Savannah Millwright Coordinator Jessie Patterson outlined the day's events for participants
A big congratulations to eight millwright journeymen who recently graduated from their apprenticeship status after successfully completing training at the Savannah, GA Carpenters and Millwrights Training Center.
Johnathan Tyler Braddy, Stephanie M. Dyal, Austin Edenfield, Angela D. Hansen, Michael Edward Hart, Liam C. Moore, Micheal Mack and Shaun O. Wooten are now all working millwrights from Southern States Millwright Local 1263. They are already providing results in the field with skills that are in-demand by companies such as Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy.
More than 130 contractors, employer representatives, staff from the Southeastern Carpenter Training Trust Fund (SECTT) and Southern States Millwright Regional Council (SSMRC), representatives from community colleges and their students, and families of the graduates gathered at the Savannah Training Center to support the graduates as they were given their completion certificates.
For graduate Michael Hart, achieving journeyman millwright status was the culmination of a sustained endeavor. He originally joined in 2012 but put his plans on hold until 2017, when he resumed his training up through his graduation.
Another graduate, Shaun Wooten, was attracted to the union millwright profession when he left the military. His success paid even more dividends: On the same day that he graduated, his daughter, Mary, joined as an apprentice and has begun her path to becoming a millwright.
The millwright graduation was the first of three key events at the Savannah Training Center on the same day. After the graduation ceremony, SSMRC Local 1263 President Sean Harkins swore-in 21 new apprentices. Following that, the Center was transitioned into an Open House setting to welcome employers and community and civic leaders for a tour of the facility.
SECTT Executive Director Mark Brown also spoke to graduates
“The Savannah region is growing in market share opportunities and our goal is to have a deep pool of trained, credentialed, and skilled millwrights ready to tackle the work for our contractors,” said Mark Brown, Executive Director of the SECTT.
The SECTT and Savannah’s Training Center aggressively built-up the training curriculum for millwrights over the past three years to make it more accessible and compatible with millwright work schedules. Apprentices are required to put in several hundred hours of training center instructional hours in addition to on-the-job training. With work travel and family obligations, attending training classes was tough. But the new program and the awareness campaign that accompanied it set in motion a successful plan to offer training in timely, efficient manner.
“We understood their struggle to balance work, family, and training. We wanted to support them and their families to get them to where they wanted to be. We believe we now have a program in place that does that.”
More open houses are planned throughout 2022 and beyond to keep the buzz humming about the millwright program in Savannah. The timing is perfect: The region is coming up on a busy season, where hundreds of millwrights (and carpenters) will be needed at jobsites throughout the region.
“We’re gaining traction, and that’s a great position to be in for our apprentices, journeymen, and the employers we serve,” Brown said.
Added Coverage! Take a look at this story and expanded photo album of the day’s events from the SSMRC: https://southernstatesmillwrights.org/2022/07/savannah-training-center-hosts-graduation-ceremony-open-house/