MASSENA — There’s a lot of work for carpenters, but not so many bodies to do the work.
“We want people to know there are opportunities out there,” said Thomas Iorizzo, council representative for the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters.
He said they’re looking for about 100 to 150 individuals to join Carpenters Union Local 277 for a project in Utica.
Another project in Utica, construction of the Mohawk Valley Hospital, is also in need of carpenters.
“Once again, we’ll probably need another 100 to 150 carpenters alone on that project,” Mr. Iorizzo said.
There’s also a need for carpenters in Lake Placid, and an Amazon project in Syracuse needs about 60 carpenters. The carpenters are also working on a wastewater treatment plant project in Ogdensburg.
“We do a lot of school work. We work at the New York State Power Authority in Massena. There’s a lot of bridge work in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. There’s a lot of work in the Plattsburgh area,” he said.
They’re also working on a St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services capital project, and they’re even involved with a number of solar farms.
“A local out of the Rochester area is working with some companies doing some solar installation training,” Mr. Iorizzo said. “There’s a lot of construction throughout the north country. There is a tremendous demand for workers.”
In another aspect of their work, the union members were doing free infection control training at hospitals in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties before the onset of COVID-19.
“We come in and do an eight-hour awareness course when you’re having construction in a hospital setting — how do you control dust, how do you contain contaminations from one room to the other. It’s really quite extensive. That’s all free of charge. It’s more geared toward patient safety,” he said.
Mr. Iorizzo said they work with local Boards of Cooperative Educational Services to try to entice more students into exploring the carpentry field.
“We try to get kids interested in joining the carpenter’s union. At this point, we need more applicants,” he said.
He said the pay rate for St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties is $28.40 per hour for wages, and the total wage and fringe benefits are $50 per hour. First-year apprentices earn 50% of the rate, $14.20 per hour for wages, and total wages and fringe benefits of $26.17 per hour.
“In our process, they come in as an apprentice. It’s a five-year program. Education is free. It’s an earn as you learn program,” Mr. Iorizzo said.
He said anyone who might be interested can participate in an informational session that runs about 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours. The next session is scheduled for Dec. 7.
“After the session, if they would like to try it, they can sign up on the website. We have a fill-able downloadable form. They can do the application at home,” he said.
The sign-up form, the first step in applying to the carpenter’s union, can be found at https://www.jotform.com/203002516750038.
“I will personally call everyone who fills out a form. This is a great opportunity for a journeymen or apprentice to join the Carpenters Union Local 277,” Mr. Iorizzo said.