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Carpenters Union Builds Santa’s Sleigh for Holiday Parade

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  • 03 November 2015

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Earlier this month, Carpenters from the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) Local 435 Member Action Committee (MAC) volunteered to build Santa’s sleigh for the Light Up Lorain Waterfront Winterfest parade.

To kick off the Christmas season, Light Up Lorain Waterfront Winterfest is an annual two- day celebration held in Lorain that includes a lighting ceremony at Veterans Park, visits with Santa at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen and an annual parade on Broadway and West Erie Avenue. This year, the celebration will be held on Nov. 28 and 29.

Director of the Lorain Port Authority Stephen W. Bansek was thrilled to accept the donation of the Santa sleigh that was designed, constructed and painted by the Carpenters Union. “We could not be happier for their help. Our community looks forward to the fest every year. We are thankful for all who made this possible, specifically Local 435 carpenters, John Muriello and Loren Haskins.”

Upon completion of the sleigh, Santa and Mrs. Claus visited Muriello and Haskins to inspect their work. Luckily, they passed with flying colors and were told the craftsmanship and kind heartedness of the IKORCC volunteers should make carpenters proud from all over. All four sides of the sleigh will proudly display an IKORCC “carpenters making a difference” sign.

IKORCC Representative Kevin Ennis said, “Having the opportunity to give back to the community and knowing how excited the kids will be to see Santa on his sleigh will make this year’s parade even more special to us.”

For more information, please contact Kevin Ennis


Local Carpenters Reroof House for Family in Need

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  • 28 October 2015

PARMA, Ohio - This past summer, members of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) from Locals 435 and 373 donated their time to help a local family with necessary home repairs. 

When the McCarthy family reached out to the carpenters union, Locals 435 & 373 didn't hesitate to volunteer. The McCarthys have four children, one of them was born with Cerebral Palsy. With mounting medical bills, the loss of Mr. McCarthy’s job, and round the clock care needed for their son, the family was unable to pay for a new roof for their home.

Materials were generously donated by local contractors, and the labor was provided by a collaborative effort between Cleveland Building Trades and Carpenters Locals 435 and 373.

Kevin Ennis, Dustin Basmagy, James Gamier, Jeremy Kuhar and Megan Walkowisk of Local 435 joined Kyle Smith, Eric Dunn, John Mills of Local 373 for the project. Jack Petsche from USA Roofing was the contractor on the project.  

For more information, please contact Kevin Ennis




Local Carpenters Volunteer in Home Construction for Wounded Soldier

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  • 20 October 2015

ANDERSON, Ind. - Over the past year, Homes for Hoosier Heroes and various local trades, including carpenters, millwrights and floor coverers of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) have been working on building a handicap- accessible home for former Army infantryman Timothy Frank Senkowski.

Senkowski was severely injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of both of his legs.

Last month, Tim Thieme of Floor Coverers Local 364 was contacted by Chuck Gowan and Mike Brooks, pipe fitters who are involved in the project. Gowan and Brooks were in need of contractors wiling to lay flooring in Senkowski's home. Thieme quickly agreed to help and reached out to Superior Carpet Installers of Indianapolis, who without hesitation jumped on board.

All of the underlayment was generously donated by Southland Flooring Supply. The vinyl plank and carpet was provided by Mohawk for a minuscule charge.

Local 364 floor coverers who volunteered for the project include Adam Williams (Floor Covering Instructor), Marty Brinson and Kelsey Biggs of Superior Carpet Installers, Wes Simpson and Chris Rainer of Blakley's Flooring.

"As we were working on his home, Senkowski stopped by to visit. Every single installer walked over to him and shook his hand, thanking him for his service," commented Thieme. "Knowing that we're giving back to someone who has dedicated his entire life for our country and our freedom makes it all worthwhile."

