21 Sisters represented the New York City District Council of Carpenters at the 2022 United Brotherhood of Carpenters Sisters in the Brotherhood Conference, held Aug. 4th-7th at the International Training Center in Las Vegas, where they attended workshops, networked with approximately 525 sisters across the United States and Canada, and gained skills and knowledge to take back to their locals and job sites.
UBC Sisters in the Brotherhood (SIB) conferences are held every three years, and the theme of this year’s conference was “Seize the Opportunity.” The conference addressed the recruitment and retention of females in the Brotherhood. While many want to see the number of females recruited increase, equal efforts are being taken to ensure women in the union have the resources and support they need to be retained for the long haul.
Several of our own Sisters played integral roles in the success of the conference.
Longtime Sister Denise Echevarria of Local 157 helped plan the conference and helped to facilitate the Sisters in the Brotherhood 101 workshop. Local 157 Sister Taji Riley facilitated another successful session appropriately titled “Opportunity to Lead” and was praised for the resume writing curriculum she taught at the conference.
Carpenters Training Center instructor Caridad Castro of Local 45 served as a team lead for the Council breakout session.
A key topic highlighted during the conference was the newly passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. The Bill will pave the way for many jobs for our members and keep our SIBs working for a long time.
Other workshop topics explored: how to be a leader within the union and employer organizations; the basics of leading a SIB committee; work/life balance; health, nutrition, and fitness; opportunities in political action; and how to positively influence job site culture.
Attendees from the conference also got to hear from many prominent females across the labor industry including Wendy ChunHoon, Director of the U.S. Labor Department’s Women’s Bureau; Patty Hajdu, Canada’s minister of indigenous services and former minister of employment, workforce development and labor; and Vernice “Fly Girl” Armour, the first African American female naval aviator in the Marine Corps and the Marine Corps’ first female combat aviator. UBC General Vice President Frank Spencer and UBC General Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn also addressed the Sisters.
“It was amazing to have the Director the Women’s Bureau Wendy Chun Hoon as a guest speaker! It’s not every day you meet genuine people who really care about our cause, and I think I speak for all SIBS when I say I can’t wait to see what she has in store to help push us to the future,” said Council Rep Sinade Wadsworth of Local 157.
Sinade served as the Eastern District SIBs Representative for the conference. Also, as a member of the International SIBs Committee, she had the honor of closing out the conference and providing final remarks, including sentiments she heard from various members. “So many Eastern District attendees spoke with me about how this conference exceeded their expectations. The SIB conference is the only one fully planned by members, and I think that’s why it was so successful and why attendees were so excited to see it come together.”
If you are looking to get involved with the District Council’s Sisters in the Brotherhood, you can find more information here https://www.carpenters.org/sisters-in-the-brotherhood/ or text SIB to 855-439-1990.