They haven’t officially cut the ribbon opening the new Merrillville training facility and already the IKORCC’s state-of-the-art building is winning awards.
Wednesday the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters earned the prestigious “Commercial Project of the Year Award” from the Construction Advancement Fund (CAF) for the new administration and training facility in Merrillville.
The buildings, which are located at 1560 E. 70th Court in Merrillville, were built by Hasse Construction with the help of union carpenters.
The CAF hosts an annual award ceremony in partnership with the Northwest Indiana Building Roundtable (NWIBRT) to recognize excellence in construction and safety.
The IKORCC Merrillville project was recognized for being completed on schedule, within budget, with minimal disruption to the operation, all while upholding the highest commitment to safety.
The IKORCC administration building is 13,000 square feet and the training center is an impressive 64,000 square feet. The training center will help thousands of people build their careers in the industry. Carpenters, floor coverers, and millwrights will receive the latest skill & safety training thanks to the new facility.
To learn more about the Merrillville Training Center, or to build a career in carpentry click here.
Last month, IKORCC members created a team to participate in the 3rd Annual Habitat for Humanity Nail It Competition of Southeast Ohio. The Nail It Competition is a nail-biting race to see what team can drive nails the fastest. Each team member must drive two nails into a piece of wood relay style. Our fast and hardworking IKORCC team finished first place with a time of 23 seconds!
Local 356 in Marietta, Ohio was represented by Brent Hensley (Journeyman) and Tyler Welch (Apprentice). Local 650 in Pomeroy, Ohio was represented by Kill Wells (Journeyman) and Luke Fackler (Apprentice). The team was funded by donations of their locals, collecting a total of $1,000! The event raised a total of $7,000 dollars between all 25 teams. The money collected from the teams goes to support Habitat for Athens County and the work they do in the community.
Indiana isn’t immune to the skilled worker shortage sweeping America, a fact that one flooring company learned the hard way. Hochstedler Floorcovering in Kokomo hopes to solve that problem by partnering with the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters.
“There’s a real shortage of flooring installers out there that really want to learn the trade,” Greg Hochstedler says. “We believe partnering with the carpenters will help get us trained flooring installers - that’s hard to find nowadays.”
Carmella Hochstedler, who runs the business alongside her brother & father, says they’ve been looking for a way to get new installers as many of their longtime employees are getting close to retirement.
“We really needed a better way to train the next generation,” she says. Adding, “We’ve used subs in the past, but it’s hard to get guys to stay due to the nature of the work.”
Carmella hopes partnering with the carpenters and their highly trained members will help grow the family business. “It will open doors we haven’t been able to on our own,” she says.
Hochstedler opened in its doors in 1998 after Greg and his father wanted to run a flooring company, instead of working as installers as they had since the early 1980s. The company has been family owned and operated since its inception.
Today there are three generations of Hochstedlers working at the company, although it’s not uncommon to see the next generation in the store learning the trade.
Hochstedler Floorcovering sells and installs vinyl, laminate, hardwood, ceramic, carpet and many more types of flooring. Currently, their wait time for installation is about three weeks, but with an influx of skilled floor coverers from the carpenters they can now service commercial clients much faster.
Hochstedler Floorcovering serves Kokomo, Logansport, Marion, Peru, Tipton, Westfield and portions of Carmel.
To learn more about the IKORCC’s floorcovering training click here.
The event brought Kentucky carpenters together to educate visitors on becoming a Union Carpenter and the future opportunities in the field. Thunder Over Louisville brought thousands of spectators to the Kentucky and Indiana shorelines.
Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters EST Mark McGriff was proud to help cut the ribbon, kicking off the annual Derby Festival. The IKORCC sponsored The Grove for the week of festivities. The Grove has been a gathering spot for visitors of the Derby Festival. The space is lined with picnic tables made by Apprentices from Carpenters Local 175. It was a volunteer opportunity and their time was greatly appreciated!
Dan Sustin, Training Coordinator in Richfield, Ohio made IKORCC metal plaques for each of the picnic tables. The tables were a great addition to the space this year and we hope to see them in the many years to come!
In 1956 the festival started with one small event on the river, today the schedule is packed with nightly events and multiple local vendors. We were thrilled to be able to support the event and look forward to many other community events in the coming year.
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.
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.
