Whether taking up the trade, attending college, or both, children from union homes gain a lifelong educational legacy of understanding working families.
That knowledge is the foundation for the career of New Jersey State Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-7th legislative district, a member of United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) Millwright Local 715 and president of the New Jersey Carpenter-Contractor Trust (NJCCT), a labor-management partnership that promotes union construction.
Singleton learned the lessons of living and working union from his father, Elijah Singleton Jr., a 37-year Teamster.
“My childhood was spent learning the value and benefits of organized labor from my dad,” said Singleton. “His involvement in the union provided us with a solid middle-class upbringing that valued an honest day's pay for an honest day's effort. Those values shape my life as an elected official and as a citizen.”
“His example—of never looking for a shortcut because it takes hard work to succeed—motivates me every day of my life,” Singleton said.
While committed to the union cause, Singleton’s work for New Jersey taxpayers has allowed him to serve in a variety of legislative, government affairs, political and policy posts.
“The people I understand best, who are at the forefront of my legislative agenda, are always the average citizen and working families,” Singleton said.
Budget, Policy Expertise Fuel Political Rise
On graduating from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., with a degree in business administration, he began a fast rise in state politics, developing policy and budget expertise in health care, veteran’s affairs, and transportation, as well as managing political campaigns.
In early 2006, Singleton became deputy executive director of the New Jersey General Assembly Majority Office. His experience and personal style—he was once described as “the guy who gets things done, without excuses”—led to his selection in 2007 as director of Policy and Planning for the New Jersey (now Northeast) Regional Council Carpenters (NRCC), where he focused on the legislative agenda that affected workers and their families.
“Troy understands how the public and private sectors have to work together to create real jobs and solve real problems,” says former New Jersey Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts. “He is among the best-prepared individuals ever elected to the NJ State Legislature. He has a nonstop can-do attitude and is a true problem solver.”