“You are truly the glue — and the nails — of development,” Assemblywoman Pam Hunter said of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, which broke ground on a new training facility Oct. 11. From left to right, NRCC Northwest New York Regional Manager David Haines, NRCC New York State Training Center Executive Director Jim Hayes, Assemblywoman Hunter and Salina Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra. (Photo by Ashley M. Casey)
The Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters has broken ground on its new training facility on Princeton Court in the town of Salina. The 17,000-square-foot building will be constructed entirely with union labor with a projected completion date of summer 2018.
“This is the start of a new beginning,” NRCC New York State Training Center Executive Director Jim Hayes said at the Oct. 11 groundbreaking ceremony.
NRCC Northwest New York Regional Manager David Haines called the groundbreaking a very exciting day and noted that Earl Hall, executive director of Construction Employers Association of CNY, had been pushing for the construction of such a training facility in the Syracuse area.
“It has been far too long,” Haines said.
“For years, we wondered, why can’t we get something built here for the 18-county area in our marketplace?” said Hall.
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said the challenges of the “silver tsunami” — the coming wave of retirements from trades — and ever-changing technology are “coming fast and furious,” so carpentry and other trades must adapt.
“The deficit in trained workforce in the next 15 years is going to be gigantic,” she said.
Reardon quoted Benjamin Franklin: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
“We need to figure out a way to cultivate the next generation,” Hall said.
Haines said NRCC is working to diversify and increase its membership by reaching out to inner city communities, attending job fairs and career days, and partnering with high schools in the Southern Tier to equip their newly reopened shop classrooms.
Assemblywoman Pam Hunter said her father was a carpenter, so she grew up “arm in arm with the hand and the saw” and understands the challenges the industry faces.
“You are truly the glue — and the nails — of development,” she said to the carpenters in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The Salina training center is the latest of several investments NRCC has made in its New York state facilities. Haines said renovations have been made in Albany, Rochester and Long Island totaling more than $12 million.
Salina Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra said the NRCC Carpenters Training Center will attract people seeking to enter the carpentry industry and will boost business in Salina as apprentices settle in.
“It’s going to be such a showcase, not only for the town but for the carpenters,” Nicotra said.
Nicotra added that the training facility could attract area residents to “go ahead and make our area better.”
About 10 percent of NRCC Local 277’s 2,600-plus members are apprentices who will benefit from the training center. Since the NRCC will use union labor for construction, some of these apprentices will be building their own future.
Ashley M. Casey is a reporter for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press.