Being the new Director of the NYCDCC Carpenters Training Center (CTC) is no small feat, but Jim Hayes is more than prepared for the job! As a 31-year card carrying member and longtime instructor who helped to revamp regional council Training Centers across New York State, he’s ready to build on the CTC’s existing strengths and make it an even better resource for members. Read all about his new role here:
Tell us a bit about yourself so new apprentices and more experienced membership can get to know you.
I’m a longtime union carpenter. I did my apprenticeship program in Long Island, part of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters where I placed first in interior systems the year I graduated as an apprentice. Not long after this I was approached by my Local 290 about teaching a scaffolding class part time. I ended up working during the day in the field and teaching part time at night. This turned into a full-time role about 10 years later. When the old training director of New York (outside of NYC) retired, I became the director. I never planned to leave my council but when the opportunity opened here, I jumped at it and the chance to work in New York City.
Did you ever see yourself going into teaching? What about moving to the Big Apple?
I really didn’t. It was just one of those things. Carpentry was my love. I now have a love for teaching, but it was never something I saw happening, just like how I never saw myself leaving my old council and coming to New York City. I always try to embrace change and I’m incredibly happy to be here.
What would you say the biggest challenge is in the Training Center and what is your vision for tackling that challenge?
Recruitment. We need different methods of finding apprentices. It’s great for those who get to the recruitment line early, but if a line has 100 people, I want the best 25, not the first 25. Right now, I’m having a lot of good conversations with the Department of Labor, and I think will start to see some changes in 2023.
What has been your favorite part of the job so far?
Working with the staff here is incredible. The instructors are enthusiastic, engaged, and love the subjects they teach. Working with EST Joe Geiger has also been great. He shares my vision for this Training Center. The staff here are really going to help bring that vision to life. I look forward to seeing more apprentices walk through our doors and helping the next generation of carpenters. I hope everyone stays tuned for some changes on the way, including an updated website and increased social media recruitment efforts.