IKORCC Wins Commercial Project of the Year

They haven’t officially cut the ribbon opening the new Merrillville training facility and already the IKORCC’s state-of-the-art building is winning awards.

Wednesday the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters earned the prestigious “Commercial Project of the Year Award” from the Construction Advancement Fund (CAF) for the new administration and training facility in Merrillville.

The buildings, which are located at 1560 E. 70th Court in Merrillville, were built by Hasse Construction with the help of union carpenters.

The CAF hosts an annual award ceremony in partnership with the Northwest Indiana Building Roundtable (NWIBRT) to recognize excellence in construction and safety.

The IKORCC Merrillville project was recognized for being completed on schedule, within budget, with minimal disruption to the operation, all while upholding the highest commitment to safety.

The IKORCC administration building is 13,000 square feet and the training center is an impressive 64,000 square feet. The training center will help thousands of people build their careers in the industry. Carpenters, floor coverers, and millwrights will receive the latest skill & safety training thanks to the new facility.

To learn more about the Merrillville Training Center, or to build a career in carpentry click here.

Hochstedler Flooring Partners with IKORCC

Indiana isn’t immune to the skilled worker shortage sweeping America, a fact that one flooring company learned the hard way. Hochstedler Floorcovering in Kokomo hopes to solve that problem by partnering with the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters.

“There’s a real shortage of flooring installers out there that really want to learn the trade,” Greg Hochstedler says. “We believe partnering with the carpenters will help get us trained flooring installers – that’s hard to find nowadays.”

Carmella Hochstedler, who runs the business alongside her brother & father, says they’ve been looking for a way to get new installers as many of their longtime employees are getting close to retirement.

“We really needed a better way to train the next generation,” she says. Adding, “We’ve used subs in the past, but it’s hard to get guys to stay due to the nature of the work.”

Carmella hopes partnering with the carpenters and their highly trained members will help grow the family business. “It will open doors we haven’t been able to on our own,” she says.

Hochstedler opened in its doors in 1998 after Greg and his father wanted to run a flooring company, instead of working as installers as they had since the early 1980s. The company has been family owned and operated since its inception.

Today there are three generations of Hochstedlers working at the company, although it’s not uncommon to see the next generation in the store learning the trade.

Hochstedler Floorcovering sells and installs vinyl, laminate, hardwood, ceramic, carpet and many more types of flooring. Currently, their wait time for installation is about three weeks, but with an influx of skilled floor coverers from the carpenters they can now service commercial clients much faster.

Hochstedler Floorcovering serves Kokomo, Logansport, Marion, Peru, Tipton, Westfield and portions of Carmel.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett Helps Fight Tax Fraud

In March, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett visited the IKORCC to discuss the growing issue of tax fraud and the effects it has on responsible contractors, the city, and taxpayers.

Tax fraud occurs when companies misclassify workers who should be employees in order to avoid paying their fair share of unemployment insurance and federal, state and local taxes. Companies that commit tax fraud are often able to give lower bids on projects since they aren’t paying their share of taxes – a practice which makes it difficult for responsible contractors to compete fairly.

“Everybody ought to have the right to compete fairly,” Mayor Hogsett said while addressing contractors.  “I want to be clear – what the city seeks to do is not to pick winners and losers. Our job is to make sure everyone is operating on a level playing field,” Hogsett added.

Mayor Hogsett also acknowledged that the IKORCC has been at the forefront of the battle against tax fraud. “The carpenters have really taken a leadership role in this regard,” he said.

In response to the growing tax fraud problem in the construction industry, Mayor Hogsett says he put together a working group to explore the ordinances in place within the city and the means of enforcing these policies. “The ordinance is a bit vague in the enforcement area,” he said, adding that he hopes to have an enforcement officer in place in the future to cut down on tax fraud.

The IKORCC has seen an increase in the prevalence of tax fraud in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio and hopes to work with Mayor Hogsett and the working group to help curtail the issue.

Click here to learn more about tax fraud.

Walker Career Center’s Future Tradesmen

The Warren Central Walker Career Center is advancing their students to successfully become tradesmen in the near future. Council staff Jeff Gielerak and Steve Hoyt are graduates of the Warren Central program and were happy to share about the opportunities available at the IKORCC and contribute $250 to new tools for their program. The Senior students were excited about their future and had several questions regarding our union. While visiting, Steve and Jeff were able to explore a home the students are currently working on.

“It’s great to see the students working hard on their project the day before Spring Break!” Steve says, adding, “That’s what we need out on our job sites.” The students will be working tirelessly on completing the project for the first open house this coming May.

In the Junior class, several students said they plan to take the class next school year and are very excited about the learning opportunities. Steve says he hopes the contribution from the Carpenters Union will help towards new tools for their program. The IKORCC is committed to building strong futures for our community. In doing so we provide wages to support families, benefits, and training to be the most skilled worker on the job site. We are excited for the students to come visit the Greenwood training facility at the open house on April 11th.  

Indianapolis Carpenter Manuel Banegas Nails the Win

Hanging drywall sounds easy, but can you do it faster and more accurately than dozens of your peers across Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio? Local 301’s Manuel Banegas did just that.

Banegas and dozens of other participants competed to see how they measured up in the Drywall Drag Race Olympics. Banegas will represent the IKORCC in the United Brotherhood of Carpenter’s Midwestern District Interior Systems Competition on April 21st. Competition starts at 9:00 a.m. at the IKORCC headquarters in Greenwood, IN. Congratulations Manuel and thanks to all our participants! 

