Front Row: Apprentice Drew Messex, Instructor Jessie Patterson, Apprentices Antonio Marshall and Ajay Webster, and SCCPSS Economic Development Liaison Clyde Newton; Back Row: Apprentices Kaelin Harris, Matthew Barwick, Gabion Hardy, and Brandon Bolin, and Local 2411 Business Representative Robert Jeffers.

Savannah High Schoolers Learn That Being a Union Millwright or Carpenter is a Great Career

A group of instructors and apprentices representing the Southeastern Carpenters Training program (SECTT), the Southern States Millwrights (SSMRC), and the Southeastern Carpenters (SECRC) took the time to display the benefits of being a union millwright or carpenter recently in Savannah. 

Dozens of students who attended the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) Job Fair Expo spent extended time at the millwright booth. Next to their booth they also interacted with the carpenter booth. Working with the high school students were:

  • Jessica Patterson, SECTT Millwright Coordinator/Instructor
  • Raymond McCollough, SECTT Carpenter Coordinator/Instructor
  • Robert Jeffers, SSMRC Local 2411 Business Representative
  • Meddy Settles, SECRC Local 256 Business Representatives
  • Seven SSMRC Local 1263 apprentices: Drew Messex, Antonio Marshall, Ajay Webster, Kaelin Harris, Matthew Barwick, Gabian Hardy, and Brandon Bolin

Patterson and third-year apprentice Ajay Webster specifically spoke with female attendees who were looking to join a trade after high school. 

“I told them that, what is amazing about our organization is how we look out for each other, and how everyone on the job becomes like family,” Webster said. “You have a brother and a sister right next to you to show you and guide you. We network and help each other out, and Ms. Jessie (Patterson), she is like a mother and sister to us. Whatever we need she helps us, you need to call her, she answers.”

“To see how the apprentices resonated with the students was amazing. They upheld every standard of a union millwright and UBC member. They connected with these students on their level, as most of the apprentices either joined right out of high school or shortly after,” Patterson said.

“Most of the students had no idea what a union or a millwright was. Educating them on all of their options and opportunities and seeing the light bulb go off that they have these options makes it worth every minute spent there,” Patterson added.