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Local 351 Builds Wheelchair Ramp for Local Family

  • admin
  • 24 September 2015

Earlier this month, Local 351 Member Action Committee (MAC) of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) volunteered time and skills to build a wheelchair ramp for a local family in need.

Lois Aay, a retired secretary of Local 50, Plumbers and Pipefiitters, needed a ramp for her husband Willy who lost his leg as a result of diabetes. Without a ramp attached to their home, Lois was left hauling snowmobile ramps to their front door any time Willy had to go somewhere. It was extremely tough for Lois to move the ramps to and from their front door, and the Local 351 MAC was eager to help the family.

Local 351 MAC worked closely with the Aays to design and draw blueprints of the ramp, and eight total members volunteered an entire day to build a wheelchair ramp for easy access in and out of the house. In addition, the carpenters built a deck area for Willy to be able to go outside and enjoy the sun and fresh air.

"When we found out that Willy and Lois needed a ramp at their house, we didn't hesitate to offer a helping hand," said Dan Morey of the IKORCC. "On the day of the project, the weather wasn't on our side, but our MAC members pushed through the steady rain to complete the ramp. We knew Willy had an upcoming doctors appointment, and we didn't want Lois to have to use heavy snowmobile ramps again. We are really happy to have made a difference in their lives."

"Willy and I would like to give a standing ovation to Local 351 for coming to our home and building a wonderful and useful ramp and deck," commented Lois Aays. "Being only 4'11", it has helped me so much with getting Willy to doctor appointments by myself. The volunteers were amazing, and they were a true union - wonderful volunteers and dedicated men who will never be forgotten by our family."

Local 351 MAC members who worked on the project include Luciana Briones, Rodney Dean, Lee Daher, Dan Morey, Jim Powers, Mike Sager, Anthony Santellana and Dave Schertz.

For more information, please contact Dan Morey at dmorey@ikorcc.com.

Local 200 Participates in Pickerington Labor Day Parade

  • admin
  • 22 September 2015

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - On Labor Day, Carpenters Local 200 of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) participated in the 67th annual Pickerington Labor Day Parade, sponsored by the Pickerington Lions Club, for the second consecutive year.

Representing Local 200, 25 total members, apprentices, retirees, family members and friends handed out candy and frisbees at the parade. Participants in the parade included Troy Woodyard, Kevin McConahan, Nate Hall, Doug Soma, Nate Davis, Mike Mask, Mark Moen, Debbie Ziaden, Mike Freeman, James Van New Kirk, and spouses, daughters and grandchildren of Local 200.

"This is our second time participating in the parade, and we foresee this as an annual tradition for Local 200 and our families," commented Mike Freeman, IKORCC Representative. "We love having the chance to show our support for our community, especially on Labor Day, while representing everything the IKORCC stands for: fair jobs with fair benefits, a living wage that can support our families, a safe and secure work environment, supporting our communities and producing the highest quality and maintaining the highest standards of work in everything we do."

Following the parade, the Lions Club held its annual fish fry with all proceeds going to optical research and blindness prevention. "The money we raise through our parade and fish fry stays local," commented Cherie Koch, Pickerington Labor Day Parade Chair of 15 years. "Having the Carpenters in the parade helped us draw in more spectators, which ultimately generated more money we can put to good use in our community."

The Pickerington Labor Day Parade is one of the largest spectated parades in Central Ohio. This year marked the city's 200 year anniversary.

For more information, please contact Mike Freeman at mfreeman@ikorcc.com.

Carpenters Offer Volunteer Service for Historic Trolley Station

  • admin
  • 17 September 2015

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Garfield Park in Indianapolis is home to the last standing wood trolley station in the state of Indiana. Constructed in the early 1900s, the century-old trolley station was in need of structural improvements, and Local 301 Member Action Committee (MAC) members of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) eagerly agreed to help.

This project was an all-hands-on-deck collaboration funded by a Historic Preservation Fund 50/50 match grant. However, the grant did not cover all expenses, and volunteers were needed.

Steve Hoyt, Rick Russell Brian Duncan and Marco Martinez from Local 301 MAC, .300 Hitters Chad Capps and Chris Vantreese and four apprentices volunteered for five days, totaling 80 work hours, to install wood shakes on the structure that were donated by Formation Roofing in Indy. Additionally, Indy Parks painted the historic structure and will be pouring the concrete slab.

While working on the project, Local 301 MAC also discussed the importance of the quality of wood, craftsmanship and the Carpenter's contribution to the building of the United States through history. "We take a very active role in giving back to our community, and we do all we can to help preserve the history and integrity of our city and country," commented Steve Hoyt of the IKORCC. "The IKORCC dates back to 1881, and we feel it's our duty - even as we make huge strides in technology and our carpentry capabilities - to direct special attention to the structures that continue to teach and remind us of our nation's history."

