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“Many people go to college and then plan what they want to be,” said retired union member Art Seacord, “but that isn’t the appropriate path for all of us. You have to take life as it comes.”
Seacord, a member of Local 291, took up carpentry because he enjoyed physical work and liked remodeling old houses. He was eager to join the union because of the good pay and excellent benefits.
After talking to a contractor and taking the union test, he became a union carpenter in Schenectady, New York over 50 years ago.His career included work for MLB Construction Services at Cobleskill College, millwork with Gilboa Powerhouse, and working at the General Electric facility in Schenectady.
Now retired, Seacord is enjoying the lifestyle his pension provides. He stays active with his local by attending, and sometimes running the retirees meeting and enjoys working alongside his union brothers and sisters volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, Jack’s Place, the Food Bank and Things of our Very Own organization.
He acknowledges that carpentry can be a tough way to make a living, but it’s what he loves. And it’s the basis for what he tells young people who are just starting out in their careers: “You have to like what you are doing. You’ll do a better job if you like the work.”