May 21, 2010 Volume 111 Number 10

After 26 years helping others, Glenn Shuck retires

Glenn Shuck, the head of Labor’s Community Service Agency (LCSA), is retiring after 26 years of helping union members and area citizens get through tough times.

LCSA is a non-profit organization funded primarily by United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. It operates under the auspices of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council and a 16-person board of directors. The agency works with an array of community-based and governmental organizations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington to provide education, information, referral services, and social service programs.

Shuck, 73, was introduced to LCSA in 1983 during a lengthy Steelworkers strike at Oregon Steel Mills in Portland. Shuck was president of Local 3010 at the time some 300 workers walked out over company demands for massive takeaways and an open shop.

The strike ended badly, with the union busted in 1984. The mill closed in 1985.

After that happened, Shuck began working with Labor’s Community Service Agency. He was a perfect fit for a pilot program that then executive director Del Ricks had arranged with Mt. Hood Community College to assist laid off workers transition into new jobs

As a labor liaison, Shuck worked with partner agencies to develop the initial Dislocated Workers’ Job Training Partnership Act Title III project for Multnomah and Washington counties. He helped plan, develop, and implement pre-layoff (rapid response) services for the Portland Metro labor market, working closely with local Oregon Employment Department staff, employers, unions, community-based organizations, and state and local agencies.

In July 1992, Ricks suffered a heart attack and Shuck was named interim director. Once it was determined that Ricks would be unable to return to work, LCSA’s Executive Board, in February 1993, appointed Shuck executive director.

Under Shuck’s leadership, LCSA extensively promoted United Way’s annual fundraising campaign, with Shuck serving on United Way’s Campaign Cabinet and board of directors.

He founded LCSA’s Emergency Assistance Program, which raises thousands of dollars and serves hundreds of families in temporary hardship situations. The program, now referred to as “Helping Hands,” has distributed over $1 million during Shuck’s tenure.

Shuck also established an annual holiday food basket and toy distribution program for inner city kids, and a neighborhood “family dinner” night for at-risk youth.

In his capacity as executive director, Shuck served on the board of directors of Worksystems, Inc. and the Workforce Investment Council of Clackamas County. He has been a member of countless local-area adult and dislocated worker committees and has served on the State of Oregon One-Stop Steering Committee, the Worker Profile Committee, the Workforce Response Team, the Workforce Options Committee, and as outreach coordinator to the Veterans Workforce Investment Program.

When grant money was available, Shuck would hire a laid off worker as a peer advocate. But for the most part, LCSA has operated with a staff of two.

“It’s absolutely amazing what one or two people can do when they are committed to a cause,” said Curtis Kirkpatrick, a retired minister at Hughes Memorial Methodist Church and an LCSA Board member. “Glenn brought much joy to the people he worked with at our church.”

“Without the support of United Way and our union affiliates, this agency wouldn’t exist,” Shuck told the LCSA Executive Board May 12. “I was only the conduit. I never solved any problems. I simply knew who to contact to come in and help solve the problem.”

Shuck has been a union member cumulatively for 56 years. His first union job was in high school as a bike messenger for Western Union. He left that job — and high school — to join the Air Force. Returning to Portland four years later, he immediately went to work, bouncing from job to job. Along the way he held union cards with the Longshoremen, Telegraph Union, Woodworkers, Teamsters, Printing Specialties, Machinists, Textile Workers, Laborers, Lumber and Sawmill Workers, and finally the Steelworkers.

“There were plenty of good union jobs in those days,” Shuck said. “I guess I didn’t leave myself any time to blow off steam after getting out of the service, and I was restless. ”

Shuck met and married Beverly Phillips in 1964. She had four children from a previous marriage, and together they had one child.

For many years, Shuck coached Little League, Babe Ruth, and Senior Babe Ruth baseball teams in North Portland. He was one game away from reaching the Babe Ruth World Series and, in 1974, was named “Baseball Man of the Year” by the Amateur Baseball Association.

Shuck said the last 26 years have been the most rewarding of his life. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had. I have really enjoyed going to work. I will miss it.”

LCSA office manager Vickie Burns has been appointed interim director by the Executive Board as it conducts a job search for Shuck’s successor.

Home | About

© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.