2022 was a BIG year for the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters. Take a look at our annual magazine for a letter from EST Mike Kwiatkowski, hub updates, […]
2022 was a BIG year for the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters. Take a look at our annual magazine for a letter from EST Mike Kwiatkowski, hub updates, […]
Applications are now open for the IKORCC scholarship program. Forty $1,000 scholarships will be awarded in 2023 to eligible member’s dependent children. Twenty of the scholarships are awarded based on scholastics, and twenty others via a random drawing.
The Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council scholastic scholarships are awarded based on 60% high school grade point average and 40% on
SAT or ACT scores. Twenty scholarships will be selected by random drawing.
The scholarship is to be used solely for the purpose of education in the form of tuition, room and board, and or books.
Few people have left the impact on the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters as Don Sherry did. Don Sherry tragically passed away in 2017. His list of accomplishments is vast, and his impact on our union is unprecedented.
Don Sherry passionately served the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters for nearly 20 years as a business representative and Director of Organizing. He was the President of Carpenters Local 175 and a dedicated advocate for workers rights and unions. Colleagues said his dedication to this organization was second to none.
To honor his legacy, the IKORCC gives the Don Sherry Achievement Award annually.
To honor Don’s service and dedication, each year since his passing the IKORCC has given The Don Sherry Achievement Award. The award recognizes a rank-and-file member who has gone above and beyond in their service on the job site, with contractors, in MAC meetings (Member Action Committee), and in their community. In addition to giving an award in his honor, IKORCC delegates raise money each year during their annual conference and donate the proceeds to the Diabetes Foundation in Don Sherry’s honor.
Recipients of the Don Sherry Achievement Award include:
2018 – Glenn Downs, Local 599
2019 – Raymond Poer, Local 599
2020 – Cory Hudson, Local 285
2021 – Bobby Miller, Local 357
2022 – Travis Williams, Local 1005
When you lose someone so vital to an organization and who has positively impacted so many lives, it is difficult to properly convey the legacy they leave behind. The work Indiana/Kentucky Director of Education Jerry Burke has done on behalf of the UBC will continue to positively shape the apprenticeship and union for decades.
It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jerry Noel Burke, who passionately served the UBC for over 22 years. Jerry passed away on November 17, 2021 at 55 years old.
Before his work as Director of Education for Indiana and Kentucky for the IKORCC, he was a dedicated teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools at Jeffersontown High School in Kentucky, where he was a Welding and Project Lead the Way instructor to many students who loved him dearly.
He was a proud member of Millwright Local #1076, the American Welding Society Section 048, the Honorable Order of the Kentucky Colonels, and played the saxophone for the University of Louisville Marching Band.
Jerry was devoted to his family, his work and his community. He worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone had equal access to opportunities within apprenticeship programs in Indiana and Kentucky, pioneering CTE program development in high schools with the Kentucky TRACK Program, and leading development of SEAL (State Earn & Learn) programs in Indiana.
His commitment to community was displayed by his dedication to programs like KentuckianaBuilds and groundbreaking partnerships with multiple recovery centers. He also served on the board for Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana.
In addition to the incredible professional legacy he leaves behind, Jerry will be missed for his sense of humor, passion, positivity, trademark smile and passion for music. Coworkers said, “You didn’t work for Jerry, you worked with Jerry. We weren’t a staff, we were family.”
EST Todd Pancake said, “Jerry had an unparalleled dedication and commitment to apprentices, members & the training fund. The incredible legacy he left behind will continue to grow through the many programs he shaped and the apprentices he was devoted to. He will be deeply missed by everyone at the IKORCC.”
In his own words:
Everything we do is 100% attitude. When it comes to our future, you are all stakeholders in this organization. You have a direct impact on our success. So please keep that positive attitude, even in bad circumstances. It’s your turn to lead, we need you to step up. Where will you take this organization? It’s time to find out.” – Jerry Burke
In the Newburgh area, 2021 was all about growing market share and building community – something members in this area excel at. Members worked on big projects, including the Evansville Aquatic Center, St. Vincent Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, a pool at University of Southern Indiana and on a bridge over Green River.
Next year’s work forecast looks solid. Members are working on an ongoing simple cycle project at Tennessee Valley Authority, where AZCO is installing three simple cycle gas turbines. This project kicked off in October. At its peak it will have around 60 carpenters and 15 Millwrights on the project.
Members are looking forward to the Toyota/Lexus line expansion, which is set to begin in early 2022. This $840 million-dollar project will create plenty of man hours. In March, Pratt Industries Paper Mill is coming to Henderson, KY. This $340 million-dollar project will also increase man hours.
