SAVOY, Ill. (WCIA) — Community leaders from across Champaign County joined union leaders on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the groundbreaking for construction of a new union hall for UA Local 149.
Officials said the event took place at 1005 North Dunlap Avenue, just south of the union’s existing building. Champaign County Executive Darlene Kloeppel, County Board members Jenny Lokshin and Kyle Patterson, Savoy Village Trustee Dee Shonkwiler and A&R Mechanical President Bill Walter were among outstanding individuals that attended this event.
The construction of a new union hall will allow the union’s apprentice training program to utilize the entire 12,000-square-foot building shared by both union leaders and the training program. That expansion will include the renovation of office space to create more classrooms and workshops for hands-on learning. That means the union will be able to train more local residents and help them take the first steps in securing good-paying jobs.
“Our union is incredibly proud to make this investment in our future,” said Local 149 Business Manager Matt Kelly. “Our union hall has served us well for the last 54 years, but interest in the trades just keeps growing and we recognized the need to allow our training program to continue growing, as well. This will enable us to better serve our community for generations to come.”
Local 149 represents more than 600 East Central Illinois residents who work at more than 40 local companies and the University of Illinois, providing plumbing, heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, steam, industrial process, boiler and medical-gas piping services.
Check out some photos from this event: