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405 Graduate from IN/KY Apprenticeship Program

5200 hours of on the job training, 640 classroom hours, 4 years of dedication and sacrifice – that’s the kind of experience you get when you hire a journey level carpenter from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Saturday night, 405 fully trained journeymen and women graduated from the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund program during a ceremony at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“Congratulations to the newest journey level carpenters,” said UBC General President Douglas McCarron in a video address to graduates. “You’ve reached a milestone in your careers and you did it during some very difficult times. The pandemic affected your training, but you stayed strong and completed your apprenticeship.”

View photos from the event here.

EST Todd Pancake congratulates the newest journey level carpenters at the IKORCC JATF apprenticeship graduation.

405 graduates completed their apprenticeship – the most graduates ever in Indiana and Kentucky. IKORCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer M. Todd Pancake told graduates there’s never been a better time to be a union carpenter.

“You may not realize it, but you’ve met a goal. And now it’s time to look ahead and set a new goal. There are more opportunities available today than I’ve ever seen in the industry,” said EST Pancake as he congratulated graduates and shared the plethora of opportunities in the job market for skilled tradespeople.

This year’s graduates overcame many challenges due to COVID-19, including taking portions of their 4th year classes online, in addition to meeting rigorous graduation requirements. These graduates are a vital addition to a workforce desperate for skilled tradesmen. Graduates were trained as carpenters, millwrights or floor coverers.

“Everything we do is about attitude. Everything you do is 100 percent attitude, so always remember that. We are many trades, but one United Brotherhood,” Jerry Burke, Director of Education for the IKORCC JATF said.

16 Veterans Graduate through Helmets to Hardhats

Congratulations and thank you to the 16 Helmets to Hardhats graduates that completed their apprenticeship and honorably served our country.

16 of the graduates honorably served in our nation’s military and took part in the IKORCC’s Helmets to Hardhats program. Helmets to Hardhats puts vets on a fast track to union apprenticeship and a rewarding career in carpentry after their military service.

Helmets to Hardhats graduates represented the US Marines, US Army, US Army Reserves, and the US Navy.

Continuous Training Sets Union Carpenters Apart

In a speech to graduates, Royce Peters, Executive Director of the Carpenters International Training Fund, encouraged graduates to be good mentors and continue their training. “This journeymen class is now walking on paths in the construction industry that are not only unprecedented but unimaginable. Technology is changing. The key to staying competitive in today’s construction world is training.”

A New Generation of Journeymen & Journeywomen

EST Todd Pancake and 2021 IKORCC JATF graduate speaker Brittany Grier of Local 413.

New journeywoman Brittany Grier, from the Warsaw Training Center and Local 413, inspired the room as the 2021 IKORCC JAFT graduate speaker. Brittany is a fourth-generation carpenter, third-generation union carpenter and a second-generation female carpenter. She’s a superintendent for Ziolkowski Construction.

“The union runs in my blood and I believe in its ability to unite and build,” she said. “We are undervalued profession, yet we earn more hourly than the average American. Plus, 100 percent of our benefits are paid for by the contractor out of their pocket.”

She added, “In this room are all new journeyman carpenters. We have this fresh start to strengthen the reputation of the union, raise our worth, which will raise our wage – it all starts here with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Uniting together, treating our brothers like family and in turn changing the industry of carpentry.”

View her full speech here:

Korey Luttman Carpenters

Korey Luttman Inspires Crowd at Graduation

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:

 

Vets carpenter

Helmets to Hardhats & IKORCC Help Vets Find Careers

We are honored to have 25 Helmets to Hardhats vets graduating from the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters in Ohio this weekend. Helmets to Hardhats helps our nation’s heroes transition from military to civilian life with a career in one of our trades.

This is a federally-approved apprenticeship program, meaning you can use your Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits to supplement your income.

Two organizations – one goal: Present great career choices for those who put their lives on hold to protect their homeland. The UBC’s Helmets to Hardhats program provides our nation’s military veterans with challenging careers in carpentry and a source of security for them and their families in the form of healthcare, retirement, and financial stability.

Learn more at ikorcc.com/diversity

Class representative addresses crowd at graduation banquet

Jerome Stanford completed the apprenticeship program with hundreds of others from Indiana and Kentucky and were honored with a completion ceremony in December 2015. As the selected speaker to represent the graudation class, Jerome addressed the members and guests that night.