In addition to growing market share, members in Paducah are also building the community. Local 357 members are finishing work on a McCracken County Habitat for Humanity home. This is the fourth home they’ve helped build for the organization that helps families and individuals in need of decent, affordable housing achieve their dream of homeownership. Carpenters did the framing, set trusses, roof decking and will set the windows and complete the vinyl siding.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, carpenters mobilized and held a canned food drive. The food drive was so successful, they’ve decided to do it again in 2021 and are currently taking canned food and Christmas toy donations for families in need.
Our country is experiencing an unprecedented labor movement not seen since the 1940’s & 50’s. Every labor union in the country should be capitalizing on this momentum, but at some point, every union member has to ask themselves…what can I do to help?
Members like you, have and always will be the UBC’s most valuable asset. To reach the UBC goal of 70% market share & the regional council’s goals, we need you engaged.
Throughout our history carpenter to carpenter & community-based organizing have been the most effective tools we have as a union. Many of you are familiar with the IKORCC M.A.C program. The regional council has set up Membership Action Committees and holds meetings in multiple areas in IN, KY & Ohio.
Unlike regular monthly business meetings, this is where you have the opportunity to get involved in our organizing efforts. Activities range from community events, helping our neighbors with small construction projects, but most importantly showing up in force to collectively voice our concerns on carpenter issues.
We are the community, and we will hold elected officials, owners and developers accountable when they let unscrupulous contractors come into our community and steal the work that puts food on our tables. We are putting a schedule of events together for the 2022 M.A.C. agenda & we need you there.
Please contact your local or regional council office for more information & how you can make a difference.
Director of Organizing
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters was founded with the mission to stand strong with our members and business partners to help them achieve success. When it comes to focusing on this core goal, the Warsaw hub is thriving.
Not only has the Warsaw hub increased membership, they’ve also worked with contractors and increased manhours. They expect to see an additional seven percent increase in manhours in 2022.
To grow the Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) market share in the area, the Warsaw team hosted ICRA Awareness trainings and signed a new ICRA partnership with Concord Community Schools. This adds an ICRA agreement to eight schools, ensuring that contractors who perform the work in schools are properly trained to control contaminants and students are protected during school construction.
To grow and protect market share in the area, the team has focused on increasing Responsible Bidder Ordinances and getting contractor licensing in place. They successfully signed an RBO in Gas City, Indiana and with Concord Community Schools, bringing the total RBOs in the area to nine, which includes four municipalities and five school corporations.
In another win for union members and contractors, the South Bend/Saint Joseph County Building Department has recently hired a compliance officer to visit job sites, inspect and gather information regarding licenses and permits, issue violation notices and follow up to ensure future compliance. The officer will also track and report results to the Building Commissioner, legal department and others to help with compliance issues. This new role will help protect workers and level the playing field for signatory contractors.
Finally, the Warsaw team has worked hard to develop the next generation of IKORCC members through strategic partnerships throughout the area. The team has worked with high school and 8th graders to promote our trades through Junior Achievement’s programs. In addition, they’ve continued to work with the Fort Wayne Boys and Girls Club on Project Blueprint. Project Blueprint exposes kids to careers in skilled trades. The idea is to show kids career options after high school other than the traditional four-year college pathway.
The Northwest Indiana-area is readying for an influx of commercial, roadwork and light industrial projects. Current and future projects exist of: New Franciscan Hospital in Crown Point, new schools and renovations for Hanover Community Schools, Crown Point Community Schools and Duneland Community Schools. Along with this work the area has ongoing maintenance work at industrial facilities. These projects are projected to create several thousands of man-hours for members.
To help grow market share, business representatives have been pursuing multiple solar projects in the area. There are currently nine large scale solar farms slated for development in NW Indiana. Each project may vary from a one year to two years in duration and have the potential to generate extensive man-hours and long-term employment opportunities for members. The team is currently in negotiations with owners and developers on these projects and feels optimistic about future opportunities. The solar trend is projected to continue to expand, so members are encouraged to contact the Merrillville training center to inquire about solar training programs.
Along with solar training tools made available at the Merrillville Training Center, there are other new opportunities to expand memberships opportunities. The training center recently invested in a mockup to include the scopes of the entire building envelope. This includes training opportunities in commercial flat rolled membrane roofing applications, the installation processes of several types of rain screens and various exterior cladding systems, including the science behind the systems and how to apply the weather and waterproofing membranes.
The NWI area has historically been a heavy industrial market with the majority of millwright man hours generated from the local steel mills and power generating stations. With a recent increase of construction projects in the light industrial market, the team has worked with contractors to find manpower. Recently, they’ve been successful in organizing a group of non-union light industrial workers to pursue this field.
