Wood working is a time honored and skillful craft that has permeated every society for millennia. So much of what we build relies upon carpenters and the skill sets that they refine and hone after years of practical tutelage under a master.
Mayor David Uran of Crown Point understands the need for these men and women and as such, has recently partnered with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. To celebrate this event, the local NWI Building Trades Carpenters Apprenticeship class came out to Crown Point to help finish up the rehabilitation of an old building that will end up being the city’s Emergency Management Agency.
“Basically the city asked for a little bit of help. They’re turning this into their EMA (Emergency Medical Agency) so they can have some training areas and a place to house their vehicles. Repurposing this building is a good use of an old building. It’s also kind of historic. This building was once the Lake County Garage,” informed Jim Slagle, who is the Business Representative for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. “These are guys from our apprenticeship program, second year apprentices. Our instructor brought them over here to help do the work. We try to teach them early on about the value of contributing to community and this is just one of the ways we can help out.”
Slager went on to explain how entrenched these carpenters are throughout Northwest Indiana communities.
“We do everything we can for any community we belong to. Our members are just you and me out there every day. You don’t even know they’re a carpenter. The guy coaching soccer could be a carpenter. We’re very civic minded and involved in lots of aspects of every town we’re in," said Slager.
The team worked together under the watchful gaze of their instructor, completing skilled tasks as required. Each person knew what to do, and was intent upon completing their assigned tasks to the fullest extent of their abilities.
“The apprenticeship program through the carpenters is a very skilled trade,” said Greg Falkowski, Chief of Staff for the City of Crown Point. “They learn everything from drywall, to concrete, to roads, and scaffolding. We thought it would be a great opportunity to partner with the carpenters apprenticeship class to provide them with a training opportunity and give back to the community.”
“We have a great working relationship with the mayor of Crown Point and Greg who was a former carpenter by trade,” mentioned Randy Palmateer, Business Manager for NWI Building and Construction Trades Council. “We give back to communities, anything they need. It’s a reciprocal relationship that we’ve had for a long time here with members that live in the city. So, anytime we can help out, we help out.”
The skills and time given to the community by these men and women certainly shows the generous spirit of them. Crown Point will definitely be the better for it, once the carpenters are done with the EMA building. After completion of the EMA building, there is sure to be another project for them to move on to.