A DeKalb County man has announced that he will be a candidate for the office of State Representative in the 40th Legislative District during the State Democratic Primary next August.
James Hale of the Riverwatch area recently made the announcement during a local Democratic party meeting.
The following is a prepared statement concerning Hale's bio:
Hale is a native of DeKalb County
After attending local schools, Hale began his life-long career with the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) as a construction laborer when he was still a teenager. A member of Local 386 in Nashville, he worked his way up through the ranks and served as Field Representative, President, and Business Manager of the local.
Moving onto the Union's International stage, Hale was a Regional Manager for the organization serving more than 50,000 Laborers in 14 states and two territories. In that capacity he oversaw the working of some 50 Local Unions in the states of Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Hale also served as a Vice President on the LIUNA General Executive Board from 1998 until his retirement last year. In that position he helped set policy impacting the lives of more than 500,000 working men and women who are members of the Laborers' International Union.
In those positions, Hale garnered 38 years of experience dealing with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the labor relations realm. He hopes to continue his relationships with the current TVA officers and staff with the intent of helping the organization further its goals of safety, integrity, respect, honest communication, accountability, teamwork, continuous improvement, and flexibility.
While with LIUNA, Hale was asked to be an integral part of several Boards of Trustees governing issues such as health insurance, training and apprenticeship, education, health and safety, and pensions, to name a few. As a member of the LIUNA National Laborers -Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET), he supported the Trust's goal of offering a wide range of services to Laborers and their signatory contractors, including market assessments, research, advertising, and outreach to owners and construction users. LECET is devoted to helping Laborers and their signatory contractors win projects and jobs. To further that goal, Hale served as the Chairman for the Ohio Valley and Southern States Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust and on the National Service Contract Training Fund.
As a member of the Laborers' National Health and Safety Fund's Board, Hale was committed both to healthier Laborers and to healthier bottom lines. The Fund's primary goals are to enhance jobsite safety and health, and improve the competitiveness of signatory employers.
The Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund (L-AGC) is a partnership between LIUNA and the Associated General Contractors of America. As a Board member Hale worked to see that Laborers' training reached every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada. Laborers-AGC's affiliated funds service the training needs of hundreds of LIUNA local unions and thousands of construction-related contractors by providing relevant and necessary training to LIUNA members and apprentices. Each year thousands of LIUNA members and apprentices receive training at one of the 70 state-of-the-art training facilities that comprise the Laborers' training network.
While those National Funds offer union-wide assistance, state and local funds also exist to help working families on a more immediate level. Serving as either Chairman or as a member, Hale worked on behalf of the Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana Laborers' Health and Welfare Funds. These Funds oversee the health insurance issues and well-being of members throughout those states.
As the Chair of the Southeast Laborers' Training and Apprenticeship Fund, covering the states of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, Hale helped to establish training and apprenticeship facilities to further the skills of Laborers. The same is true for the South Central Laborers' Training Fund, covering the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, and the Florida and Kentucky Training Funds as well.
The Laborers' National Pension Fund and the LIUNA Staff Pension Fund are charged with the oversight and continued growth of Laborers' pension plans. James served on both Funds where he helped establish programs to ensure the continued health of these plans.
From 1988 until the year 2000, Hale was a member of the Board of Directors for the DeKalb Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (DTC). The Board was created in 1951 by local citizens to bring basic telephone service to rural areas at a time when none existed. The DTC, member-owned and covering 20,000 residents, has served and continues to serve both residential and commercial customers in rural communities with quality communications service at competitive rates.
As a member of the DTC Board, Hale promoted a modernization program that resulted in area-wide free calling. Initially opposed by some as too expensive, once implemented the program actually earned a profit in its first month of operations.
Also under his direction, the DTC built a cellular system and created Advantage Cellular. Advantage is the only locally owned nationwide wireless provider in the area.
Advantage was licensed to provide service and operates 47 towers in the Tennessee counties of Smith, DeKalb, Cannon, White, Warren, Van Buren, Coffee and Grundy, but was and remains today a nationwide carrier through agreements entered into with major roaming partners throughout the country. The company started providing service using analog technology. As technology has continued to advance, so has Advantage Cellular Systems.
As a result of these experiences, in 2004 Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen appointed Hale to the Council for a New Economy Workforce. He continues to serve the state in that capacity.
A community activist as well, Hale founded the John William Hale Foundation, Laborers' CARE (Crisis Assistance Response to Emergencies). The Foundation relies on the goodwill of individuals through voluntary donations and an annual motorcycle rally to raise funds as a means to fulfill its mission. This charitable fund was created to assist Laborers in the Ohio Valley and Southern States Region who have been seriously injured on the job and are unable to work, or in the most unfortunate circumstances, lose their lives while working as Laborers.