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First-Year Apprentices Learn Tricks of the Trade

  • lnix
  • 04 March 2019

Last weekend we invited first-year apprentices in central Indiana to an apprentice appreciation breakfast. IKORCC senior representative Steve Hoyt says it’s the first of many events planned around Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio aimed at retaining and mentoring apprentices throughout their training.

“First, we want the apprentices to learn as much as they can & try to get as many tips as they can to be successful in the carpenters union. The other is for our staff to help mentor these individuals,” Hoyt says.

Representatives from Pepper Construction, Gibson-Lewis and Mr. David’s Flooring answered questions & gave tips on succeeding as an apprentice.

“We’re looking for the standouts, those are the kind of people we like to hire and we like to keep on,” says Wes Simpson with Mr. David’s Flooring.

In addition to a great breakfast, apprentices say they learned a lot of valuable information that will help them succeed with the carpenters.

“The most important thing is to always show up on time for everything, whether it’s your schooling or work,” says first-year apprentice Christopher Hudson.

“Basically keep a positive attitude, show up for work and do what you got to do to succeed,” said first-year apprentice Antoine Havvard.

First-year apprentice Justin Eastman added, “The most important thing I learned today is how much support we have here and how many outlets we have to avoid a catastrophe with our apprenticeship. These people are here to help us, they have no ulterior motives, they don’t want to make our lives complicated, they just want to help. We aren’t here to make friends, but at the end of the day, we are brothers. Whatever you need help with reach out and make that phone call.”

 Click here to learn more about our apprenticeship and how you can start building your future. 

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IKORCC Graduates Largest Class in Ohio History

  • dbriggs
  • 06 February 2019

The Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC), an affiliate of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, announces the graduation ceremony of the Ohio JATC Graduation held on February 2, 2019, at the Columbus Convention Center. This was the largest graduating apprentice class of this program in Ohio’s history, graduating 285 members. Each year apprentices of the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center (JATC) graduate becoming journeymen and women. Apprentices spent four years learning carpentry or millwrighting while working in their chosen specialty. These highly skilled journeymen and women are representative of the education movement in our country. Their skills, work ethic and experience make our country strong through all tiers of society.

Singer, Bailey Andrews, opened the ceremony with “God Bless America” and “The Star Spangled Banner,” her voice beautifully proud to be honoring these graduates and our country. Vince Wright, Ohio JATC Director, played MC throughout the night first introducing Mark McGriff, IKORCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer, who congratulated graduates with inspiration for the next chapter in their careers.

Each graduation features a graduating apprentice speaker. This year, Ed Herrera, graduating apprentice of the Monroe JATC Campus, spoke to his fellow graduates moving them to continue to work hard and use the incredible skills the JATC taught them. His life as a carpenter started at the age of nine building chicken coops with his grandfather. Along his journey, he found the woman he would move to Ohio with and marry. Here, Ed received an opportunity to join the Union in September 2014. Within two years, he managed projects for his contractor. His dedication does not stop at the drywall. Ed took it upon himself to mentor his fellow apprentices. From carpentry to instructing, Ed is now an instructor at the Monroe, Ohio training campus.

Ed shared, “I was raised in a family where all we knew was hard work. I kept my nose to the grindstone and learned everything I possibly could about my field. When I began my third year of the apprenticeship, I learned that there was a lot more to being a Union Carpenter than just drywall. One of the things that made me the most proud was learning that this Union was formed for every carpenter. Being a part of this Brotherhood has helped me understand the meaning and feeling of solidarity. I am so proud to be able to teach, to mentor and to fill my calling every day.”

Patrick Reardon, CPM of ApprenticeOhio, addressed the graduates on the theme of collaboration, “The organization has dedicated and committed themselves to providing you with quality training and a career opportunity. Everyone that’s a part of this, it’s a collaborative effort.” He commended the graduates on the quality of training they received through the apprenticeship program noting that this is a top tier program in the world.   

Perhaps the most touching moment of the evening was the tradition of honoring our graduates who are a part of the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program within the apprenticeship. Anyone who has served for our country in the military is automatically accepted into the apprenticeship program upon applying. Dan Sustin, Director of the Richfield JATC and U.S. Army Ranger, remarks that,

“They’ve already proved that they’re reliable. You can’t survive in the military very long without being reliable. They’re fantastic students. The class of veterans that gravitate toward us through the Helmets to Hardhats program, we can’t get enough of them.”

Dan Sustin was proud to announce his fellow H2H brothers and sisters during their special recognition.



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Winter Is No Match for Our Union

  • dbriggs
  • 01 February 2019

Winter’s chill does not hamper the love and drive of our members, braving January’s below freezing temperatures all in the name of community giving. We are there for our community’s needs. Local 351 of Northwest Ohio built a temporary ramp to be used at the home of a terminally ill union brother. In fact, several unions came together to make this happen: Roofers, Sheet Metal and of course, Carpenters.

