IKORCC Sisters Motivated After UBC Conference

Nearly 500 sisters from across the U.S. and Canada met at the International Training Center in Las Vegas for the Sisters in the Brotherhood Conference last month.

Sisters from the IKORCC were able to have their questions answered by General President Douglas McCarron – a rare opportunity our sisters took advantage of. They also heard from renowned guest speakers, attended workshops, traded ideas and most importantly learned how they could help grow the sisterhood.

A month later, our sisters are actively applying what they learned on job sites, at local meetings and in their everyday life to grow the sisterhood. See what they learned and how they are applying it below or by clicking here.

Honoring Vets at KY Derby Festival

Saturday volunteers with the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters spent the day honoring our nation’s bravest at the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville. The festival gave free admission to vets and their families for their annual Military Appreciation Day & Tyler Farr county concert.

indiana kentucky ohio regional council of carpenters, carpenters union, training

Volunteers from the IKORCC spent the day educating people about our Helmets to Hardhats program, which helps vets get a job after returning home, often within six weeks. Helmets to Hardhats helps military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry. Our federally-approved apprenticeship program allows vets to use their Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits to supplement their income.

Based on vet’s military occupation code, we can help leverage training and work-related experience during their time in the service for possible advanced placement in our apprenticeship program. With an honorable discharge, veterans can be working on a job site as soon as six weeks!

One of our carpenters and his wife, who volunteered at the event, were thrilled to meet country star Tyler Farr just before his concert Saturday!

We’d like to thank all the brave men and women that serve our nation’s military. We’d also like to thank the many volunteers who spent the weekend helping our community.

Click here to learn more about our Helmets to Hardhats program.

IKORCC & JATC Add 222 New Journeymen to the Workforce

5200 hours of on the job training, 640 classroom hours, 4 years of dedication and sacrifice – that’s the kind of experience you get when you hire a union journeyman. Carpenters, Ohio Carpenter JourneymanSaturday night, 222 fully trained journeymen and women graduated from the JATC & IKORCC apprenticeship program in Columbus, Ohio.

The graduates are a vital addition to a workforce desperate for skilled tradesmen. Graduates were trained as carpenters, millwrights or floor coverers.

Building America with Skilled Trades

In a speech to graduates, Patrick Reardon, Executive Administrator of Apprenticeship for the Ohio Office of Workforce Development, said IKORCC carpenters are building our future.

“When we think of an elite carpentry workforce here in the United States – it’s everyone graduating in this room,” he said. “Everyone here is building America and we are relying on you to continue to catapult us to the future.”

16 Veterans Graduate through Helmets to Hardhats

16 of the graduates honorably served in our nation’s military and took part in the IKORCC’s Helmets to Hardhats program. Helmets to Hardhats puts vets on a fast track to union apprenticeship and a rewarding career in carpentry after their military service.

State Training Director Vince Wright said, “Thousands of veterans come home to Ohio each year and need new jobs and careers to get started in. I’m proud to say out of our 2,200 apprentices, we have 216 Helmets to Hardhats apprentices.”

Colonel Mark J. Cappone, Assistant Director of Ohio Veterans Affairs, said, “Tonight is a great way to remember the contributions that our vets make to the workforce, to remind us that those who have served have grit, determination, perseverance and they know how to be on a team.”

Colonel Cappone presented a sealed recognition of the apprenticeship program on behalf of Ohio Governor John Kasich at the event. Governor Kasich commended the graduates for their hard work.

Continuous Training Sets Union Carpenters Apart

IKORCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark McGriff also commended the graduates, while offering advice for the future. “When writing the story of your life, make sure no one else is holding the pen,” he said.

“There are so many opportunities in this organization, you have to take advantage of every single one of them,” McGriff added. McGriff and other staff members encouraged new journeymen to keep up with continuous training and serve as role models for apprentices.

A New Generation of Journeymen

New graduate Jacob Weiser, from the Northwest JATC and Local 351, plans to do both. Staff chose Weiser to speak at graduation after recognizing his dedication. “I’ve learned the importance of this apprenticeship and why the training is necessary to push our union and our trade forward,” Weiser said.

Weiser added, “I’m going to keep learning and keep trying to find better ways to get things done. I’m going to give my contractor what he’s paying for – a solid eight hours of carpentry, from a well-trained union journeymen carpenter.”

Congratulations to all graduates! 

Megan Walkowiak Receives Appreciation Award from Carpenters Local 435

The Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) selected Megan Walkowiak from Carpenters Local 435 to represent the Early Intervention Committee’s motto for, “Contractor, Community, Customer”, during the summer conference. She is a 3rd generation carpenter. Her grandfather, Benny Sroka (deceased), was an Honorary 65 year member, and her father, Dave Walkowiak, is a 39 year member. 

Like most young adults graduating high school, Megan had ambitions. She decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business management, with a minor in human resources. After entering the world of nine-to-five, she decided being behind a desk wasn’t for her. Instead, she wanted to pursue a career as a contractor. She approached her father about joining the carpenters union and he insisted she had to go through the apprenticeship program.

