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Carpenters help with medical bills after tragic car accident

Carpenters Help Family Recover After Head-On Collision

On a foggy Thursday morning in April, Adam Stampley boarded a flight from Indianapolis to Las Vegas. He took his seat and smiled. This was a huge moment in his career with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, a culmination of three years of hard work and dedication.

Union officers selected Adam to attend the Journeyman Leadership Program at the Carpenters International Training Center, a recognition of his leadership potential and dedication to the brotherhood. “Everything is coming together,” he thought as he glanced at his phone hoping to hear from his wife Erica before the flight.

It was odd he hadn’t heard from her yet, despite repeated calls and texts. His wife and two kids dropped him off at the airport less than two hours before. As the plane taxied slowly down the runway, Adam was relieved when he felt his phone vibrate and he saw Erica’s name on the screen.

That relief was short-lived. It didn’t take long before Adam registered what the man on Erica’s phone was saying.

“Your family was in a head-on collision with a semi, you need to get here immediately,” a police officer said.

The moments that followed were some of the worst of Adam’s life. The officer said his wife and daughter may not survive. The flight crew couldn’t stop the plane. He had only a minute or two to make a call before his phone lost signal. So, Adam called a friend, lost signal, then sat on a flight for four grueling hours, wondering if he still had a family to go home to.

 

Union Helps Family After Tragic Accident

The Stampley’s vehicle after a head-on collision with a semi nearly killed three members of the family. (Photo provided by Adam Stampley)

 

The Aftermath

When the flight landed, Adam got an update from the hospital. One of Erica’s kidneys was destroyed in the accident, the other was failing. She was bleeding internally. Her femur was broken in half. She’d died and been revived three times already. Doctors gave her less than a five percent chance of living.

His six-year-old daughter Araya was at a different hospital in a coma. Her appendix ruptured, her bladder was punctured, and she’d undergone surgery to repair injuries to four areas of her spine. She would survive, but her dreams of being an Olympic gymnast were over.

Eight-year-old Thomas fared better. He broke three ribs and fractured his finger but remembered the entire accident and was scared.

Carpenters help with medical bills after tragic car accident

6-year-old Araya recovered at Riley Hospital for Children after a serious car accident in 2019.

Miracles

Now in Las Vegas, Adam reached out to Local 133 members Jason King and Greg Tucker. They helped him navigate the airport and get a flight back to Indianapolis. It took a total of twelve hours before Adam saw Erica, and days before he saw the kids.

At the hospital, Erica’s condition was so grave doctors had Adam make two sets of plans: one if she passed away and another if she survived and couldn’t walk. He wouldn’t need either of them.

Despite the odds, Erica survived. Thomas was released two days after the accident, and Araya almost two weeks later. To help with expenses, Locals 133 and 301 took up a collection at their union meeting and on job sites, raising over $2,000 for the family.

With Erica recovering in a rehabilitation hospital and expenses mounting, Adam went back to work for Circle B. Union brothers and sisters donated hours so he could see his wife and still get paid.

“Something like this shows you the meaning of brotherhood. I couldn’t believe how good people were to my family,” Adam Stampley said.

In August, the kids started school. For Thomas, it was nothing new, but Araya was in the first grade and it was her first day of school ever. It was her first day without her mom, in a neck brace, with hair lovingly styled by her dad. “I wouldn’t say we were thriving, but we were surviving,” Adam said, adding that he learned a lot about princesses over the summer too.

Indiana Carpenters Raise Money for Family in Need

Adam Stampley and his children visit the Indiana State Fair where carpenters raised money for his family.

Carpenters Care

Adam smiled for his kids, but he still worried a lot. He worried about Erica, wondered if she’d be able to walk again, about the house, and how to get it ready for her eventual return. He had a lot of things to worry about, thankfully how to pay for the over $3 million dollars in medical bills was not one of them.

“I didn’t have to worry about how much it would cost to save their lives, because that’s what union insurance is all about,” he said.

Thanks to his union benefits, Adam will only owe a fraction of the cost of medical bills, around $10,000. Much to his surprise, his union family stepped in once again to help with that burden. The Stampleys were recipients of money raised for “Carpenters Care”, an annual fundraiser that benefits an IKORCC family or families in serious financial need.

Business representatives, apprentices, and MAC members built and sold raffle tickets for a large playhouse. Members from Ohio and Kentucky joined brothers and sisters from Indiana for a charity ride in Greenwood. Altogether, members raised over $7,000 for the family.

Indiana Carpenters help family recover after car accident

Adam Stampley and his daughter Araya build a toolbox at the Indiana State Fair, where IKORCC members raised money for their family.