Partners in the rehab project included the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology, Indianapolis Parks Foundation, Indy Parks, Friends of Garfield Park, Indiana Landmarks, Efroymson Family Fund, Owings Foundation and Indiana Trails Fund.

For more information, please contact Steve Hoyt at shoyt@ikorcc.com.

 

 

Carpenter’s Union Training Facility Offers Hands-On Apprenticeship Program

  • admin
  • 17 September 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Gaining access to an affordable education and a hands-on, in-the-field apprenticeship have been made possible through the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) Training Center in Louisville.

Out of the approximate 35,000 IKORCC members throughout the three-state span, 5,000 millwrights, carpenters and floor coverers live and work in Kentucky, and the Louisville Training Center is home to nearly 500 apprentices working in the field.

The 100,000 square foot training center - recently visited by elected Kentucky representatives and senators on a tour that was led by instructor Hope Harp - offers a four-year apprenticeship program where students spend a minimal amount of time in the classroom - they are required to attend week-long classes four times per year - and a bulk of their time being trained and mentored by experienced journeypersons on job sites. While on the job, students are compensated for their work.

Out-of-pocket expenses for the students are also kept to a minimum, averaging about $100 annually for text books.

Apprentices in carpentry, millwright work and floor covering who complete the four-year program graduate with an associate's degree in Applied Science from Ivy Tech State College, an education valued around $17,000, and hit the ground running with a career as a journeyman.

Graduates can further their education by pursuing a bachelor's degree through an established educational facility with an apprenticeship program. Other graduates have obtained high-level and advanced manufacturing positions at Fortune 500 companies, including Ford and GE.

"Apprentices are the future of our industry, and it's so important they have access to the right resources and education," commented Richard Fouts, Senior Manager of the IKORCC. "The Louisville Training Center apprenticeship program is a one-of-a-kind program that offers students an invaluable experience that couldn't be taught in the classroom. We're starting to notice a deficit in the workforce due to older generation retiring or leaving, and projects that used to take 12 weeks are taking 20 weeks to complete. That's why it's so important to educate the younger generation and provide them with the tools necessary to succeed."

Individuals seeking to become an apprentice through the Louisville Training Center program are required to have a high school diploma or GED and must pass a written exam distributed by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and interview at the training facility. For direct access into the program, veterans can go through the Helmets to Hardhats program. The Training Center also recruits through various minority organizations, including the Bridges to Opportunities Workforce Training Program, the Youthbuild Louisville Program, Job Corps and SkillsUSA Kentucky.

The training center also offers continuing education for current IKORCC members seeking to improve skills and abilities.

For more information, please contact the IKORCC Louisville Campus, 1245 Durrett Lane, 502.375.8667, email info@ikorcc.com or visit www.IKORCC.com.

Local 351 Participates in Labor Day Festivities

  • admin
  • 14 September 2015

TOLEDO, Ohio – To celebrate Labor Day, Carpenters Local 351 of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) participated in Toledo's annual Labor Day parade and Laborfest.

Held in downtown Toledo, the two-hour parade kicked off at 9am. Before the parade, Local 351 members met at KeyBank to volunteer their services to build the parade reviewing stand scaffolding used by politicians and dignitaries to view the parade as the Grand Marshall announces the participating unions. This year's parade theme was "Built to Last/Made in America," and all local unions in the parade wore matching shirts to show unity and solidarity.

Following the parade, Local 351 joined with other local unions at the Laborfest picnic held at the Lucas County Fairgrounds. Attendees enjoyed games, food and a classic car show, and Local 351 placed second in the tug-of-war contest. Proceeds from the Laborfest were directed toward Special Olympics, and $10,000 was donated to the organization.

"We love participating in the parade each year, and we always look forward to spending time with our families and other local unions at Laborfest," commented Dan Morey of the IKORCC. "The Laborfest committee designates donations to a different nonprofit each year, and this year, the committee chose Special Olympics. This was especially meaningful to one of our members whose child participates in Special Olympics, and we are happy to support such an amazing charity!"

For more information, please contact Dan Morey at dmorey@ikorcc.com.

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More Events, More People Give Georgia Street New Life

  • admin
  • 12 September 2015

Source: IBJ.com

Anyone who witnessed the recently concluded USA Gymnastics confab got to see Georgia Street, a three-block pedestrian promenade constructed in 2012 for the Super Bowl, in all its glory.