While going through her apprenticeship, Megan excelled and started to stand out as a leader. During the third year of her apprenticeship, Megan was chosen to go to the International Training Center (ITC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Upon her return, she immediately applied the skills she learned from her training. Megan began to mentor other women in the trade and started giving back to the community. Megan stated that one of her favorite volunteer projects was reroofing a house for a needy family whose child had cerebral palsy.

Megan was appointed as Chairperson for Locals’ 435 and 373 Sisters in the Brotherhood (S.I.B.) Committee, where she conducts monthly meetings and continually inspires women to excel with their contractors, community, and customers. Recently, Megan was awarded a plaque of appreciation for all the work she has done. The plaque was presented to her at the August 8, 2017, Carpenters Local 435 Union meeting. Her father, along with her UBC sisters from Carpenters Locals 435 and 373, were in attendance to witness her accepting the award. The award was presented to her by the officers of Carpenters Local 435, several IKORCC representatives, and a special appearance by Teresa Moore, the IKORCC S.I.B. chairperson.

It is an honor to have this young lady go from an apprentice, journeyman, to newly a signatory contractor for our organization. The IKORCC looks forward to seeing great things come from her in the future and wishes her the best in her career!

Construction Industry Offers Women Opportunities For Success

January 23, 2017

It’s no secret that construction is a male-dominated industry. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 9.9 million workers in the construction field but only 9.3 percent were women.

There is plenty of room for more women to join the industry—at all levels—and it’s encouraging to see women climbing to new heights in important roles. For example, USG Corp., an industry-leading manufacturer of innovative building products and solutions, recently named its first female CEO, Jennifer Scanlon. She is excited to join other female leaders in the building space, like Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, Diane Hendricks of ABC Supply, and Mary Rhinehart of Johns Manville.

The opportunities for women in construction are endless. Below are the stories of a few women who have succeeded in the industry; they fought stereotypes and broke down barriers to get to where they are today. They are an inspiring demonstration that women are fully capable of excelling in the construction industry, and point to a future of increased diversity in the workforce.

Debbie Hauanio

Ceiling Installation, Gibson Lewis, Indianapolis

Debbie Hauanio is a union carpenter who specializes in ceiling installation for Gibson Lewis in Indianapolis, Ind. She credits her success in the industry to working hard and enjoying a challenge.

As a lead ceiling installer with 23 years of experience, Hauanio runs an acoustical ceiling crew of six to eight installers. Her responsibilities run the gamut from organizing the teams and turning in weekly reports, to ensuring materials arrive on schedule and overseeing their installation.

Hauanio likes the varied nature of her job. “I kind of fell into the industry but I liked it. I did a four year apprenticeship and learned that it’s hard work, but can also be a lot of fun,” says Hauanio. “I don’t think I’d like being in an office every day. I like the sense of accomplishment when we finish a job and move on to the next.”

Hauanio is thankful for the opportunities she has had at Gibson Lewis. “I’ve been given many opportunities to prove myself and gained greater responsibility each time I’ve met those expectations.”

Q: What’s the greatest challenge for women in the construction industry?

A: I think many women don’t even have construction on their radar because of the physical demands of the job. They might be surprised if they tried! I had an interest in fixing things in my home. One thing led to another and here I am.

Q: What are the greatest changes you have seen during your years in the industry?

A: From my perspective as an installer, I haven’t seen a lot of changes. I haven’t seen a significant increase in women at the trade level. It takes a specific type of person to do what I do. It’s a lot of hard work.

Q: What advice can you give to women considering careers in this industry?

A: The best advice I have is to keep an open mind. If you’re interested, look into it. Talk to people in the industry. Don’t rule it out on principle. I probably work harder than most just because I’m a woman. The expectation that women can’t do the job as well as a man spurs me on. I often think, “Don’t tell me I can’t because I’m a girl! I’ll show you!”

Veiw the full article>>

2016 IKORCC Sisters in the Brotherhood Conference

The Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters held its first annual Sisters in the Brotherhood Conference on October 13-14, 2016. The IKORCC SIB Chair, Teresa Moore, put together a great conference with special speakers, including Midwest District VP David Tharp, and EST Mark McGriff to name a few.  The conference was a great experience for the sisters and gave them time to network, getting involved, and valuable leadership skills so they can reach their potential in our industry. Topics included politics, Roberts Rules of Order, UBC structure, Mentoring, community service, and Strategic Priorities.


Midwest District Vice President David Tharp

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark McGriff

IKORCC Sisters in the Brotherhood Chair Teresa Moore

Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley

LeNee Carroll with Building Strong Communities

Steve Hoyt Political Report

Mary Runyon General Superintendent for Shook Construction

Michelle Stallings Mentoring and Retention

Casey Zadarin Roberts Rules Presentation

IKORCC 2016 Sisters in the Brotherhood Conference

How to thank this veteran (and others): Support prevailing wage

Gilbert Charles, of Pinckney, is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the 1980s and moved to the skilled trades. His son, Matt, has followed in his father’s footsteps as a veteran and now as an apprentice learning how to become an electrician.