Along with organizing this group comes the opportunity to work maintenance in eight new light industrial facilities, potentially generating several thousands of man hours for our membership. Considering the growth in the light industrial market in NW Indiana, we encourage our signatory contractors and membership to take advantage of the industrial maintenance training programs that are offered at our training centers.
2021 has been another successful year for Indiana politics. The IKORCC managed to harvest a great relationship with the Indiana Association of Public-School Superintendents (IAPSS) and received an invitation to go on tour with them for all eight of their district meetings. During the tour, we were introduced to public school superintendents in all 92 counties. In addition, we were given the opportunity to talk about our Door Safety Inspection (DSI) Program and Career Connections.
One of our many focuses was on getting more “Responsible Bidder Language” added into front end bid specs with school corporations. During the 2021 year, we were able to obtain an additional two agreements with the Metropolitan School District of Boone Township and Concord Community Schools.
Other events worth mentioning that took place during the 2021 year are several successful meetings with political figures regarding laws being introduced to support ICRA training requirements being put in place if any work is being done in occupied health care facilities or schools that may have students present. Also, the City of Indianapolis has promised to make tax fraud and worker misclassification its number one priority for 2022. This commitment came directly from Mayor Joe Hogsett during a public speech that he gave to the city.
During the Delegates conference, Senator Fady Quadra (left) spoke to the membership and explained his level of respect for the Carpenters Union and other organized labor affiliates. He affirmed that he would carry the Carpenters ICRA legislation in 2022.
Due to line redistricting, a Senate seat for District 46 has come up for grabs. We have successfully sourced a candidate that is a card-carrying member of AFSCME whom we helped get elected to the Indianapolis City County Council, to go after this open seat. The candidate has confirmed they will make it known that this seat will be a union held seat if elected. This seat will be won during the primaries due to it being a largely held partisan district.
2021 was a busy political year in Kentucky. Even with the COVID-19 restrictions we’ve been able to build great relationships with local lawmakers and state legislators. Our goals in Kentucky are to address tax fraud and ensure we are in the best position to secure our work with the influx of new solar projects coming to the area.
With solar, it is our hope to introduce language similar to legislation that exists in other states that would protect our work and put our contractor base in the best position possible to secure solar work. Our solar committee, headed up Jeremy Welch and Wallace Turner, has done a tremendous job working with developers and owners to provide information to the political team. That info is vital in working with our lawmakers to sell our training and the importance of the upcoming work.
Tax fraud is a major problem in Kentucky. 1099 worker misclassification and the cash under the table business model used by non-signatory contractors has put our contractor base at huge disadvantage. Working with our Director of Organizing Kenneth Lyons and our political team, we’ve been taking local and state legislators to job site visits to show them the impact and loss of tax revenue that is currently going on.
Now that the November local elections are over, we will actively continue to educate local elected officials about our issues. We use our training facilities to conduct tours and plan to ramp up job site visits. Do not discount the importance you have in actively participating to successfully reach our goals.
If you are not registered to vote please do so. You can register online at vrsws.sos.ky.gov. Moving into 2022 there will be very important races all across Kentucky.
2021 was a challenge, politically. Our approach in building relationships with lawmakers became more difficult as a result of the COVID-19 mandates throughout Ohio. Thankfully, we found creative ways to continue building relationships with our local and state lawmakers. We use our four self-funded Ohio training centers as our main selling point with politicians. We continue to take elected officials out for jobsite visits to showcase what we do and also highlight the bad jobsites where tax fraud is rampant due to the lack of legislation in Ohio.
As a result, we continue to build support from both sides of the aisle – Democrat and Republican. We have been successful in protecting our core issues such as Prevailing Wage, Right to Work, and Unemployment Compensation. We are now using our relationships to introduce language to address tax fraud. Our tax fraud bill will create a Tax Fraud Commission to study the impact that paying cash under the table and worker misclassification abuse is having, not only to us but every taxpayer within Ohio. We are aggressively lobbying on current issues to protect our work within all four refineries in the state.
Our motto has always been to Educate, Agitate, and Organize. These very same principles are used when working with any elected lawmaker. Our Ohio political team covers all corners of the state and we will keep every UBC member informed of legislation that may affect us.
With the 2022 election cycle upcoming we will be very busy working for current lawmakers we support and going through a vetting process for any open seats to ensure that the right lawmakers are elected. If you are not already registered to vote, please do so.
You can register online at ohiosos.gov. Remember that when a recommendation is made to support a candidate they are soundly in support of protecting your work, your career, and your ability to provide for your family.