On the west end, USA Gymnastics held its National Congress and Trade Show in the Indiana Convention Center. And on the eastern edge, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the 2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships took place.

Georgia Street, a foot-friendly link between the venues, filled with fans and conventioneers doing everything from dining at food trucks to listening to Brazilian music in the Countdown to Rio activity zone. It was a textbook example of the amenity's being used to maximum effect.

It was also something of a rarity.

Georgia Street numbersGeorgia Street—rather, the section between the convention center and the fieldhouse—was conceived, somewhat hastily, as a way to create an eye-catching Super Bowl pedestrian zone in 2012. In that capacity, the $12.5 million, Ratio Architects-designed project succeeded brilliantly.

The challenge since, however, has been to find a sustainable role for the venue, one in which it only occasionally hosts three-block-long mega-bashes.

"I think, originally, people thought there'd be these kinds of Super Bowl-esque experiences year-round," said Bob Schultz, senior vice president of marketing, communications and events for Downtown Indy, which manages the venue. "Well, that's unrealistic. What's become more realistic is to develop individual block experiences that are in tune with the personality of each block."

The good news is that Georgia Street foot traffic is steadily rising. Downtown Indy counted 57 events and 143,377 attendees in 2013. In 2014, that rose to 114 and 214,726. Through August of this year, Georgia Street saw 84 events and 223,374 attendees.

Brett Voorhies bought into the concept early on. While president of the Central Indiana Labor Council, he switched the union's primary Labor Day weekend event in 2012 from a parade to a festival—and located it on Georgia Street.

"We were the largest nonprofit event—next to the Super Bowl Village—the first year we had Labor Fest," said Voorhies, who is now president of the Indiana AFL-CIO.

On Sept. 5, the council hosted its fourth annual Labor Fest, a free event featuring live music, food and a kids' zone. Voorhies was there and lamented there aren't more events like it on Georgia Street.

"We love using it," he said. "Our members built it, and we think there should be a lot more events going on here. It gives Indianapolis a name."

Labor Fest took up the entire, three-block length of the Georgia Street corridor. But most events do not.

The area that sees the most activity is the West Block, which sits next to the convention center at South Capitol Avenue. The Center Block is bracketed by South Illinois and South Meridian streets, while the East Block is bordered by South Meridian and South Pennsylvania streets, butting up to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. On non-event days, vehicular through-traffic is confined to two smallish lanes. During events, the lanes are often closed and the "boardwalk" between them used to accommodate anything from tents to seating to food service.

Chris Gahl, vice president of Visit Indy, said the space can be a formidable selling point with convention planners.

"It's extremely unique to have the front door of your convention center step onto an outdoor space that can be closed to vehicular traffic and has built-in sound, built-in lights and staging, and turnkey event capabilities," Gahl said.

Not that there aren't problems—problems that didn't surface until after the Super Bowl. One of the biggest is the fact that this "pedestrian" area is almost never traffic-free. Unless downtown is hosting a truly epic event, the cross streets—Meridian, Illinois and Pennsylvania—are not closed. And in the Center Block, a Circle Centre mall garage entrance pretty much always stays open.

"We can't completely close the north lane because of the exit of the mall," Schultz said. "The event has to activate on just the boardwalk and the south lane."

Traffic is just as tricky on the East Block, where Harness Factory Lofts residents and those of another residential building must enter and exit via Georgia Street's north lane. On rare instances, such as the street's New Year's Eve celebration, residents are assigned temporary parking spots elsewhere. On other occasions, officers policing events might escort neighborhood residents through the festivities to their garage.

Often, even the biggest conventions require only the popular West Block space. Gen Con, the city's largest gathering, fills it with food trucks.

About half of all West Block events are convention-related. Other uses include Indianapolis Colts tailgate parties, Food Truck Fridays and Workout Wednesdays.

"Originally, this three-block street was seen as a complete events venue for the Super Bowl," Downtown Indy's Schultz said. "What we did when we started managing it post-Super Bowl is to look at the unique characteristics of each, individual block."

Those characteristics include a lot of quirks. For instance, since the West Block is free of brick-and-mortar eateries (except for Mikado Japanese Restaurant), it's the only one that welcomes food trucks. And since fewer businesses on this block have entrances onto Georgia Street, traffic concerns and blowback from road closures aren't as thorny.

But one of the block's major tenants is St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, which has occupied 126 W. Georgia St., at Capitol Avenue, since 1871. It's right on top of whatever shenanigans this most popular block might be employed for, from street parties to concerts.

Schultz said Downtown Indy meets with church officials weekly to iron out logistics, including what to do about weddings that take place during Georgia Street events. Once, a local tabloid staged a "Best of Indy" party that included a burlesque troupe in its lineup. Complaints from St. John got the event moved down the street to East Block.

