Southeastern Carpenters

Reflections

Two Legends Retire

Reflection on Retirement

James Hulsey, Jr.

Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund

I have always been a proponent of apprenticeship and upgrade training since I received my Journeyman’s Certificate in 1976. I worked 15 years as a Journeyman carpenter, foreman and superintendent. I then became a partner in a General Contracting business and was a Management Trustee on the Tri-State Carpenters JATC board for 15 years. During that time Tennessee merged into one Trust Fund (Tennessee Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund). In November 2006 the Director vacated the position and I agreed to work as part time interim Director until the position could be filled. I became permanent Director on March 1, 2007.

The Tennessee Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund and the Southeastern Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund merged Funds and created the Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council Training Trust Fund. The Fund basically doubled the members it served and tripled the geographical area it covered. We have made many positive strides since the merger which include:

  • New Memphis and Birmingham facilities
  • Paid off mortgage on 5 of the 6 facilities we own
  • Implemented daytime apprentice training using standardized curriculum
  • Implemented cloud-based computer system to enhance training capabilities
  • Upgraded training equipment to meet industry standards

I am confident I am leaving the program in good hands and that the program will continue to be cutting edge. My primary advice to my successors and trustees is to be diligent and aggressive in keeping training contributions in line with the level of training needs our contractors and industry demands. In addition, we must maintain our facilities to attract new contractors to tour and help to convince them to become signatory. The only other advice I have is for my successors to accept and embrace change. The industry and training methods are constantly changing, and we must be willing and able to change with it.

In closing, we will be building our retirement home in the following months. After that, I am looking forward to doing some trout fishing on the stream that borders our retirement property!

James Hulsey, Jr.