The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, August 09, 2013


By The Building Tradesman

IBEW’s Hellmer joins MBCTC

Gary Hellmer, a 36-year member of IBEW Local 58, last month joined the Detroit office of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council as a Business Representative.

“It’s humbling and an honor to be chosen for this position, considering all the talented workers among all the crafts that we deal with,” Hellmer said. “At the end of the day I hope to be able to use this position to take care of one of our core responsibilities, and that’s to try to build relationships and make contacts to create an environment that makes it easier for contractors and owners to hire our people, and keep them working.”

Hellmer was a business representative for Local 58 from 1997 to 2012. He has kept an extensive list of contacts in the contractor and owner communities, keeping tabs on people who can help union trades win current and future work. “I approach this job with a business development attitude,” Hellmer said. “It’s important to develop relationships with contractors and owners, and remind them of the quality and value our union workforce adds to any project. It all comes down to selling our union training and value.”

Hellmer promoted union construction as a member of the Livingston County Workforce Board from 1998 to 2012. A master electrician, Hellmer served as a trustee on the Local 58/NECA Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee. He also served on the International Association of Electrical Inspectors/Michigan Chapter, the Reciprocal Electrical Council Inc., a Southeast Michigan Board of Electrical Inspectors.

“Gary is a great fit for the building trades,” said Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Devlin. “He knows the construction industry inside out in Southeast Michigan, he’s well-connected with owners and contractors, and he understands where we’re at politically. He will be a valuable asset going forward.”

Michigan’s jobless rate takes a hike

Michigan’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates have increased in all 17 of the state's labor markets – by no small amount.

Figures released Aug. 1 by the Department of Technology, Management & Budget show Michigan's overall unadjusted unemployment rate rose by 1 percentage point, from May’s 8.4 percent to 9.4 percent in June. The jobless rate on Jan. 1, 2013 was 8.9 percent.

The state says rates ranged from a low of 6.8 percent in the Ann Arbor region to a high of 11 percent in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. The national jobless rate was unchanged from May to June at 7.6 percent.

Sarcasm: Michigan’s new right to work law is really working its magic, isn’t it?