UBC General President Douglas McCarron kicked-off the Conference
The construction industry is steadily rebounding from the pandemic, and an excellent example of that is across the UBC’s 11-state Southern District. For the 20,000 carpenters, millwrights and pile drivers who live there, work opportunities are diverse and plentiful.
Union contractors are winning work and getting reliable manpower from the District’s four Regional Councils. Training programs are hosting full classes and piloting innovative programs to keep pace with - and anticipate the needs of - employers and project owners.
UBC Southern District Vice President Dennis Donahou recently hosted more than 250 of those contractors and key leaders from the Florida, Southeastern, Central South, and Southern Millwright Regional Councils and Training Programs at a Labor-Management Conference, designed to keep the momentum rolling.
“We built this conference around the theme of ‘Progress through Collaboration,’ because that’s exactly how we are succeeding in building union construction market share in the South,” Mr. Donahou said.
UBC Southern District Vice President Dennis Donahou (right) assembled 250+ attendees
The Orlando-based Conference – the fourth such event hosted over the years by Mr. Donahou – featured information sessions and networking opportunities over a two-day span. An aggressive agenda featured guest speakers from varying but crucial points of view:
- UBC General Executive Board members: General President Douglas McCarron, General Vice President Frank Spencer, Second General Vice President David Tharp, and General Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn
- Jimmy Patronis, Florida Chief Financial Officer
- Jerry Grissom, External Labor Relations Director, Southern Company and Health & Safety Director, Alabama Power
- Jerry Payton, Senior Program Manager, Generation Projects and Services, Tennessee Valley Authority
- Robbie Durrance (Construction Manager) and Shawn Holmes (Construction Operations Manager), Buena Vista Construction Company
Southern District and UBC Program Directors gave reports on training, emerging industries, recruitment, and leadership development:
- Jason Engels, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Central South Carpenters
- Royce Peters, Executive Director, Carpenters International Training Trust Fund
- Randy Eppard (Executive Director) and Bob Jacobson, UBC Department of Education and Training
- Mark Benacquisto, Executive Director, UBC Millwright/Pile Driver Trust Fund
- Jay Youngdahl, UBC Southern District Legal Counsel
While many contractors in attendance were repeat participants from the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Southern District Labor-Management Conferences, several new faces were welcomed as more contractors are becoming partners with UBC Southern District Regional Council.
“We are proud of our progress throughout the Southern District, but we still have a lot of plans and goals to achieve,” DVP Donahou said. “Having events such as this Conference enables our labor and management leaders to have invaluable quality time together to continue the collaboration process.”