"Sacrifice...that's what it's all about. Whether it's by donating a few hours to help a brother out or spending a weekend to positively impact the lives of our nation's heroes," commented Wes Simpson of Local 364. "The brotherhood of unions and veterans will always be there on the front lines to fight for what's right. I was honored to help someone who sacrificed it all for our freedom."

For more information, please contact Tim Thieme at

INSTALL Contractor Featured in Case Study

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  • 15 October 2015

TOLEDO, Ohio - Earlier this year, American Flooring & Interiors (AF&I) was featured in a case study showcasing their rising position in the industry. The case study touted AF&I's 2014 number one ranking from Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) as the fastest growing company in the construction industry and the number 11 fastest growing company overall. The companies chosen annually represent innovative, diverse companies that produce jobs in their local communities and generate over half of their revenues from regional, national and international sales.

As part of their impressive credentials, AF&I has received a special certification with the International Standards & Training Alliance (INSTALL) flooring program. INSTALL has certified AF&I as an INSTALL Warranty Contractor. Contractors like AF&I must reach elevated standards in exemplary installation performance history, demonstrate and maintain good business standards and bonding credentials, and all of their journeyperson installers are required to be INSTALL certified. The INSTALL Warranty is the only free, extended, additional, third-party installation warranty in the floor covering industry.

AF&I owner Gary Johnson attributes the company's success to investing in skilled, professional people and providing them with comprehensive INSTALL training and certification. Local floor coverers working for the AF&I are members of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC), a regional council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC).

AF&I is joined by seven other IKORCC INSTALL Contractors and 23 US and Canadian INSTALL Contractors that have achieved this distinction from over 400 INSTALL Contractors across the US and Canada.

INSTALL is a North American alliance of flooring mills, manufacturers, consultants and contractors who work together to ensure superior flooring installations.

For more information, please contact Ray Laraby at

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Highland Town Council Supports Local Workers

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  • 15 October 2015

HIGHLAND, Ind. - The Highland Town Council recently passed a responsible bidder ordinance ensuring all contractors bidding on public works projects provide their employees with healthcare and pension. Additionally, contractor employees will be required to have participated in an approved apprenticeship program.

By passing the ordinance all five Highland Town Councilmen — Konnie Kuiper, Mark Herak, Dan Vassar, Steve Wagner and Bernie Zemen — have ensured that building projects in Highland will be completed by local, professional tradespeople. Councilman Dan Vassar commented, "The Town Council has a track record of supporting the union tradespeople in our community, and we will continue to do that with the responsible bidder ordinance in place. Passing this ordinance is really a great investment for Highland. It's creating jobs for the skilled workers in our community, and as locals whose families live and work here, these workers will be reinvesting in our economy."

Most recently, under the new agreement, local tradesmen, including carpenters and millwrights of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC), were hired to complete the carpentry work in the new public safety facility being built in Highland.

Vassar added, "By hiring professional tradespeople for the new public safety facility, we know the quality of the work will exceed expectations."

"As a resident of Highland, I want to thank the Highland Town Council for their commitment to the working people of our community," said Jim Slagle of the IKORCC. "The town council recognizes that skilled local trades hold the highest standards and that we complete projects professionally, efficiently and in a timely manner. We are proud of the work we do, and we're very grateful to live and work in such a great town."

For more information, please contact Jim Slagle at

Carpenter Apprentices Volunteer for Chesterton Building Trades Program

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  • 02 October 2015

CHESTERTON, Ind. - The Chesterton High School Building Trades program called upon apprentices at the IKORCC (Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters) Training Center in Hobart to assist with Chesterton High School's (CHS) annual charity project.

For the past three years, in preparation for Homecoming weekend, students in the CHS Building Trades program have built playhouses to replace traditional homecoming floats. The playhouses are decorated by students at the annual CHS block party during the week leading up to Homecoming weekend and are displayed at half time during the Homecoming football game.

This year, the Building Trades students were working at capacity on another project, so instructor Jeff Larson contacted the Carpenters Training Center in Hobart to enlist their help.

