When you lose someone so vital to an organization and who has positively impacted so many lives, it is difficult to properly convey the legacy they leave behind. The work Indiana/Kentucky Director of Education Jerry Burke has done on behalf of the UBC will continue to positively shape the apprenticeship and union for decades.
It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jerry Noel Burke, who passionately served the UBC for over 22 years. Jerry passed away on November 17, 2021 at 55 years old.
Before his work as Director of Education for Indiana and Kentucky for the IKORCC, he was a dedicated teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools at Jeffersontown High School in Kentucky, where he was a Welding and Project Lead the Way instructor to many students who loved him dearly.
He was a proud member of Millwright Local #1076, the American Welding Society Section 048, the Honorable Order of the Kentucky Colonels, and played the saxophone for the University of Louisville Marching Band.
Jerry was devoted to his family, his work and his community. He worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone had equal access to opportunities within apprenticeship programs in Indiana and Kentucky, pioneering CTE program development in high schools with the Kentucky TRACK Program, and leading development of SEAL (State Earn & Learn) programs in Indiana.
His commitment to community was displayed by his dedication to programs like KentuckianaBuilds and groundbreaking partnerships with multiple recovery centers. He also served on the board for Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana.
In addition to the incredible professional legacy he leaves behind, Jerry will be missed for his sense of humor, passion, positivity, trademark smile and passion for music. Coworkers said, “You didn’t work for Jerry, you worked with Jerry. We weren’t a staff, we were family.”
EST Todd Pancake said, “Jerry had an unparalleled dedication and commitment to apprentices, members & the training fund. The incredible legacy he left behind will continue to grow through the many programs he shaped and the apprentices he was devoted to. He will be deeply missed by everyone at the IKORCC.”
In his own words:
Everything we do is 100% attitude. When it comes to our future, you are all stakeholders in this organization. You have a direct impact on our success. So please keep that positive attitude, even in bad circumstances. It’s your turn to lead, we need you to step up. Where will you take this organization? It’s time to find out.” – Jerry Burke