Thirteen volunteers gave a couple of evenings and a Saturday to complete the ramp that took 14 hours from dream to complete. They spent eight hours fabricating the ramp inside at the Rossford Training Center. The cost for materials was $1,700 that is of no consequence to the recipient. Everything is 100 percent donated by the Carpenters.

Projects like this prove that none of us are an island. There are always helping hands from every direction. Days are brightened and lives made easier when our proud union trades come together with a common goal.

MACs like Local 351 give shirts for each time you volunteer. If you volunteer 10 times you receive a Local 351 jacket. If you would like to volunteer with a MAC please contact your Local office.

Louisville Carpenters Help Homeless Vet

  • lnix
  • 28 January 2019

Yesterday, the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) Membership Action Committee of Carpenters Local 175 Louisville, KY hung drywall in a home slated to be donated to a homeless veteran.  

The project is a part of Operation Victory, affiliated with the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. IKORCC contractors and suppliers graciously donated the drywall, screws, mud, tape, misc supplies, and even the finishing to make the project a success. Over a dozen members and their families came out to volunteer their time, knowledge and tools to help give this veteran a safe place and a fresh start.

"Our local has a lot of veterans and Helmets to Hardhats members. They put their lives on the line to protect us while serving, they should have a place to sleep when they get back home. It's why our local is a proud partner in remodeling this home," says Local 175 member Noah Grimes.

Operation Victory is a coalition of Greater Louisville Area Unions, Non-Profit/Community Organizations, and Local Area Businesses joined together to rehabilitate vacant and abandoned homes for Homeless Veterans. Veteran homelessness is an issue which is important to the IKORCC. The Operation Victory coalition plans to help at least four more homeless veterans this year.

Special thanks to Tony Dobson, Shea Dobson, Ron Gibson, Andrew Kayla Faulkner, Robert Johnson, Kelly Davis, Gleen Koenig, Stephen Sites, Ben Ganote, Ben's son Angelo Moore, Mike Blevins, Thomas Hacker, Quality Interiors, L&W Supply Louisville, and Intex Systems.


Proud of Our Retirees

  • dbriggs
  • 24 January 2019

When people think about retirement, many have dreams of the beach, a cabin, or reading by the fire. It is a moment when your career transitions and it is time to think about a new chapter into something completely unknown. It can be scary or exhilarating and a just a big ball of confusion.

However, when you spend your career in the Union, you have a different experience. Being a Union member is about more than the hours you put in to gather a paycheck at the end of the week. We are a family. For many of us in the Union that actually translates to your biological family members working with you and knowing the same experiences you have. This is a rare idea on the large-scale working world. Our Union is proud of that fact that so many of our members can say, “Yeah, I’m a second, third, or even fourth generation carpenter.” It is a story told time and time, again. Each story is heartfelt, told with an immense sense of pride.

Recently, Gregg Metz offered a bit of his story. His dad, Bill Metz, is celebrating his 50th year as a Union member. Bill is now retired and completed his career with the Union as a Business Representative. His son, Gregg, followed in his dad’s footsteps and is now a Business Representative out of the Monroe, Ohio office. Between them, they have served 78 years in the Union. Gregg had the honor of personally presenting his dad with a 50-year member card. So whether you are at the beginning of your career in the Union or have concluded your years of service, know that we are all one body united as a family.

If you are or know a retiree and would like to share your story, please contact the IKORCC Marketing Team at

Local 357 Builds Home for Paducah Neighbor

  • lnix
  • 14 January 2019

Volunteers Form Carpenters Local 357 are leading the way in volunteering to help build a Habitat for Humanity home for Paducah resident Tineka Bard Zarlunga. 

Retired member Bobby Miller is serving as construction superintendent over the project and is tasked with coordination of daily work on the house, as well as using it as a teaching opportunity to show local trade school students how a house is planned and built from beginning to completion.

Several members of Local 357 have volunteered to see this project progress and will continue to volunteer their skills and time to ensure that it is completed. 

Special thanks to members Brad Downs, Tom Blevins, Chad Helm, Jacob Barrett, Bobby Miller, Todd Miller, Matt Hall, Ricky Freeman, Richard Blevins, Ronnie Cavanagh, and Jacob Rambeau for their help in building their communities.


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Carpenters Bring Smiles to Louisville Ronald McDonald House

  • lnix
  • 14 January 2019

Brenna & Jacob - they're just two of the reasons Louisville carpenters volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House of Louisville last week. Carpenters helped patients and families take a much-needed break from the hospital to build keepsake toolboxes. It's a simple thing that makes a big difference to families.

