For Local 301’s Korey Luttman, the things he learned in his apprenticeship weren’t just a way to make money, they were a metaphor for his life. He shared his inspiring story of courage and perseverance at the Indiana/Kentucky graduation in October.
“It’s important to build your life on a solid foundation and have structure to keep you stable. When all the weight of the world is on your shoulders, this will keep you firm and stable in your life,” Korey said.
Korey’s foundation was not solid. He was raised in a broken home with parents that suffered from drug addiction. He jumped from school to school, without guidance he was angry and eventually started using drugs and getting into trouble with the police. By the age of 20, he was in prison. “During this point in my life, I was so lost and confused. But I knew I wanted more for myself.”
When he was released from prison, he focused on that goal. He got his life together, married his best friend Lindsey, had a baby girl and started building a future. Despite the better direction, he struggled with supporting his family. His landscaping job had low pay and no benefits. Then, a friend introduced him to Gary Trout, an IKORCC business rep.
Korey was nervous on the way to his interview. “It’s hard to find a job when you’ve served time,” he said. Then, Gary told him what the union is about and that was, “not judging people from their past, but accepting who they are in the present”.
Shortly after Korey started his apprenticeship, but the stresses of having a new baby, attending school and working sent him down a bad path. “During the 2nd year of my apprenticeship, the cracks of my foundation started to show and I turned back to alcohol and drugs to help me cope. I was putting a band-aid on something that needed stitches,” he said.
Korey said it was at this time God intervened. He joined a church, found his true identity and truly started building his life on a solid foundation. In February, Korey will celebrate three years of sobriety. Today, he gives back to the community by helping people overcome their addictions and find meaning in their lives.
His graduation speech was truly moving. We encourage you to watch the full video below: