TVA's Mary Rogers (left), Day & Zimmermann's Ken Livingston (center), & Rodney Grapham, LU74 Business Manager (right) each presented to the students
As we all know, the future of our Union is in the hands of upcoming apprentices. Reaching out to the public and communicating what we offer for a career as a professional carpenter is crucial for us to fuel our apprenticeship program. That, in turn, allows us to maintain the ability to fill job calls with the appropriate manpower.
Here at the Tri-State Carpenter and Millwrights Training Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, we are doing just that. Maintaining a presence at local career fairs and High School outreach programs has proven to be a great resource, not only for recruitment, but also to spread the message of what the UBC offers.
We recently hosted Sale Creek High School at our facility. The field study trip allowed students to interact with union members, and industry members for information on the possibilities of employment and career options. Ron Cox, Sale Creek’s carpentry instructor, brought 40 students who were interested in many different areas of our trade, many of whom asked good questions about the types of training we offer. Discussion topics also covered wage rates, retirement plans, and insurance.
We also gave students the chance to hear from two industry leaders: Mary Rogers from the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Ken Livingston from Day and Zimmermann. It was very effective to team with a signatory contractor and client, because they shared experiences from the workplace and provided employment opportunities.
Rodney Graham, Business Manager of the Southeastern Carpenters Regional Council’s Local 74, and I spoke of current job opportunities and the variety of training that is offered for Union members. Students also toured the training center and got the one-on-one opportunity to speak with us and ask questions. Several different displays showed the different types of work we do as professional carpenters.