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March 2011 E-Newsletter

Regional Updates

INSTALL New England: Building for Those Who Need it Most

Members of INSTALL New England are playing an important role in creating a new teaching hospital in Haiti. Drawn together by Jim Ansara, the semi-retired founder of Shawmut Design and Construction, a group of union contractors and members are lending their talents to build the hospital. The effort is being coordinated by Partners in Health, which works to increase access to quality health care in poverty-stricken areas of the world.

When the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, it destroyed the country's largest teaching hospital, killing hundreds of doctors and nurses. The project will replace that structure with a 200,000 square-foot teaching hospital with 320 beds that will serve up to 500 patients a day when it is fully operational in June of 2012.

Troy Bickford, owner of Contract Flooring Installations, has also jumped into the project. After attending a meeting to talk about flooring materials that manufacturers might donate, Troy and his brother, Joe, both long-time members of Floorcoverers Local 2168, both volunteered to work on the project. Troy is bringing his teenage son, and Joe is bringing his two sons, CJ and Eric, who are also members of Local 2168. The Local's Business Agent, Mynor Perez, will also join them.

"They didn't ask. We volunteered," said Bickford. "We think it's a great cause. People need help and we can help them. It's only a week or two out of our lives to help the country for the rest of their lives."

Bickford's also been able to secure significant donations of materials. Forbo is supplying more than $110,000 worth of sheet vinyl - enough to cover all of the infectious areas of the hospital - for just over $12,000. Dal-Tile is providing more than 70,000 square-feet of tile, a donation valued at more than $250,000. Laticrete has offered to help with floor prep, thinset, and grouting.

"This is an amazing project that will provide a tremendous benefit for people that face devastating conditions, day in and day out," said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. "We think there's a role the union and our members can play and we hope to be able to make it happen."

Those who are interested in learning more about the project can visit

Want to Help? The following Items are needed:

  • Sheet vinyl welding tools
  • Hook & utility blades
  • Trowels: notched & prep
  • Knee pads
  • Knives
  • Sheet vinyl adhesive
  • Cove & Cap for the sheet vinyl
  • 9" double-stick tape
  • Contact adhesive

All tools will be left for hospitalÂ’s maintenance department. If you are interested in donating, please contact Mynor Perez at 617-825-6141 or

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