Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Labor Secretary visits Carpenters Center

Joanne Goldstein, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development paid a visit to the Carpenters Center this week to learn more about apprenticeship and upgrade training.

Last month, the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund was awarded a $166,000 grant to train and certify long-term unemployed carpenters in metal framing and drywall installation. The money originated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, often referred to as the "Stimulus Bill. It was part of $1.2 million that was dispersed by the state to support “efforts to equip Massachusetts workers with 21st century economy skills.”

Reception for Wentworth graduates held at Carpenters Center

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reception for Wentworth graduates held at Carpenters Center

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters held a post-graduation celebration to recognize the twenty-nine union carpenters who graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Construction Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

The graduates and their families, along with representatives from NERCC and Wentworth, including Wentworth’s President Zorica Pantic gathered on the second floor of the Carpenters Center to celebrate the great achievement.

The twenty-nine carpenters were the first class to graduate since the NERCC launched this special program with Wentworth in the fall of 2008. The tailored program enables union carpenters to earn an Associate’s degree in Construction management from the prestigious school in as little as two years. The program gives members credit for completing a four-year apprenticeship in Massachusetts and could also give credit for other qualified classes members have taken.

NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich spoke at the event about one of the goals of the program, which is to bring on-the-job field experience back in to construction management.

“What I think we have done with this program is combine the best of both worlds. The industry does need people who are educated, it’s no longer just enough to come out of the field and apply your experience of supervision, you have to have computer skills, budgeting skills, a whole range of skills. That, to me, is the ultimate goal of this program: to fuse the educational skills that Wentworth provides with the hands-on, real life, practical skills that you’ve learned in the field."

NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark
Erlich and Wentworth President Zorica Pantic.

Erlich then congratulated the graduates. “My hat goes off to those of you who went through this program. This is not an easy program. Wentworth is a tremendously excellent educational institution and it is very demanding. They didn’t tailor their programs for us, we had to meet their standards. I want to congratulate and applaud you. Thank you all for what you do, because you are the future of the Carpenters Union.”

Following Erlich’s remarks, Wentworth’s President, Zorica Pantic, said a few words. “It is wonderful to be here and to see that the efforts that were started a couple of years ago came to fruition. In working with the Carpenters Union, we were able to develop a very demanding program and it is a great match between the needs of the carpenters’ profession and the practical education that Wentworth provides. We are very pleased, [the program] surpassed all of our wildest dreams.”

Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Director Ben Tilton individually recognized each graduate handing them certificates, along with Erlich and Pantic, to recognize them for their great achievement. A small reception followed the speaking program.

Friday, September 3, 2010

NERCC, Carpenters Center featured in Dorchester Reporter

The Carpenters Union is a traditional organization that has been around for over a hundred years. While it has a very rich history, it is also very modern and innovative. The design of the Carpenters Centers celebrates both the history and the future of the Carpenters Union.

Reporter Matthew DeLuca, with the Dorchester Reporter, recently visited the Carpenters Center to get a closer at what he calls “the changing nature of unionism.”

In the lobby on the third floor of the new Carpenters Center at 750 Dorchester Avenue are sleek black chairs and hardwood floors and the receptionist behind her desk hums along to the radio on this quiet August afternoon. Beside the long counter of the reception desk is a small metal sculpture of a carpenter wielding a hammer that make one think more of a dentist’s office or the Museum of Contemporary Art than Woody Guthrie and Eugene V. Debs.

This idea, that unionism has changed in recent years, is reiterated again and again through the new building, both in details of its structure and design and by the people who work there.
To read the article, click here. You can also read the article on the Dorchester Reporter's website here.