Carpenter Apprentices Volunteer for Chesterton Building Trades Program

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



Schönox Subfloor Solutions Representatives Present at Greenwood Training Center

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

Carpenter’s Union Training Facility Offers Hands-On Apprenticeship Program

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Gaining access to an affordable education and a hands-on, in-the-field apprenticeship have been made possible through the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) Training Center in Louisville.

Out of the approximate 35,000 IKORCC members throughout the three-state span, 5,000 millwrights, carpenters and floor coverers live and work in Kentucky, and the Louisville Training Center is home to nearly 500 apprentices working in the field.

The 100,000 square foot training center – recently visited by elected Kentucky representatives and senators on a tour that was led by instructor Hope Harp – offers a four-year apprenticeship program where students spend a minimal amount of time in the classroom – they are required to attend week-long classes four times per year – and a bulk of their time being trained and mentored by experienced journeypersons on job sites. While on the job, students are compensated for their work.

Out-of-pocket expenses for the students are also kept to a minimum, averaging about $100 annually for text books.

Apprentices in carpentry, millwright work and floor covering who complete the four-year program graduate with an associate’s degree in Applied Science from Ivy Tech State College, an education valued around $17,000, and hit the ground running with a career as a journeyman.

Graduates can further their education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree through an established educational facility with an apprenticeship program. Other graduates have obtained high-level and advanced manufacturing positions at Fortune 500 companies, including Ford and GE.

“Apprentices are the future of our industry, and it’s so important they have access to the right resources and education,” commented Richard Fouts, Senior Manager of the IKORCC. “The Louisville Training Center apprenticeship program is a one-of-a-kind program that offers students an invaluable experience that couldn’t be taught in the classroom. We’re starting to notice a deficit in the workforce due to older generation retiring or leaving, and projects that used to take 12 weeks are taking 20 weeks to complete. That’s why it’s so important to educate the younger generation and provide them with the tools necessary to succeed.”

Individuals seeking to become an apprentice through the Louisville Training Center program are required to have a high school diploma or GED and must pass a written exam distributed by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and interview at the training facility. For direct access into the program, veterans can go through the Helmets to Hardhats program. The Training Center also recruits through various minority organizations, including the Bridges to Opportunities Workforce Training Program, the Youthbuild Louisville Program, Job Corps and SkillsUSA Kentucky.

The training center also offers continuing education for current IKORCC members seeking to improve skills and abilities.

For more information, please contact the IKORCC Louisville Campus, 1245 Durrett Lane, 502.375.8667, email or visit