"And if there's a big party out there that has thumping bass music, we do our best to either relocate the stage so it's not near the church, or at least have them power down the bass during services or a wedding," Schultz said.

The Center Block's chief tenants include the Omni Severin Hotel. This section of the street has lots of trees, which makes it less than ideal for concerts, or events requiring large tents. As a result, Center Block events tend to be smaller.

One of the block's other stakeholders is the restaurant Harry & Izzy's. Bryn Jones, director of marketing for both Harry & Izzy's and St. Elmo Steak House, sees the pedestrian promenade as a plus. So much so that he even tolerates its most problematic event, Food Truck Fridays, in which dozens of food trucks line up during lunchtime.

"I think if it's pulling people downtown, I don't think it has a huge negative impact on our business," Jones said. "It certainly isn't helping, but if it gets people excited about being downtown, that's a good thing."

Since only the biggest events make it all the way down to East Block, the collection of bars that resides there sometimes "make their own fun" by renting boardwalk space from Downtown Indy.

"We really don't have a lot of events down here," said Kilroy's Bar & Grill General Manager Jade Abel. "And a lot of the events we have, we throw ourselves. We're able to rent out our section of the street and pretty much have free rein to do what we want."

Downtown Indy-sponsored East Block functions include the Saint Patrick's Day Blarney Bash and New Year's Eve festivities. During the 2015 Final Four, Kilroy's and other bars pooled their resources to rent the block themselves. But even if an event doesn't reach quite to their neck of the woods—or if it doesn't appeal to the alcohol and chicken wings crowd—Abel isn't complaining.

"If it's, say, a kid-friendly thing, it will sometimes just be a wash," she said. "But most of the time, the extra foot traffic is going to help us out."

In a perfect (and better-financed) world, the mall garage entrance on Center Block would be replaced with a pedestrian entrance. Likewise, the garage entrances on East Block would be moved.

"You look at other cities that have entertainment districts like this, and what makes them successful is the ability to be completely pedestrian at times," Schultz said.

Other blue-sky improvements would include adding second-floor balconies overlooking the street so diners could eat while watching the festivities. Or covering a portion of the thoroughfare, as was done for Louisville's Fourth Street Live.

Unfortunately, all of this costs millions—which Downtown Indy doesn't have to spare. The block rental revenue it uses to maintain Georgia Street's boardwalk and public amenities (the city handles road maintenance) wouldn't make a dent in such projects. There's not even cash to correct relatively smaller shortcomings, such as a lack of signage to identify Georgia Street to the casual observer as anything other than an oddly designed city thoroughfare.

Still, Schultz said, all things considered, the street has done quite well.

"I would argue that it's become a much bigger deal than anyone thought it would be," he said. "We have found a way to balance all of this and still find more and more events that we can bring in. Will that continue? Yes. We have to keep it clean, safe and beautiful. ... But I think its best days are yet to come."•

Prevailing Wage Protects Kentucky's Taxpayers

  • bsmith
  • 05 May 2015

Construction workers in Kentucky contribute $20 million to state and local taxes. This allows policy makers to balance budgets and fund infrastructure and public safety without raising taxes on everyone else. 

However, workers NOT paid prevailing wage are eligible for up to $8,000 in public assistance, which costs taxpayers for additional reliance on cash assistance, food stamps and unpaid visits to the emergency room. Taxpayers don't save without prevailing wage, they SUBSIDIZE low-wage jobs. 

Prevailing wage is the wage paid to skilled construction workers on publicly funded projects estimated to cost more than $250,000. The wages are set by Kentucky's Labor Cabinet based on what construction workers in the area make on private sector projects. This forces big government to abide by local private sector economies.

[i]  Kentucky's Prevailing Wage Law, an Economic Impact Analysis, Peter Philips, Ph.D., 2014.
[ii]  Economic Policy Brief, Working Partnerships USA, 2011.

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Prevailing Wage Drives Kentucky's Economic Development

  • bsmith
  • 03 December 2014

Every dollar spent on a prevailing wage project generates $1.50 in economic activity - that's money spent at local businesses such as restaurants, shops and grocery stores - spurring additional job creation that keeps local businesses and economies strong.

In fact, the economic activity generated by prevailing wage projects supports 2,643 non-construction jobs in Kentucky!

Prevailing wage is the wage paid to skilled construction workers on publicly funded projects estimated to cost more than $250,000. The wages are set by Kentucky's Labor Cabinet based on what construction workers in the area make on private sector projects. This forces big government to abide by local private sector economies.

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