Local 286 member demonstrates union craftsmanship through community service

Local 286 member demonstrates union craftsmanship through community service

Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 286, Austin, Texas, member Frank Goodwin attends Northlake Church in Lago Vista, Texas.

On Nov. 6, 2022, members of the Northlake Church went out into the community to do various forms of charity work they called, “The Big Event.” “The Big Event” is an annual, one-day event, where volunteers and businesses help community members in need through various service projects. 

Goodwin was asked to take on a plumbing project that a non-union plumbing company turned down. He gladly accepted the project without hesitation. 

One day after work, Goodwin went and looked at the plumbing job before Sunday’s event and realized that it wasn’t going to be a one-day job, as the church anticipated, but would require multiple days of work. 

The job was to fix the plumbing in the only bathroom of a mobile home to make it functional for all nine people living there. 

“I went for a couple of hours after work for four days and got everything ready, Goodwin said. “I set the valve, I took everything out, put a new valve in and set the tub and part of the surround. Once I got that far, I knew I could finish the job on that Sunday.”

When Goodwin got there, the vanity was in bad shape and the hot water didn’t work. On Sunday he finished the shower and replaced the vanity.

Local 286 gives cash donation for project 

Goodwin asked Local 286 for monetary support of $1,500 to complete the project above standards and show that there is no craftsmanship like union craftsmanship.

“The union backed me,” Goodwin said. “They asked me what I thought it would take to do the job, so I asked for $1,500, which paid for 90 percent of the material, like the tub, shower and valves.”

As a result of Goodwin’s help, Local 286 was listed as a sponsor of “The Big Event,” and Goodwin’s congregation put the Local 286 logo on their T-shirts.

“We love seeing the UA giving back to the community,” Training Director Brian Peabody said. 

Goodwin’s wife and 17-year-old daughter helped him on Sunday by cleaning up behind him and running to the store for additional supplies. 

“They were helpful with things that would have cost me time, like sweeping, taking the vanity out, and binging the other one in,” Goodwin said. “They helped where they could and it was fun having them there.”

As a disabled combat veteran who has completed five tours to Afghanistan, Brotherhood and service have always been important to Goodwin.

“I’ve been in two combat zones and been all over the world,” Goodwin said. “The UA backed me when I got deployed to Afghanistan. I submitted my orders to my Local Union and the UA paid my dues.”

The first time Goodwin was deployed, he did 18 months in Afghanistan and then after he returned they kept him as an instructor. 

Goodwin has military backing and UA backing and because of that, he is a proud 30-year UA member who gives back to his community and demonstrates what it means to be a union craftsman.