Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund (MCATF) is committed to equal opportunity for applicants. The recruitment, selection and training of apprentices during their apprenticeship shall be without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, creed, handicap, marital status, ancestry, sexual orientation, arrest record, conviction record, or membership in the military forces of the United States. MCATF will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship, and we will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30 and all other applicable laws.

For more information about Apprenticeship, contact:
MA Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund
13 Holman Rd, STE 100
Millbury, MA 01527
(978) 752-1197

TAGS: Training

Congress hears about hard work Posted by on

Mike Rowe, host of the popular TV show "Dirty Jobs," testified before Congress last week. He spoke about the declining respect for hard work and skilled trades in the United States and why that's a bad thing for all of us.

For the last few years, Rowe has been championing the cause of craft training and encouraging young people to pursue a career of hard work in a skilled trade. Visit for more information on his efforts.

Carpenters show career options Posted by on

Rhode Island Carpenters Local 94 and affiliated apprenticeship and training programs are participating in Rhode Island Construction Career Days today and tomorrow. Union representatives and training instructors are talking to thousands of high school and middle school students about careers in carpentry and affiliated trades.

Students are getting a chance to see and hear what things are like from some union carpenter apprentices who might've been in their shoes not too long ago. Brothers Christopher Costa, Floorcoverers Local 2168, Stephen Dias Carpenters Local 94, Shawn Rios, Carpenters Local 40 and Matthew Higgins and Emerson Ocampo, both from Carpenters Local 33 are showing off their skills with the screw gun and drywall and some concrete forms.

Local 94 Awarded Green Training Grant, holds training class in Millbury Posted by on

RI Carpenters Local 94 has been awarded a two-year, $250,000 ??Green Jobs?? training grant. Funding for the grant was made available by The Providence Plan/Building Futures for the delivery of services under the US Department of Labor-sponsored Energy Training Partnership Fund in Rhode Island.

In early 2010, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced nearly $100 million in green jobs training grants as authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The grants will support job training programs to help workers find jobs in expanding green industries and related occupations.

These grants are part of a larger Recovery Act ?C totaling $500 million ?C to fund workforce development projects that promote economic grown by preparing workers for careers in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

The $250,000 grant awarded to Local 94 is part of a much larger grant in the amount of $3.7 million coming to Rhode Island to train 1,600 people for jobs in energy efficient construction and renewable power industries. The money will go to the Building Futures program sponsored by The Providence Plan, a nonprofit that works to improve the economic and social well being of city residents.

Local 94??s portion of the grant calls for the training of 70 apprentices and 100 Journeymen from Rhode Island in four courses over a two year period. Courses to be offered will include: Awareness-Green Building, Lead RRP, Insulated Concrete Form Systems and Structural Insulated Panels.

The Structural Insulated Panel class listens to guest lecturer Kevin Arcand, of Smithfield Rhode Island-based Branch River Plastics, a local and regional manufacturer of Structural Insulated Panels.

The Department of Labor will be tracking the major grant outcomes, keeping in mind the goal of providing green, certifiable technical skills training to workers and the priority placement of those workers on green jobs or projects. The 8-hour Green Awareness classes started in October and are being scheduled on an ongoing basis. Both the Green Awareness and Lead RRP courses will be held in Rhode Island. The Insulated Concrete Form Systems and Structural Insulated Panels courses will be held at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA, because of space requirements. Both day and night/weekend courses are being scheduled.

Because the classes are funded by grant money, they are currently available only to members of Rhode Island Local 94. All Local 94 members should have received a mailing regarding the grant and classes being offered. If you did not receive this information, or would like to find out more, contact instructor Charlie Johnson at Local 94 at 401-467-7070.

BTEA offering scholarship for Wentworth program Posted by on

The Building Trades Employers' Association (BTEA) and the Thomas S. Gunning Foundation have established a scholarship program to assist students who are enrolled in the Wentworth Institute of Technology Program through the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. Tom Gunning was a long-time member of the Board of Trustees for the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program and Executive Director of the BTEA.

A scholarship in the amount of $2,000 will be made to a single winner this year, selected on the basis of academic record, potential to succeed, leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, a statement of educational and career goals and an outside appraisal.

A fuller description of the program and applications can be downloaded here or by contacting the BTEA at:

Thomas S. Gunning Foundation, Inc. Scholarship Program
100 Grossman Drive, Suite 300
Braintree, MA 02184

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.

Recognizing leadership Posted by on

The Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Program recently held a cookout at the Carpenters Center to thank members who have participated in the Mentoring Program.

The Mentoring Program, which is Directed by Local 33 Brother Peter Flynn connects experienced journey level carpenters to apprentices. Through phone calls and face-to-face meetings, the mentors reach out to younger members offering encouragement, advice and support. Mentors are contacted at least four times a year, after they attend formal training sessions to check in on their work reports, attendance at union meetings and adherence to apprentice program guidelines.

Construction can be a tough way to make a living, especially for younger carpenters facing one of the most difficult economic periods in generations. The program takes special steps to pair up women apprentices with women members and journey level carpenters that are military veterans with apprentices who have come in to the union through the Helmets to Hardhats program.

"The calls give the mentor the chance to pass on their experience in dealing with the types of challenging times that we're in right now," said Flynn. "the response has been extremely positive, both from the apprentices who appreciate the calls and the mentors."

TAGS: Training