"It's really an honor to have been brought in on this project," commented Dale Newlin, IKORCC/JATF Area Coordinator. "What a huge compliment it is that the Building Trades instructor trusted our apprentices to build the playhouses for such a wonderful cause."

16 Carpenter apprentices eagerly offered to volunteer, spending five total days building five playhouses. Thanks to generous sponsors, including Strack & Van Til, Construction Advancement Foundation, Dr. Brian McGue DDS, Trout Glass & Mirror and Metropolitan Steel, all materials needed to construct the playhouses were provided.

The student-led project is spearheaded by the CHS student government, which met over the course of a couple months to decide on decorations for the playhouses. Each graduating class, in addition to the Chesterton Community House, sponsors a playhouse and gets to choose which charity the proceeds from their playhouse will benefit.

After Homecoming weekend, the playhouses will be auctioned off on Ebay for a seven-day local auction, and 100% of the funds raised will go to local charities, including Porter County Animal Shelter (Class of 2016), Parents as Teachers (Class of 2017), Dunebrook (Class of 2018), Family House (Class of 2019) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Porter County (Chesterton Community House).

"We really appreciate the Carpenters Union's support. It's so important that we continue to offer our students the opportunity to participate in this event, and we couldn't have done it this year without their help," commented Robert Blumenthal, CHS Assistant Principal. "It's so inspiring to know the group of apprentices put in volunteer hours for our students to give back to the community. They went above and beyond our expectations, and we are so grateful."

For more information, please contact Dale Newlin at



Berey Bros. Supports Local Contractors

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  • 01 October 2015

HAMMOND, Ind. - Longtime union supporter Berey Bros. recently remodeled its interior by using a local area-standard contractor through the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC). Berey Bros. has been selling American-made safety footwear in Northwest Indiana for the past 68 years.

As a family-owned and operated business, Berey Bros. sees immense value in giving back to their community. "Berey Bros. has always shown respect to our community's workers in any way they can. They have offered discounts to the unions in our area, and they hire local contractors," commented Jim Slagle of the IKORCC. "We always appreciate it when businesses hire local workers. It's good for our community's economy, and in return, we, along with our families, will support them. It's really a win-win."

The carpenters on the job worked hard to efficiently get the remodel completed without disrupting store business. "All of the workers on the job were truly great people who enjoyed what they were doing," commented Richard Koharchik of Berey Bros. "They went above and beyond in making sure that we never had to close our store or open late, even if it meant starting at 6am or earlier so we could open on time."

Berey Bros. is open seven days a week. Click here for a complete list of store hours.

For more information about this project, please contact Jim Slagle at

Schönox Subfloor Solutions Representatives Present at Greenwood Training Center

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  • 30 September 2015

Floor Coverers Local 364 out of Greenwood, IN, enjoyed a presentation and a hands-on learning experience from Schönox Subfloor Solutions Representatives at the Greenwood Training Center.

Greenwood Campus Floor Covering Insructor Adam Williams, along with IKORCC Representative Tim Thieme, invited Schönox representatives to tour the training center and present their product to contractors and installers.

In late September, Schönox began their presentation in a class room setting, starting with a brief history of their product, which included a PowerPoint presentation and an open floor for discussion. Following the presentation, Schönox displayed mockups of six different sub-floor products to demomstrate the application for each type of installation, including self leveling, rapping and tight skim coats.

"We jump on any opportunity we get to bring a manufacturer of a product that our contractors use into our Training Center," commented Adams. "Not only to give peace of mind to that manufacturer, but also to the contractor so they know the product their using is installed properly, and that the individuals installing the product are as knowledgeable about the product as they can be."

Schönox is scheduled to return in the 1st quarter of 2016 for a moisture remediation and awareness program.

For more information about the presentation, please contact Tim Thieme at





Local 351 Builds Wheelchair Ramp for Local Family

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  • 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

Local 200 Participates in Pickerington Labor Day Parade

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  • 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