During this year’s Black History Month, the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters is highlighting notable African American carpenters who stand out among their fellow Union Brothers and Sisters through volunteering and making a difference within their local communities.
Benton is one of the five African American carpenters from NRCC who will receive the NRCC “Spirit of Service” award for his community service and volunteer efforts. The award will be presented to him at a ceremony on February 24th at the Trenton Masonic Temple.
Benton Davis, member of NRCC Local 279, began his Union Carpenter journey outside of the United States. An Antigua and Barbuda native, Davis built a number of structures on the island, while working as a Payroll Specialist. After moving to the United States in 1982, Davis became a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America in 1985. Over the past 33 years as a Union Carpenter, Davis said he feels that being a member of a labor union is more than just building structures.
“Carpentry is about sharing what you know with your Brothers and Sisters,” said Davis. “I often tell Apprentice-level carpenters to learn as much as you can and really understand the trade.”
Outside of working as a carpenter and mentoring apprentices, Davis also volunteers his weekends with Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), a non-profit housing organization located in Bronx, NY. With CASA, Davis volunteers his time working to ensure that apartment complexes’ housing issues are resolved, ultimately raising the quality of life for its residents. Throughout his years of work within the community and CASA, Davis knows the importance of Black History Month and how it impacts the nation.
“Black History Month is a time for people to come together to unify and strengthen our culture,” said Davis. “With all that’s going on in the world, this month is important for us to reflect and strategize on what to do next.”