Labor Partnership Profiles
“Our council wanted to affiliate itself with a bank that believed in unions.”
~Wayne Jennings, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Southern Millwright Regional Council
A few years ago, when Wayne Jennings was helping the Southern Millwright Regional Council find ways to finance renovation of a training center in Houston, TX, he decided to get in touch with someone he’d known and respected for years — Mike Snowden, Market President of Bank of Labor’s union banking division.
“Our council wanted to affiliate itself with a bank that believed in unions,” explained Jennings. Snowden, Jennings, and Business Development Officer Joe Schoonover soon hammered out a $2 million loan on behalf of the Texas Carpenters and Millwright Training Trust Fund.
“Loan arrangements went very smoothly, and the Bank of Labor was there for us through the whole process,” said Jennings. He added, “The fact that they are union and understand our world made a big difference, too.” Since then, Jennings has also partnered with Bank of Labor on additional training center projects in Tampa, FL, Charlotte, NC, and Nashville, TN.
In addition, five of the Council’s nine locals have switched to Bank of Labor’s online dues payment system and one more local is currently in the process of making the switch.
“Our members are on the go and love the convenience of making mobile dues payments,” said Jennings. Jennings said the service, savings and convenience that is benefiting the Council and its members has led the organization to expand its investment portfolio at Bank of Labor from $1 million to $6 million over the past few years.
“I’ve had high regard for Mike Snowden for years, so I’m not surprised that the union banking team he has built is doing such an impressive job,” stated Jennings.
“Having a bank that helps us use member money to expand training, make life easier for our members and create more jobs is a big deal – a really big deal – to me and to the union carpenters we represent.”
~Terry Darling, Regional Director – Gulf Coast States- Central South Carpenters Regional Council; Financial Secretary of Local 551
Back in 2017, Terry Darling grew tired of trying to juggle his Local’s financial needs between five different banks. “It was hard to reach a live person on the phone at any of those banks,” said Darling. “Return calls were dismal, at best.” When Darling became the Carpenter’s Construction Representative on a new, state-of-the-art Training Facility in Pasadena, TX, he learned that Bank of Labor had provided the construction loan for the project. He was pleasantly surprised to discover that the bank’s business development team were actually on the other end of the line whenever he called.
“Joe Schoonover and the other folks at Bank of Labor treated us like a partner and made the loan process easy,” said Darling. So easy that Darling decided to consolidate and move some of the Local’s other banking needs to Bank of Labor. His organization is now benefiting from the Bank’s laddered investment management method that ensures Union investments do not exceed FDIC protection limits. In addition, Darling’s Local 551 now utilizes the Bank’s Online Dues Payment Portal, which makes it easy for members to make dues payments from their phone or laptop instead of mailing a check or stopping by the office.
“Having a bank that helps us use member money to expand training, make life easier for our members and create more jobs is a big deal – a really big deal – to me and to the union carpenters we represent,” said Darling.
“I am a big fan of supporting unions in every way I can. That’s why making Bank of Labor our financial partner made a whole lot of sense for us.”
President – Alabama AFL-CIO
When Bren Riley realized the Alabama AFL-CIO and its members could not only make more money on their organizational investments and pay fewer fees, but that they could do it with a bank that was union owned and operated, he was all in.
“I am a big fan of supporting unions in every way I can,” explained Riley. He added, “That’s why making Bank of Labor our financial partner made a whole lot of sense for us.” Riley found that he was not only working with union to help union but that the Business Development team at Bank of Labor made the whole process seamless. “They have stood right by us and made switching various accounts easy and painless,” said Riley. He has been working closely with Bank of Labor Business Development Officer, Tori Letson, on exploring additional lending opportunities and banking services for his organization. “I’m tickled to death with the support Tori and the other people at Bank of Labor have provided,” said Riley.
“I’m looking forward to finding even more ways they can help the Alabama AFL-CIO and our hard-working members!”
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