A Message from Executive Secretary-Treasurer James Banks
Dear Brothers and Sisters;
The Florida Carpenters Regional Council has long represented the standard of efficiency and stability within the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. However, maintaining that standard is sometimes challenging. Because of a resistance to change, the potential for this Council is sometimes lost. Resistance to changes that could give life to our vision has hindered our ability to grow.
But I am pleased – most importantly for each and every one of you, the members – to say that positive change is not only coming; it is here and thriving, and we are witnessing the growth and stability that it was expected to bring.
The Florida Carpenters Regional Council is financially stable and we are seeing unprecedented growth in our contractor base, which translates into our members having more work opportunities.
In the past four years, we have met and exceeded our UBC reputation. I would like to illustrate to you some of the positive changes that have contributed to our Council’s current state of excellent health:
Through several key staff decisions, I restructured how this Council operates and is perceived throughout the Southern District. Our staff is now one cohesive unit that is motivated and focused on achieving our goals and growing the Council more and more, every day.
Our four Area Managers – Randy Page (North), Matt Swanson (Central), Ronnie Rogers (Disney) and Frank D’Angelo (South) – have utilized these personnel decisions to reach into markets previously thought lost or closed.
A key example of this is in Central Florida where the re-establishment of a presence in Tampa has been a major focal point for Mr. Swanson and me. This process is exceeding expectations.
Another example is the increase of solar farm work in Florida. Randy Page (North) and Matt Swanson (Central) have combined forces to put over 600 Carpenters to work in this new and growing market. With the success of these farms, our Council is poised to gain membership and also to maintain and advance our current relationship with Florida Power and Light.
South Florida is distinctive, but Area Manager Frank D’Angelo understands this market and has grown our Council within this unique environment. With the addition of new pile driver contractors, an increase in manpower requests for our interior systems contractors, and the signing of new industrial agreements, South Florida is the perfect example of “Building Strong and Leading the Way”.
The Florida Carpenters Regional Council has also established the new ICRA (Infectious Control Risk Assessment) program and is experiencing a large increase in man-hours in this emerging market for our members. Our floorcovering industry potential is also growing by leaps and bounds, with a healthy outlook for more work for our members.
A crucial key to our success is the outstanding talent and professionalism of the members. Those skills are developed and honed by our industry-recognized and respected training program.
This year also will bring change in our Training Department, with the retirement of Director Franklin Gray. The Board of Trustees has selected Mr. Jimmie Jordan as his replacement. We know Jimmie will expertly pick-up, run with, and improve upon what Frank has established. On behalf of the Council staff, we welcome Jimmie and look forward to the continued constructive partnership with the Training Department.
My and our staff’s goals and vision for the Council are to ensure that every member has an opportunity to provide a good quality of life for their family by working in our craft. All of these initiatives and programs would not be possible without the dedication and support of our membership, and for that we are grateful.
I know that change can be difficult at times, but it’s clear that we are a stronger, bigger, more successful Council because of our members’ willingness to embrace change and perform at superior levels for our employers.
So, please accept my congratulations for being part of something very special that we are all building together here in Florida. The UBC already regards us as an example of how a successful Regional Council operates. Today, we also have become a beacon of growth through embracing change.
Thank you for your service.
Yours in Solidarity,
EST James Banks