Nearly seven months after the accident, Erica was released from the hospital. In October, she walked by Adam’s side as he went from apprentice to journeyman at his IKORCC graduation. Just days before Christmas, she will have what they hope to be her last leg surgery, the 30th one since that fateful April morning.

Adam is looking forward to a brighter 2020.

“When I walked into that hospital room, I fell to my knees,” he said. “I am so thankful to everyone that helped me and my family back up.”

Carpenters help family recover after tragic car accident

Adam & Erica Stampley with EST Todd Pancake at Adam’s apprenticeship graduation in October.

 

 

Open Houses Bring 6,000 Students to IKORCC

6,000 – that’s the number of people who attended IKORCC open houses in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. In a whirlwind month of open houses,  high school students and community leaders visited training centers in Greenwood, Warsaw, Terre Haute, Newburgh, Merrillville, Louisville, Grayson, Columbus, Monroe, Rossford, and Richfield.

 “I was considering becoming an electrician, but after I learned about the millwrights I changed my mind. I can’t wait to get started,” a high school senior at the Merrillville, Indiana open house said.

This high school senior summed it up perfectly. At the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters we know that once students see our training in-person and learn more about the program, joining the apprenticeship is a no-brainer.

Students Get Hands-On Experience

Students particularly enjoyed the hands-on activities including virtual welding, nail challenge, and the floor covering challenge. Next year training centers plan to add a hands-on ICRA (Infection Control Risk Assesment) challenge which will teach students the importance of using barriers during construction in medical facilities to protect patients.

According to the Department of Labor, careers in skilled trades like carpentry, flooring, and welding are in high demand and the need for skilled workers will continue to rise with coming infrastructure improvements. This fact was evident in Grayson, Kentucky on Thursday when over 1,200 students visited the Grayson, Kentucky training center open house.

High Demand Jobs in Skilled Trades Help Boost Attendance

Over 30 busses lined the drive to the Grayson, Kentucky training center where students learned about our apprenticeship, participated in hands-on activities and met with contractors ready-to-hire.

“We have a great partnership with all of the local schools and a lot of people in Grayson work in the trades, so students understand the great life they can have with a career in our trades. Getting them out here to see it first-hand solidifies that idea and gets them ready to start their apprenticeship right after high school,” says IKORCC Senior Business Representative Jerry Yates.

Richfield, Ohio also had a very large turnout with 1100 attendees getting to see additional areas of our crafts, including millwork, pile driving, cabinetry, furniture making, stairs, and ceiling work.

“Work is so good here and word of that really alerts people to the fact that there are bonafide opportunities here. In this part of Ohio, we’ve got the majority of Ohio’s career connection partner schools, and these schools want their students to see what the next step is and that is our apprenticeship,” says Dan Sustin, training director for the Richfield Carpenters Training Center Campus.

 

Thank you to all the students, teachers, community leaders, politicians, vendors, contractors, and staff that helped make this year our most successful yet! Check out all the photos & videos from each open house by following the links below:

Indiana

Greenwood Carpenters Training Center

Merrillville Carpenters Training Center

Newburgh Carpenters Training Center

Terre Haute Carpenters Training Center

Warsaw Carpenters Training Center

Kentucky

Louisville Carpenters Training Center

Grayson Carpenters Training Center

Ohio

Columbus Carpenters Training Center

Monroe Carpenters Training Center

Richfield Carpenters Training Center

Rossford Carpenters Training Center

 

Learn more about our apprenticeship and how to apply here. 

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett Talks Tax Fraud at Indiana Statehouse

Lawmakers, contractors, and construction workers in Indianapolis are preparing for Days of Action events to bring attention to the growing problem of tax fraud in the construction industry.

Over 100 Indiana lawmakers, contractors & construction workers will gather at the Indiana Statehouse on Monday, April 15th, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the north atrium to shine a spotlight on the corrupt practices of illegitimate contractors who steal billions of dollars from our communities – money that should be spent on education, public safety and infrastructure. Tax fraud is just one aspect of the illegal business practices plaguing the industry, along with wage theft, independent contractor misclassification, and workers’ compensation insurance fraud.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will share his thoughts on tax fraud in Indianapolis and how it hurts the city. Mayor Hogsett addresses the crowd at 12:15 p.m. “It’s tax fraud, because it’s the taxes that you and I pay that are being manipulated,” said Joe Hogsett, Mayor of Indianapolis. “From neighborhood-based programs to major initiatives, to the public/private partnerships that drive our city forward – all of these things are only possible when everyone pays their fair share.”

