Jason Shedlock, who for a short time was Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling’s assistant, has been hired as executive director of a construction trades council.

The Maine State Building & Construction Trades Council, a trade association representing 5,000 union-affiliated members, announced the hire of Shedlock in a press release issued Thursday. This is the first time the council has had a permanent executive director position, said Shedlock, who assumes his post Aug. 7. He said the council decided that a full-time dedicated staff was necessary in order to meet the increasing workforce demands and manpower needs within the trades.

As executive director, he will be responsible for the organization’s day-to-day operations, and coordinating and implementing the council’s workforce development initiatives, outreach, advocacy and capacity building.

“Jason’s work is well known in the labor community and beyond, and we are fortunate to have him help lead the fight to strengthen our communities across the state,” said John Napolitano, council president and business manager for the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry Local 716, in the release.

Prior to joining the council, Shedlock was special assistant to Strimling for just over a year, a position that drew controversy as Strimling, city staffers and councilors locked horns over policy and other issues. In May, city councilors voted to eliminate the $69,000 funding for the special assistant position during budget deliberations.

Prior to taking the Portland post, Shedlock was the deputy director of emergency management and board of health for the Sagadahoc County Emergency Management Agency in Bath. He also had been the chief of staff to an at-large city council member in Washington, D.C.

The son of a retired boilermaker and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees member, Shedlock said he was passionate about making sure workers have a strong and well-represented voice. “I’m honored to be able to formalize that role and play a part in the movement that has given so much to my family and me,” said Shedlock in the release.

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