Connie Bobbitt and the Chaplaincy Council

Mark T. Gibson

Connie Bobbitt is a problem solver here at Detroit. Her co-workers turn to her for help with various troubles, including relationship difficulties, depression, illness, family strife, bereavement and more.

As coordinator of the chaplaincy council for UAW Region 1A, Bobbitt provides union members, salary employees and contract workers with an empathetic ear and, more importantly, with the internal or external resources to help them through their crisis.

A material tech in the Machining Group, Bobbitt has worked at Detroit for 25 years and been a chaplain for 17 years, having trained under her predecessor, Jimmy Parker.

“Whatever a member is going through, they can go to a chaplain and we’ll take their hand and get them the resources they need to deal with whatever they’re going through,” she said.

UAW Local 163 has six chaplains so at least one is available at all times, all shifts. Their services extend to employees’ relatives who need help and can include hospital and home visits.

Though Bobbitt is a licensed and ordained chaplain, not all of her peers are. When she recruits and trains chaplains in Region 1A, she looks for people with strong faith and a desire to help.

“They need to care about other people,” she said. “That really is what it’s all about — caring for about our members and wanting to help people.”

Whether or not you’ve ever been helped by Bobbitt or any of the other UAW chaplains, it’s good to know that they’re available for us. The next time you see a chaplain on the floor, thank him or her.

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