The Construction Industry Partnership will be joined by the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, state & local lawmakers and some of the state’s most prominent business owners in the fight to crack down on these destructive and illegal business practices.

The fraud comes when workers are paid off the books by shady subcontractors and labor brokers, who are hired by contractors to underbid law-abiding businesses. Fraud happens on all types of projects, including taxpayer-funded projects—which means we all lose.  Rampant cheating in the construction industry makes it difficult to repair roads

Construction industry tax fraud and related crimes and violations are happening every day on large-scale projects, costing Hoosier communities an estimated $405 million dollars statewide in lost federal and state taxes.

Recovering unpaid tax dollars in Indiana could pay for:

  • 8,741 state troopers
  • 7,937 teachers
  • 325 miles of resurfaced highways
  • 783 small business loans

The April 15th rally in Indianapolis is part of the nationwide Construction Industry Tax Fraud Days of Action by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America to raise awareness and generate action against tax fraud and related crimes.

About the Construction Industry Partnership:

Representing the carpenters union and over 700 contractors throughout the state of Indiana, the Construction Industry Partnership is dedicated to create a lasting and positive impact on the construction industry. By acting as one unit, the CIP can advocate for change at a political level, demand high standards are enforced and recruit top talent throughout the state.

First-Year Apprentices Learn Tricks of the Trade

Last weekend we invited first-year carpenter apprentices in central Indiana to an apprentice appreciation breakfast. IKORCC senior representative Steve Hoyt says it’s the first of many events planned around Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio aimed at retaining and mentoring apprentices throughout their training.

“First, we want the apprentices to learn as much as they can & try to get as many tips as they can to be successful in the carpenters union. The other is for our staff to help mentor these individuals,” Hoyt says.

Representatives from Pepper Construction, Gibson-Lewis and Mr. David’s Flooring answered questions & gave tips on succeeding as an apprentice.

“We’re looking for the standouts, those are the kind of people we like to hire and we like to keep on,” says Wes Simpson with Mr. David’s Flooring.

In addition to a great breakfast, carpenter apprentices say they learned a lot of valuable information that will help them succeed with the carpenters.

“The most important thing is to always show up on time for everything, whether it’s your schooling or work,” says first-year carpenter apprentice Christopher Hudson.

“Basically keep a positive attitude, show up for work and do what you got to do to succeed,” said first-year apprentice Antoine Havvard

First-year carpenter apprentice Justin Eastman added, “The most important thing I learned today is how much support we have here and how many outlets we have to avoid a catastrophe with our apprenticeship. These people are here to help us, they have no ulterior motives, they don’t want to make our lives complicated, they just want to help. We aren’t here to make friends, but at the end of the day, we are brothers. Whatever you need help with reach out and make that phone call.”

Click here to learn more about our apprenticeship and how you can start building your future.

Carpenters Give Community Scholarships to NW Indiana Schools

Because of their great work in the community, three elementary schools received extra funding through an award from the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters. Seven years ago the IKORCC began partnering with local elementary schools to promote community involvement and giving back to their hometowns.

The partnership with the Carpenters Union incentivizes elementary students to be involved in their communities by offering an award of $500 dollars to one school in each of the participating counties. Each quarter the schools enter into a drawing based on their project in hopes to win the award and recognition of their community project! The Kids Caring for the Community Initiative has grown to be a highlight at many elementary schools within Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties.

This week Carpenters Union Representatives, along with Sara Gutierrez, Principal of George Earle Elementary, presented this quarter’s awards. The winning schools include Westville Elementary, Homer Iddings Elementary and Porter Lakes Elementary School.

Homer Iddings Elementary School dedicated their community project to collect resources for their local Humane Society. The students brought in paper towels to donate to the center. Principal Teri Crussen says, “The Kids caring for the Community initiative brings the students at Iddings Elementary School great pride. The students love to bring a smile to someone else through the various community projects. We often get thank you cards from the organizations who have been helped through the projects and we share those with the students and families. Showing kindness to others is always a good thing and the students love having the opportunities to offer assistance and support the community organizations”.

Westville Elementary School is no rookie to community involvement. The school has been recognized in the past for their impact in the community and because of that, raised enough money to build a STEM classroom at their school. The STEM classroom gives students the opportunity to practice creativity, problem solving and life skills. The school received the $500 award this quarter because of an afterschool program called Girls on the Run. The students participated, raised money and made a meaningful contribution back to their community.