All competitors won regional drag races in order to advance to the Midwest finals. The participants all did amazing, but only one in each category advanced to the championships at the Carpenter's International Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada later this year.
Joshua Landis from the St. Louis-Kansas City Regional Council won first place in the flooring contest. The IKORCC’s Noel Johnson also had a great showing in the flooring competition.
Thanks to all who participated in the UBC Midwest Drywall & Flooring Olympics at the IKORCC!
Our members have been out and about making noise in Lordstown, Ohio! The Lordstown Energy Center (LEC) is a 940MW combined-cycle power plant. LEC is a 1-billion-dollar project that began in June 2016 and has an estimated completion date of mid-2018. The LEC project has produced over 1 million man hours 100% UNION building trades members. The carpenters have an important role within the project; building scaffold for all crafts safely and in a timely manner. The men and women of the UBC have the training and the determination to get the job done.
On the project are a group of carpenters that call themselves, “THE BULLRIDERS” of Vertical Access (Nate Tice 186, Mark Wells 171, Brandon Ates 186, Lucas McDowell 186, Levi Snodgrass 186 and Mike Schwartzmiller 186). Mark Wells from Local 171 commented on the history of the scaffold pictured below, "The Bull Riders crew battled cold weather combined with strong winds and heavy snowfall to get the job done. It was a challenge that they had seen before. We knew that safety and experience were the two key factors in getting this scaffold built." The scaffold is 110 feet tall with 15 working deck levels. The load took 7 semi-truck loads of various scaffold components, including Beta Hoists to build. Mark said, "that's why they call us the BULLRIDERS, because we are professionals that get in and get the job done and then we're off to the next rodeo to do it again"!
By: Justin Rance, Youngstown
Dan Sivertson, member of Millwrights & Pile Drivers 1090, and his family have a special reason they celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. He and his wife found out their daughter would be born with Down Syndrome 13 years ago. The two quickly made a connection with the local organization, The Up Side of Downs. The organization helped by providing them with support in learning about Down Syndrome and with books to guide them through the diagnosis.
The Up Side of Downs truly made an impact in their lives and they are forever grateful for the support. Their daughter Eve is now 13 years old thriving in the 7th grade. Eve is just like any other teenage girl and loves the time she spends with her friends!
In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, the IKORCC would like to shine a light on an organization we take pride in supporting. The IKORCC was fortunate to be a Presenting Sponsor for The Up Side of Downs Gala/Raffle event on Saturday, March 10th for the fifth year in a row.
Between Carpenters Locals 373, 435 and Millwrights and Pile Drivers Local 1090 we have donated over $50,000 to the organization to help raise awareness and advocate for people with Down Syndrome. Over 570 people attended the Up Side of Downs Gala, 120 of them were IKORCC members.
“I can’t thank my fellow Brothers and Sisters of these Locals for their generous support and donations,” Dan Sivertson says.
If you interested in supporting the cause, there is a Buddy Walk on August 25th. Last year there were over 5,000 plus attendees at the event. Dan Sivertson in a leader of the beli-EVE N US Team and typically has around 75-100 family and friends walk together for the cause.
In March, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett visited the IKORCC to discuss the growing issue of tax fraud and the effects it has on responsible contractors, the city, and taxpayers.
Tax fraud occurs when companies misclassify workers who should be employees in order to avoid paying their fair share of unemployment insurance and federal, state and local taxes. Companies that commit tax fraud are often able to give lower bids on projects since they aren’t paying their share of taxes – a practice which makes it difficult for responsible contractors to compete fairly.
“Everybody ought to have the right to compete fairly,” Mayor Hogsett said while addressing contractors. “I want to be clear – what the city seeks to do is not to pick winners and losers. Our job is to make sure everyone is operating on a level playing field,” Hogsett added.
Mayor Hogsett also acknowledged that the IKORCC has been at the forefront of the battle against tax fraud. “The carpenters have really taken a leadership role in this regard,” he said.
In response to the growing tax fraud problem in the construction industry, Mayor Hogsett says he put together a working group to explore the ordinances in place within the city and the means of enforcing these policies. “The ordinance is a bit vague in the enforcement area,” he said, adding that he hopes to have an enforcement officer in place in the future to cut down on tax fraud.
The IKORCC has seen an increase in the prevalence of tax fraud in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio and hopes to work with Mayor Hogsett and the working group to help curtail the issue.