2023 Open House Season

The Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Open House season is officially complete. We had record-breaking attendance at nearly every training center – and shattered our total attendance records. Through September and October, we saw over 7,800 high schoolers, community leaders, and more in our training centers in Warsaw, Merrillville, Louisville, Greenwood, Newburgh, Terre Haute, Grayson, Richfield, Columbus, Monroe, and Rossford.

Assurance of Job Security and Support

Attendees were guided through our training centers by IKORCC representatives, who gave them an in-depth overview of what we accomplish as an organization. They learned what it meant to be

a union carpenter and why that title is important in the industry. Marcos Martinez, senior representative out of Greenwood, IN had this to say about what he tries to convey when talking with groups at open houses:

“My goal with these open houses is to show that carpentry isn’t a ‘second-class’ profession like a lot of people think. The level of training and education this field takes is higher than most other careers people might find themselves in – and the IKORCC does a great job at preparing you for that.” Students were able to hear from area-specific contractors and organizations as well. In Ohio alone, 2023 saw a 22.5% increase in training hours compared to 2022. In that same time frame, Ohio has seen an uptick in total apprentices with a staggering 863 that graduated in 2023. Getting people in the organization is the key to fulfilling man-hours and ensuring long-term success for the future – the 1200 kids who rolled through Grayson, Kentucky’s Open House are a testament to that.

Knowing there will be work while they are in the apprenticeship (and beyond) is extremely valuable – and there’s more of it throughout the council right now than there has ever been. Between

Stellantis and Blue Oval battery plants in Indiana and Kentucky, Intel Chip Manufacturing plant in Ohio, Solar opportunities, and other megaprojects throughout the council, our members are in a position where they won’t have to worry about whether there will be work for them at any given time.

The IKORCC is dedicated to assisting/training members during their time in the apprenticeship and in the field. This assistance also aids our partner contractors who rely on our highly trained membership to deliver the best possible work on their jobs. A short list of recent accomplishments/initiatives within the council includes (but is definitely not limited to):

  • Metalspan/Kingspan training taking place in Warsaw, IN to help meet demands for the Stellantis mega project.
  • Onsite job training taking place at Blue Oval Battery Park in Kentucky.
  • 2,000 members trained in solar to keep up with demands from the Cavalry and Dunns Bridge Projects.
  • ALL Ohio training centers are now Accredited Testing Facilities for welding, as acknowledged by the American Welding Society.
  • An overhead crane is being installed at our Grayson, KY training center to allow for the opportunity for our members to be certified as Overhead Crane operators.

Knowing there will be support during their time as a union carpenter might be just as important. IKORCC Representative Annie Jewell shared her experience in Sisters in the Brotherhood – how she has been supported and continues to support members – with young women at our open houses. “SIBS is about showing women, not only in our organization but the public as well, that there is an opportunity for a career here. They can hold this position as well. If you come in here and you work hard, you’re going to make as much as the men make, you’ll be treated with the same respect, and you’ll have the support system of the sisters behind you.”

Students Get Hands-On with the IKORCC

On top of what they were able to hear and see, students were also encouraged to participate in some hands-on learning. We had virtual reality walkthroughs on job site safety, nail challenges, power tool trials, and even a practical robotics demonstration. Getting students interested is the first step to getting them involved in the organization.

Thank you to everyone who made these events possible. We are already looking forward to our 2024 Open Houses!