Carpenters Help Open New Veteran’s Museum

Thanks to local carpenters, the doors are now open at the new Veteran’s Museum at the Tri-Town Safety Village in Schererville, Indiana. 

The museum houses a wide array of war artifacts and pays tribute to veterans. The museum will be a learning center where visitors can learn about the many sacrifices made by veterans. Additionally, the museum will provide each visitor with an in-depth look at how soldiers lived during wartime. The objective is to promote patriotism, unity, and to leave each visitor with a lasting appreciation towards veterans and the sacrifices they’ve made.

This would not be possible without the help of the IKORCC and the local Training Center. As part of their classes, apprentices framed and helped side the building. Many journeymen and retiree volunteers also lent a hand.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart has agreed to house their removable memorial wall inside the Veteran’s Museum for all visitors to see. The Military Order of the Purple Heart wall contains the names and pictures of everyone who has received the Purple Heart Medal. The memorial pays tribute to all military personnel who have received the Purple Heart Medal.

The Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters has a history of helping the Safety Village and has taken part in building more than four structures. The next opening will be a Fire Museum.

Pictured are Representative Jim Slagle, Curator and main donator of artifacts Tom Clark, Doctor of the Safety Village Bill Jarvis and Member volunteer John Mosca.

Not pictured but who gave countless hours are retirees Tom Dorsey and Swede Carlson. Thanks to all our members who helped make the possible.

Educating Indiana Counselors at ISC Fall Conference

The IKORCC is making a difference as a sponsor for the Indiana School Counselor Fall Conference. The conference was held in Indianapolis, Indiana with nearly 600 attendees from around the state of Indiana eager to learn about opportunities for their students. Attendees of the

conference were represented as public school counselors of all levels, academy recruiters and graduation pathway coordinators. Our goal in sponsoring the event was to make new connections with key contributors to a student’s continued education.

Our time at the conference was full of genuine conversations educating attendees on the opportunities within the IKORCC. During on of the breakout sessions, we had the privilege to meet April Sanchez a School Counselor from Zionsville West Middle School. April was just one of many attendees that thanked us for being part of the event and was thrilled to see the Union Trades being represented at the conference.

“It is essential that my students learn about fulfilling, high-paying career opportunities that do not require a 4-year degree. Many of our fastest growing jobs are in fields that do not require a bachelor’s degree, but do require industry-specific skill sets. The trades offer students a unique opportunity in that they offer education and employable skills through their Apprenticeship Programs. It is important that our trades be represented at ISCA because kids deserve choice. Many counselors may not feel comfortable discussing the trades because they are not overly familiar with Apprenticeship Programs. Therefore, outreach needs to continue in order to educate the educators who have direct contact with our next generation of skilled labor force.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            – April Sanchez, ZWMS School Couselor

We look forward to the many more opportunities recruiting from local high schools and building relationships with schools administrators. It is our mission to educate our community to build a stronger Union for the future. If you were an attendee of the conference and would like to visit a local training center please contact Marcos Martinez at info@ikorcc.com

IKORCC Partners with American Heart Association

The Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters supported an evening of giving and education on the effects of heart health in the construction industry. The IKORCC was the presenting sponsor at the American Heart Association Hard Hats with Heart networking event. We value this partnership because our members face many of the health risks related to cardiovascular diseases on a daily basis. May it be the level of stress they face on a jobsite or the lack of healthy eating options in the surrounding areas, they are all risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. As we move forward in our efforts to keep our members heart healthy, we will be implementing a wellness program that will focus on how to live a healthier life. We will educate members on many topics such as how to maintain blood suagr levels, eating better and reducing blood pressure, to maintaining a healthy weight and stop smoking.

The American Heart Association launched Hard Hats with Heart two years ago in order to focus on heart health within the construction industry. According to the American Heart Association, direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke total more than $316.6 billion. That includes health expenditures and lost productivity. In order to improve the overall heart health of our membership we must educate ourselves on the risks we may face in our day-to-day activities. The risk factors for construction workers vary from smoking, the lack of a well-rounded diet and high blood pressure, to diabetes and high cholesterol. The widespread presence of heart disease in construction is slightly higher than all other industries. This research comes as a surprise because on average construction workers tend to be younger and they experience physical demands daily. We are flooded with statistics of the risks factors we face as workers in the construction industry. As we are educated on these risks, it is our job to make a change in our own lives so we won’t become another statistic.

Hard Hats with Heart is here to provide companies in the construction-related field with free resources and tools that can help improve the health of their employees. We are working as a team to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. We look forward to the many lives that will be changed because of the education and resources they will acquire through Hard Hats with Heart.