Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I believe youíll join me in saying that our country and the state of Florida is navigating through one of the most challenging, fluid times of modern history. But despite the uncertainly of what lies ahead, I want every member of the Florida Regional Council to remember one thing:
The Council leadership and staff are 100% committed to seizing upon every opportunity to keep members working, to continue fighting for market share, and to continue giving everyone the opportunity to create a great quality of life for themselves and their families.†
2020 was off to a great start, and while we lost work opportunities because of the Coronavirus, we absorbed the blow of the pandemic and pivoted our resources to ensure members are trained and put to work in areas that increased in need, such as our healthcare construction sector.
I canít stress enough how hard the Council staff has worked to keep our Council operations in order. We have a very small staff compared to most of the other UBC Regional Councils, but we make up for it by multi-tasking and with solid teamwork, every day. Our area managers, service representatives, trainers, and office personnel share a common goal: Coordinate their time and efforts to be sure the FLCRC membership and their familiesí security remain the focus of every decision we make.
I take a lot of pride in reporting we never have, and never will, waver from that goal!
Another wrinkle, thanks to COVID-19, has been necessitating the UBCís 42nd General Convention to be held virtually. This was an historic event in the UBCís legacy and Iím proud to say the Florida delegation was well represented on important committees, in feature videos, and in live remote broadcasts. We also helped elect the Doug McCarron team to lead the UBC for another five years. Among those leaders is our own Dennis Donahou, who was re-elected as the Southern District Vice President. We are confident this team will help Florida carpenters gain work, provide for their families, and establish a solid retirement. Hereís a Convention recap,†click here.
Manhours and Membership
Our man hours in Florida for 2019 was an outstanding 5.14 million, an increase of 11.7% over our 2018 total. Our membership also held steady at more than 3,300 in 2019. We may record a dip in those numbers for 2020, but the outlook for 2021 is excellent and we expect to rebound into healthy increases in both categories.†
We survive by working hard every day, having great relationships in place that continue to open doors, and providing training that is second-to-none. Our healthcare construction program - ICRA Ė is growing by leaps and bounds in Florida. When we began our ICRA program a couple years ago, we started with zero contractors and no man hours. By the end of 2019, we gained five signatory contractors and we achieved about 200,000 man hours! We continue to pursue and win many projects in 2020, and we expect to have work in this sector well into the future.
And, as the renewable energy industry continues to grow, the demand for carpenters to build solar farms presents an excellent opportunity to not only secure more man hours and market share, but to also increase our membership.
So, as we celebrate Labor Day 2020, know that your Council is working as hard as ever to keep our members working.
Now I have a special request of every member and their significant others/spouses. Granting this request will have a direct impact on how well we continue to fight for and gain work for union carpenters in Florida:
I implore everyone to become active in this election year. The Florida Council will never tell you how to vote, but we will vigorously encourage you to register to vote, to stay current on issues, to carefully consider all candidates, and above all, to vote on election day. Every vote counts, and we are counting on our membership to make a difference at the polls.†Click here to get started.
Thank you, each and every one of you, for your diligence and dedication to our Council. Florida, as always, continues to lead the way in outstanding work from equally outstanding professional carpenters and pile drivers. I speak for the entire Council staff and officers when I say we are honored to work for you.
Happy Labor Day!
Yours in Solidarity,James Banks, EST