March ’21 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

By the time this reaches your mailbox, it will have been one year since the World Health Organization gave a name to the novel coronavirus and declared a pandemic.  The convolutions the world has been thrown into since then need no review.  On anniversaries of major personal or societal events, it is often helpful to take stock of where you were then and your position now.  

When we look to the past it often with an emotional magnifying glass.  The events are amplified by the emotions locked into that moment. 

Painful and joyous alike are recalled in how we felt at a particular moment and this becomes the prism with which we review those events.  

Perhaps this is why it is so easy to romanticize our personal or collective past.  Whether it is a season in our life like high school or event like a vacation, wedding, birth or death these events define us as individuals as surely as the Kennedy assassination, September 11, the Challenger and Columbia loses and the Capitol Insurrection define our collective identity.

These moments define us but even the good memories become destructive when we they restrain us from moving forward with our lives.  We become like a dog tied to a stake barking at cars running by us until we wear a path in the grass, a path to nowhere.

The problem with locking into these events, moments and seasons is we live our lives forward not backward.  You cannot drive a car forward by staring into the review mirror, you must look through the windshield.  The answers to where you are going are looking forward in the windshield, not the rear view mirror.  The mirrors give you a sense of where you were and what is coming up from behind and act as a touchstone but, will not warn you of the obstacles or allow the appreciation of the beauty lying ahead.

Live life looking forward.  It is a beautiful view.  Don’t miss it.

The Local 17 apprenticeship program is remaining virtual for the Spring Semester and all apprentices registered started their studies January 18. 

Seven Local 17 apprentices are eligible for the Mechanics Exam. The Prometrics window for taking the exam runs February 8 through May 9.  Rick Myers is willing to donate his time to assist apprentices preparing for the exam along with mentoring from Jerry Reitz and Tim Narowitz.  The mentoring is available after registering for the review class on the NEIEP website.

If you hold a scaffolding certificate card and are in need of renewal, the Scaffolding and Access Industry Association (SAIA) is allowing online renewals of current certificates.  This does not apply to new certificates or instructor renewals.  For more information on this or any other continuing education opportunities access the NEIEP website ( or contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr. at 216-431-8088 or email him at

Work in Local 17 has been strong through the past year as all companies have sought to keep those on their payrolls working.  There is talk that there may be a slowdown coming the near future.  There are four mechanics from Houston currently working for Schindler on the MetroHealth job and several Local 45 (Akron) members in the Cleveland jurisdiction.  If there is a slow down in work, Local 17 will have to make changes to keep as many members working as possible.  Article XXII of the Standard Agreement says mechanics can stay on a job until completion.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 extend their condolences to the family of retiree Bob Hess, Sr who passed away December 16.

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

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.


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