On Thursday, the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) and the NWI Contractors Political Action Committee hosted a luncheon in support of Indiana gubernatorial candidate John Gregg. Attendees of the luncheon got the chance to hear firsthand from Gregg about his campaign and they had the opportunity to ask questions during a question and answer session.
“This is a joint meet and greet between the Northwest Indiana Contractors Political Action Committee and the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters,” said Mike Stavitzke, Director of Indiana/Kentucky. “Both the contracting group here in Northwest Indiana and ourselves as carpenters support John Gregg and that’s really what it’s all about.”
“It’s a great opportunity to sit down and meet everybody and answer some questions,” Stavitzke said. “We believe John Gregg is a solid, middle-of-the-road candidate who understands both the importance of high-paying jobs as well as the interests of working men and women themselves.”
Gregg has gotten to know Northwest Indiana pretty well since he began running for governor in 2012.
“We’re talking about a message that is focused on the economy,” Gregg said before getting up to speak during the luncheon. “That’s why it’s so great to be here in Northwest Indiana which is one of the huge economic engines of Indiana. We’re talking about what Hoosiers everywhere are concerned about like jobs that are going to pay a great living wage.”
“You’ve got contractors and skilled laborers here and that is our focus,” said Gregg. “It’s on improving the per capita income for an Indiana family. We need to close the skills gap and we need to be working with education and the business community to better align the job prospects, whether it’s a career path, an apprenticeship, certifications, an associate's or a bachelor’s degree. As I tell people, we don’t want to accept the status quo.”
The Regional Council of Carpenters covers a multi-state area which has 32,000 members across the Midwest. The organization is coming off a year of growth in terms of both their apprenticeship program, which grew by 15% last year along with growth in the number man-hours worked.
Dewey Pearman, Executive Director of the Construction Advancement Foundation, spoke about Gregg’s visit and what his election would mean to the industry he represents.
“What it means for our industry, particularly employers, is to have leadership in the State House that is open to hearing the needs of our contractors,” said Pearman. “The more he gets to the corners of the state, the more his message will resonate.”
“The folks in Northwest Indiana, more so than in the other corners of the state, need more exposure to the important public policy debates that go on in the State House,” Pearman said. “To have John (Gregg) up here to personally deliver that message helps reinforce in a very significant way what his campaign is all about.”
Business Representative with the IKORCC, Eric Yuhasz, spoke about gubernatorial candidate Gregg coming to speak at their Northwest Indiana headquarters.
“John’s always been a great advocate for us ever since he’s been campaigning during the last election,” Yuhasz said. “He’s a very personal guy and we believe in him. I think he’s going to make a real impact on the working class in Indiana.”
To find out more about the IKORCC, visit their website at: www.ikorcc.com.