Indiana Interim Study Committee Reviews Payroll Fraud Issue

Yesterday the Indiana Interim Study Committee on Employment and Labor heard testimony from construction contractors on the issue of#payrollfraud. Contractors asked the Indiana Legislature to consider options to investigate and prosecute businesses who break the law and steal from taxpayers. Stay tuned for actions the legislature takes to stop cheating businesses from robbing taxpayers of $400 million/year and raising costs on law-abiding business.

Newburgh Groundbreaking Ceremony

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our Newburgh groundbreaking ceremony today! We had a great turnout. State and local elected officials, reps from Danco Construction LLc, apprentices, journeymen and IKORCC staff attended the event. The building is scheduled to be completed in February 2017.

“Today is a great day for the IKORCC as we break ground on a new facility. The commitment of our members to this organization and their careers makes this dream a reality. This new 12,000 sq. ft. office will be co-located with our Newburgh, IN training center, making it the 6th joint campus for the IKORCC. Our continued growth shows the community we are here to stay and we are here to help those who live here build a career in the trades. By co-locating our administrative functions with training, we are able to provide a one-stop shot to better provide access to our training for both members and contractors.” Mark McGriff, Executive Secretary Treasurer

IKORCC “Pinpoints” what it means to have dedication with annual pin banquet

As an annual tradition, members of the Carpenters Local #1485 of LaPorte, Indiana gathered at Blue Chip Casino to recognize years of service, leadership, and economic accomplishments.

“I like this event because it is a chance for us to come together to honor our members and their service to our union and to our brotherhood. It shows what this union means to our members and it gives them a chance to come and share with each other one night a year,” said President John Carr.

Following dinner and music, guests were treated to a presentation given by Carr on payroll fraud as well as apprenticeship.

Payroll fraud is prevalent in the wood framing and drywall industry, creating upwards of a 30% disadvantage to law abiding contractors. According to Carr, Indiana is losing more than $150 million annually in state tax revenues.

“Worker misclassification is an epidemic in our communities that must be addressed with strict enforcement. We have to do something at the local level to protect all law abiding local contractors who employ local skilled tradesman,” Carr said.

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters has also taken notice to the rise of apprenticeships. With over 7,000 registered apprentices, Indiana is one of the top states in the country in terms of apprenticeship opportunity.

Carr said, “We are the only organization that is effectively training and preparing carpenters for the future. We are building job site leaders and investing in our greatest resource, our members, who are also our contractor’s greatest resource.”

Following Carr’s presentation, his wife Angie took the podium to discuss United for Carpenters (U4C), a group of carpenters’ spouses that spend their time teaching children and grandchildren of the 1485 group. They focus on core values that children will be able to use throughout their life, whether they are following in the footsteps of their family and becoming carpenters or pursuing a different career path. The group also educates children on the union and what their parent’s careers entail.

“We are here to make an impact and to make an impact you need a lot of supporters. What you need to remember is your biggest supporter is your family,” said Angie Carr.

The group has recently been recognized by the UBC office in Greenwood and they will be used as a pilot to expand the group for the whole Brotherhood.

Awards followed next, with Bert Cook of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation being the first recipient. Cook was recognized for his “unwavering commitment to the city of La Porte.”

“It’s always a great honor to be acknowledged for any professional work you have done, but especially by this group,” said Cook. “We work together so often on so many important projects that have such a great impact on our community that for them to acknowledge me in that way is especially humbling. I think it is a testament to what can be accomplished when we work in partnership with one another and how we can move our communities forward.”

The next award was given to a member who has left their legacy for others to strive for. Dave Tharp, Midwest District Vice-President of the UBC, was given the Legacy Award.

After being thanked for his commitment to the union, Tharp said, “I started my apprenticeship back in 1978 and the training the council gave me was skills that I’ve been living a lifetime with. I’ve had the pleasure of serving many different jobs, not only as a carpenter but as a representative through the years and it has just been very good for me. I have a son that is also in the trade and he certainly wouldn’t have followed in my footsteps if it hadn’t been good for me.”

Other awards of the evening included the Peter J. McGuire Award given to John Dudek for his dedication to service as a mentor, teacher, leader, and brother. For 64 years of service to Carpenters Local 1485, James L. Principe was recognized. Tom Dermody, state representative, was given a leadership award as well.

The evening concluded with recognition for milestone years of service, with members receiving pins.

Check out the photos!

Source: La Porte County Life

Carpenters donate over 100 toys to Toys for Tots

In an ongoing effort to give back to the community, Local 1005 of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) collected and donated toys to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program this past holiday season.

The Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys for children each year. Local businesses serve as collection sites where community members can drop off toys, and the collected toys are distributed to less fortunate children within the community so they can experience the joy of Christmas.

Working with Reggie Hess, Marine Corps League District 1 Vice Commandant, Local 1005 collected over 100 toys and gift cards. “We are so appreciative of the support from Local 1005. We had a very successful holiday season, and it could not have been done without their generosity,” commented Hess. “This past year, we provided over 2,400 Christmas presents to children in Porter County, and in some cases, we were able to give out up to five toys per child. It’s because of generous people like those in Local 1005 that we are able to bring happiness to kids and families on Christmas day.”

Throughout the year, IKORCC members volunteer in their local communities in countless ways, including collecting donations for local charities. “It’s all about giving back to the community and to those who may be going through a tough time,” commented Eric Yuhasz, Local 1005 Secretary and IKORCC Representative. “We have so many members who willingly volunteer time, talents and donations without hesitation. There really isn’t a better feeling than witnessing the joy and graciousness of the families receiving our volunteer services.”

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.