Even off the job, Local 134 electricians and NECA contractors are working to make Chicagoland better. Recently, a collection of union electricians gathered to make several families’ dreams of owning a home come true.
Habitat for Humanity was building three houses for families on East 16th Street in Chicago Heights, Ill. Bill Meyr, who is also the General Foreman for Navy Pier, was working with several apprentices and had completed half the trimming on the first house; however, one of the families was hoping to be in their new home for Christmas.
The people at Habitat turned to Shad Goorsky, the Cook County Residential Superintendent for Huen Electric, who pulled together 11 additional Local 134 electricians to help the team complete the three houses quickly. Within days, volunteers had piped and pulled the television, phone and electrical wiring as well finished all of the trim. The first family was able to celebrate the holidays in their new home. The two other families are expected to move in by early February.
"All of these families are coming from substandard living conditions. By becoming owners rather than renters, these families can live in well-constructed, energy-efficient homes that will reduce their monthly living expenses," said David Tracy, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburbs. "So these homes represent not only a major step in living conditions but it also means they are breaking the poverty cycle."
"The time donated by Local 134 electricians was wonderful because Habitat got skilled labor that was able to come in and do a professional job, allowing us to concentrate on other items that needed to be completed," added Tracy.
NECA Chicago contractor Huen Electric, as well as conduit manufacturer Allied Tube, donated the much-needed materials to wire the house.
IBEW Local 134 electricians who donated their time to work on the Habitat project include Matt Childmond, Mark Crews, Todd Connaughton, John Costella, Dave Horrera, Rick Leffredo, Jill Leffredo, Juan Martinez, Bill Meyr, Chris Regalado, Frank Ramirez, Marion Szomko, José Vega and José (Paco) Yani.
"We sincerely appreciate the work completed by the contractor represented by NECA Chicago and the electricians represented by IBEW Local 134 on the Habitat homes," said said Tracy. "The unionized electrical industry is about more than just buildings, pipe and wire. It is about caring for people and helping those less fortunate. All of those that helped on the Habitat homes proved this once again."
If you are interested in volunteering for Habitat, visit the organization’s website at www.habitat.org to find the chapter in your region.