The North Florida Carpenters Apprenticeship program announces a change in its leadership after longtime North Florida Training Coordinator Billy Campbell retired.
Billy Campbell has been a fixture in the Florida Carpenters & Millwrights Training community for many years. A union carpenter for 48 years, Billy joined the carpenters union as an apprentice with (the former) Local 627 in 1972 and became a journeyman in 1976.
“During my apprenticeship I had the good fortune of working for one general contractor, Wesley of Florida, and went from first-year apprentice to assistant superintendent. Wesley of Florida went out of business in early 1991, but I again had the good fortune to work for Center Brothers, where I remained until 2003,” Billy said.
In 2003, Billy was appointed as the business agent for Local 627, a position he held until 2007, when he made the move to the training side of the union as training director for the Central North Florida Training Fund. As mergers came, training in Florida merged into one unit and he became the training coordinator for his home local, which was re-numbered as Local 702.
Billy served as training coordinator for the North Florida Training Program, but added to his responsibilities when he was elected president of the Florida Carpenters Regional Council. In fact, from the earliest days of his career until his final day on the job, Billy was a leader within his local union. In addition to Council President, just some of the many positions he held included financial secretary and trustee for the healthcare and pension funds.
To fill the vacancy that Billy leaves behind, veteran North Florida carpenter Ralph Wical was appointed by the Florida Carpenters Training Trust Fund as the new North Florida Coordinator.
Ralph joined the North Florida Carpenter's Apprenticeship in 2005, graduating to journeyman in 2008. Since then, he held many different positions, including Safety Coordinator with a concrete forming company and most recently as a foreman for W. W. Gay Mechanical Contractors Inc. in Jacksonville, FL.
“We are forever grateful for the excellent accomplishments Billy Campbell achieved during his time as the North Florida training coordinator. We are confident that Ralph will pick up the reigns and continue to move this program forward so that our members have the best possible training in the skilled trades industry," said Jimmie Jordan, state director of the Florida Training Program.
Ralph now oversees training of both apprentices and existing carpenters who take skill-upgrade courses or customized training courses to meet the needs of union carpenters. His contact information follows:
Ralph Wical, Training Coordinator
Jacksonville Carpenters Training Center
4000 Union Hall Place
Jacksonville, FL. 32205
Office: (904) 388-3972
Fax: (904) 388-0272