The Louisville event is one of many "Carpenters Caring for Kids" events at area Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio Ronald McDonald Houses. It's just one of the ways our carpenters, millwrights and floorcoverers are building their communities. 

With the help of volunteers, kids at the Ronald McDonald house put together and colored toolboxes where they can store toys, trinkets, and hope - a crucial tool in battling whatever ails them. For many of these families, events like this are some of the only cheerful moments they get to share with each other.

The Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters is proud to partner with the Ronald McDonald House to build toolboxes and memories. 

Pinewood Derby Cut-Outs

  • dbriggs
  • 08 January 2019

IKORCC has a rich history and practice of community involvement, especially with the Boy Scouts of America. Both the Rossford and Richfield training centers took to the shop to guide local troops in their builds of Pinewood Derby cars. Volunteers helped Scouts by making a cut on their blocks of wood that will ultimately be a race car for their Pinewood Derby. Our members used their expertise in carpentry along with Boy Scout volunteers who assisted the young scouts in completing this task.

The Pinewood Derby is an annual wooden car racing competition conducted by the Boy Scouts of America and takes to the National stage. This tradition has celebrated over 65 years of success with very detailed specifications for participation. The first derby was held at Manhattan Beach, California in 1953, a competition developed by the local Scout Master.

Every year since, Boy Scouts all across America spend hours learning about the competition’s history, designing their pinewood derby cars, testing those cars and racing down a ramp of 42 feet. The competition is about more than just the speed of a particular car. There are several categories in which the boys can gain recognition like: most realistic and most futuristic. The accomplishment of designing a car and seeing it come to fruition is a triumph in its own.

“I feel that Scouting introduces important elements of life in a simple fashion that appeals to the mind of a young person.  And it is nostalgic for us as carpenters when we get to share this experience with the scouts and their families. It goes far beyond volunteerism, but giving back to the community is ultimately a part of what we do.  So this annual event is becoming quite the favorite among our volunteers.   There is nothing like seeing the smiles and hearing the ambitions of the scouts. It was truly rewarding!” – Kevin Fuller, IKORCC Business Representative

Click here to learn more about the Pinewood Derby or to plan a derby event.


Kids Caring for the Community Partnership

  • mkeller
  • 21 December 2018

Because of their great work in the community, three elementary schools received extra funding through an award from the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters. Seven years ago the IKORCC began partnering with local elementary schools to promote community involvement and giving back to their hometowns.

The partnership with the Carpenters Union incentivizes elementary students to be involved in their communities by offering an award of $500 dollars to one school in each of the participating counties. Each quarter the schools enter into a drawing based on their project in hopes to win the award and recognition of their community project! The Kids Caring for the Community Initiative has grown to be a highlight at many elementary schools within Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties.

This week Carpenters Union Representatives, along with Sara Gutierrez, Principal of George Earle Elementary, presented this quarter’s awards. The winning schools include Westville Elementary, Homer Iddings Elementary and Porter Lakes Elementary School.

Homer Iddings Elementary School dedicated their community project to collect resources for their local Humane Society. The students brought in paper towels to donate to the center. Principal Teri Crussen says, “The Kids caring for the Community initiative brings the students at Iddings Elementary School great pride. The students love to bring a smile to someone else through the various community projects. We often get thank you cards from the organizations who have been helped through the projects and we share those with the students and families. Showing kindness to others is always a good thing and the students love having the opportunities to offer assistance and support the community organizations”.

Westville Elementary School is no rookie to community involvement. The school has been recognized in the past for their impact in the community and because of that, raised enough money to build a STEM classroom at their school. The STEM classroom gives students the opportunity to practice creativity, problem solving and life skills. The school received the $500 award this quarter because of an afterschool program called Girls on the Run. The students participated, raised money and made a meaningful contribution back to their community.

Cub Scouts Work Toward Merit Badge

  • dbriggs
  • 20 December 2018

In a continuing effort to foster relationships with the community, our Ashland Hub invited Cub Scout Pack 163 to build hefty toolboxes on December 18. Skill building in the trades can start at any age. Both the IKORCC and Boy Scouts of America stand by this creed.

The night started with a brief video and, of course, pizza. Scouts were encouraged to ask questions about what carpenters and millwrights do, and they did not hold back. You never know what questions you will get from kids when the floor is open. Our guys were almost stumped on a couple of queries. The scouts were as entertaining as they were entertained.

The Pack shuffled over to the training center where building stations were set.  Apprentices from the Ashland training facility cut out pieces and assembled toolbox kits ready for the kids to build. With instruction, the kids picked up hammers, nails and pounded their way to victoriously building a toolbox.

Each scout successfully completed their build and walked away with a toolbox, credits toward a woodworking merit badge and pride knowing they built something to use.

Interested in becoming a Scout? Click here to learn more about the Boy Scouts of America.