The rigorously trained and highly skilled members of the United Association of Plumbers, Pipe and Refrigeration Fitters, UA Local 246, are part of the backbone of the Central Valley building industry.

Organized in Fresno in 1901, roughly a generation after the city was founded in 1872, UA Local 246 has played a significant role in the bricks-and-mortar construction of the area from its early days. Few industrial or commercial buildings in this area have been built without the members of UA Local 246 on the job.

1901 Charter Approval

The organization, founded at the turn of the century with just 10 members, has experienced a growth pattern that reflects the activity of the building industry in the area. In 1908, UA Local 246 had 25 members and sent its first delegate, L.L. Babcock, to the national organization's annual convention.

On September 28, 1940, parent Local 246 established a branch (Local 246B) consisting of general Pipe Fitters. By 1943, the Fresno group had grown to a solid 157 members. Over the next 17 years, the membership soared dramatically as the post-war years of prosperity brought new construction to the area.

Today, UA Local 246, headquartered at 1303 North Rabe Avenue in Fresno, has 600 members from the four counties it covers in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley - Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare.

The key to UA Local 246's success is the professionalism, experience, expertise and comprehensive training available to apprentices and journey-persons.

One of the many projects that UA Local 246 has played an important part in the construction of is the Balsam Meadows hydroelectric plant at the John S. Eastwood Power Station at Shaver Lake, located 40 miles northeast of Fresno. The successful completion of this Southern California Edison facility, which required the construction team to work at a depth of 1,000 feet, is considered a monument to the talents of the area building industry. Edison publicly recognized UA Local 246 for the superior workmanship and outstanding performance of its members on the project.

Throughout its history, UA Local 246 had leased office space and held membership meetings at numerous sites throughout the city, including the Union Labor Hall on K Street, the Boiler Tenders Hall, the Moose Temple on Broadway, and for two decades the organization operated on East Shields Avenue. But, in the fall of 1993, UA Local 246 moved into a facility of its own, a new 18,000 square foot building on Rabe Avenue in the Las Palmas Industrial Park. The new facility contains the Union Offices, Meeting Hall and the Training Center. The new facility, costing one and one-half million dollars, was paid for the day the facility opened, thus showing that UA Local 246 reflects the union's long and fruitful history and the organization's future place in the Fresno community and that it expects to remain a critical part of the San Joaquin Valley construction industry. UA Local 246 has a long and successful history and expects to live up to it for a long time to come.

In 1901, the ten Charter Members and Early Members of Local 246 were:

E. Brood • Card #15958
A.M. Forrest • Card #15959
Sam Berla • Card #15960
Edward J. Corbett • Card #15961
W.H. Dolzell • Card #15962
B.A. Newman • Card #15963
J.A. McDonald • Card #15964
Jas. H. Puntice • Card #15965
A.W. Gearhart • Card #15966
Jas. E. Cusick • Card #15967