March ’13 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

It’s March so that means the start of NCAA college basketball tournaments and St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner.  So whether you’re Irish, wish you were or are just cheering for them, enjoy your month.

I’m writing this at the end of January as the debate over gun control rages in the wake of Sandy Hook and a half dozen other events where people resorted to using firearms to make a point.  While the Far Left looks to seize all firearms and the Far Right says they’ll have to pry them out of their cold, dead hands, the millions of us who are in the middle watch as the debate produces more heat than light.

My youngest daughter was curious about the debate and decided to research the issues herself.  She started with a literal reading and then looked at the history of case law spanning back to just a few years after the adoption of the Constitution.  She quickly realized that the issue, while clarified in case law, was still open to interpretation after over 224 years of debate.

What I encourage everyone reading this to do is no matter what side of any issue you fall, research the opposite side to give yourself a well-rounded view.  Then, and only then, can you form a complete and informed opinion.  This is how the law is argued in schools, briefs and courtrooms around the world.  With your new expanded perspective, you may just turn that heat into light.

NEIEP is offering the welding class taught at the world headquarters of Lincoln Electric, the leader in welding products and supplies.  This is a 40-hour course, four hours a night for two weeks.  The class offers the opportunity to qualify for a 3G and 4G certification.  This is an outstanding class taught in the best facilities in the world.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at

Local 17 maintains an email list for immediate communication with members, both active and retired, in the event of a death, accident or important event.  You can get on the list by contacting Tim at the hall.

Welcome to the 18 new brothers in Local 34 (Indianapolis).  These new brothers came to the IUEC through the efforts of members of the Indianapolis local reaching out to their non-union brothers at Amco Elevator.  Amco was eventually purchased on January 1 by Thyssen-Krupp.  This added 2000 units to their portfolio and brought these new members into the local.  Their outreach efforts can be a model for further efforts by the IUEC and is applicable to other trades.

Where are they working?

Ron Rittwage and Taurus Ogletree at Lorain County Community College installing a four-stop hydro for Schindler,

Tom Gombar and Chris Scholle at Judson Manor doing machine work and cabling for Kone,

Mike Miller and Ric Supinski doing inspections at Eaton Corp headquarters for Otis,

Don Knapik and Dave Grantham at PNC installing phones and speakers for Schindler,

Neil Beechuk and Nick Meyer at St. John’s Hospital finishing a job for Otis,

Dave Francis and John Masko at Southerly doing a mod for Schindler,

Kevin Thomas and Matt Johnson at Southwest General Hospital for Thyssen,

Joe Broz Jr. and Dave Adrian doing a jack at Case Western for Thyssen,

Gerard Szmerkovsky and Craig Nolty at Hunting Valley installing a three-stop hydro for Otis, and

Gary Thompson and Joe Sumph doing a two-car mod at Regency Towers for Schindler.

Local 17 sends its condolences to the families of Brothers Tom Kelly and Mark Carollo who lost their fathers and Brother John Patton who lost his mother.

As of this writing there are five mechanics on the bench.

Till next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety



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