By Gilbert Charles

As we near Veterans Day, we will hear from many political leaders how grateful they are for our service. Some will express concern about veterans who return home and their opportunity to find a good job to support their families.

As a U.S. Army vet who served in the 1980s — and as the father of an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan — I always appreciate those thoughts. But I’m also concerned about efforts in the Legislature that would cut the pay of many Michigan veterans working in the construction industry.

I returned to Michigan after my service, and looked around for a good job, one that would let me build on my training, provide fairly for my family, offer decent health care benefits and a path to retirement. I found that job, training in an apprentice program and becoming a journeyman electrician as a member of IBEW Local 252. A portion of my paycheck each week goes to the apprenticeship program, to ensure those veterans and others who come after me get the training they need to do their job well and safely.

That turns out to have been a good investment. Now my son Matt is following in my footsteps. He’s in the Local 252 IBEW-NECA apprenticeship program, earning while he learns, at no cost to taxpayers. We know a lot of veterans in the industry. A recent report by the State of Michigan showed that about 9 percent of veterans are in the construction industry, compared with about 6 percent of state workers overall. And many were attracted to the fair pay and good training made possible by the state’s prevailing wage laws.

It’s exciting to see my son work in major, complex construction jobs at the University of Michigan — jobs that demand the skills I’ve gained over the years. But it’s not clear that good paying jobs in the skilled trades professions will be available to future vets.

A handful of politically powerful special interests want to cut the pay and benefits going to skilled trades workers by eliminating prevailing wage policies, even though research shows taxpayers won’t save a dime.

Prevailing wage policies say that taxpayer-supported jobs have to pay the going rate of pay in the region — usually the union-negotiated wage. Any company can bid, union or nonunion. But they have to pay a fair wage rate. It helps keep out-of-state companies from coming in with cheaper, less skilled workers to do the minimally acceptable job that meets minimum standards.

It’s in the state’s best interest to attract veterans such as Matt into the skilled trades, where there is a shortage of workers today. But without prevailing wage policies, the job will be a lot less attractive — in fact, many skilled-trades workers, including veterans, won’t enter the profession, or will go to another state. (Other Midwest states have prevailing wage policies, it’s mostly low-paying states in the South that don’t). Union apprenticeship programs will also disappear, and taxpayers will have to pay for those programs.

So this November, don’t just thank Matt and I for our service. We know you appreciate that. Take another step. Tell your lawmakers to support good jobs for veterans by supporting prevailing wage laws. That way Michigan veterans can return confident they will be able to get good training and support their families by taking jobs in the skilled trades

Attacks On Prevailing Wage Laws Disproportionally Hurt Veterans

Media Contact: Doug Gordon (202) 494-5141 |doug@dsgstrategies.com

Report Finds That As Hundreds Of Thousands Of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Enter Work Force, Prevailing Wage Greatly Improves Economic Outcomes For Veterans

first-of-its-kind study released on May 10, 2016 finds that prevailing wage greatly improves economic outcomes for veterans and that growing attacks on prevailing wage at the state level will disproportionally hurt the hundreds of thousands post-9/11 veterans who are returning to the workforce.

Exploring of the economic impact of state prevailing wage laws on veterans in the construction industry, the study was commissioned by VoteVets, the largest progressive group of veterans in America. The study was conducted by Frank Manzo IV of the Illinois Economic Policy InstituteUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor Robert Bruno, and Colorado State University-Pueblo Economist, Dr. Kevin Duncan.

“The data clearly shows that veterans work in the skilled construction trades at significantly higher rates than non-veterans,” said Manzo. “The difference is even more pronounced in states with average or strong prevailing wage policies–so any changes in these laws will have an outsized impact on those who have served in the military.”

Click Here to Download the Full Report.

Click Here to Download a Summary of the Report.

With construction now the second-fastest growing industry in America, the military is helping active duty service personnel prepare for civilian careers through the US Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP)—which now accounts for almost 22% of all registered apprenticeships in the country.

The study found that prevailing wage laws not only encourage more veterans to put these skills to work in their communities, but that they pull thousands of veterans out of poverty each year in the process.

Utilizing industry standard economic modeling, it also found that if each of the states with average or strong prevailing wage laws enacted repeals, 24,000 veterans would lose their health insurance, another 65,000 would leave the construction workforce, veteran construction workers would see their incomes drop by $3.1 billion per year, and nearly 8,000 veteran owned construction businesses would shut their doors.

With prevailing wage laws coming under attack in at least 11 states over the past two years, VoteVets has announced that it will be begin airing ads to educate the public about the importance of these standards, and hold lawmakers accountable.  The campaign will begin in Illinois, where Governor Bruce Rauner had proposed repeal at the local level as part of his “Turnaround Agenda.”

“It is appalling to see so many politicians who profess to ‘support veterans’ actively fighting to cut their wages,” said VoteVets Chairman Jon Soltz. “Prevailing wage laws help more veterans translate battlefield skills into middle class careers in their communities.  With too many post 9/11 veterans struggling to find work, we need to be strengthening these laws, not weakening them.”