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October 2018 Fall Brings Opportunity for Our Union

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Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb Appoints Local 150 Assistant Apprenticeship Coordinator Mark Kara to Workforce Cabinet

Today, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb appointed Mark Kara of Hobart to the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. Holcomb established the 21-member panel to provide recommendations to better prepare Indiana workers for productive careers.

Kara, 50, is the assistant coordinator of Local 150’s Apprenticeship and Skill Improvement Program, which provides classroom and hands-on training for Local 150’s 23,000 heavy equipment operators both at the beginning and throughout their careers. A focus of the program is developing flexible skills to respond to real-world industry trends as they emerge.

“I am thankful to have the opportunity to help local workers prepare themselves for meaningful careers in our communities,” said Kara. “I’ve spent my career working with apprentices who are trying to develop their skills, and I know that investing in our local workforce is a winning strategy for workers, local businesses, and Indiana’s economy. This appointment is an honor and I will work hard to create paths to opportunity in Indiana.” 

“Mark’s appointment underscores the importance that apprenticeship programs play in the grand scheme of workforce development,” said Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney. “Our program takes new applicants and provides them with all the training and opportunities to be skilled and flexible throughout their entire careers.”

The Governor also appointed the following individuals to the cabinet:

  • Jená Bellezza (Crown Point), vice president of strategic partnerships and branding for the Indiana Parenting Institute
  • Amy Brown (Elkhart), vice president of Flexible Concepts Inc.
  • Jason Ells (Indianapolis), senior vice president of Custom Concrete
  • Christine Ernst (Indianapolis), president of Trans-Plants Inc.
  • Mark Kara (Hobart), assistant to the coordinator for Local 150 Operating Engineers
  • Paul Perkins (Jeffersonville), president of Amatrol Inc.
  • Brad Rhorer (Lafayette), senior manager of Subaru of Indiana
  • Rebecca Schroeder (Albion), president of Whiteshire Hamroc
  • Bob Stutz (Indianapolis), CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • Alan Taylor (New Albany), director of career and technical education for Prosser Career Education Center
  • Tony Vespa (Indianapolis), founder of Vespa Group
  • Bruce Watson (Fort Wayne), director of facilities for Fort Wayne Metals
  • Maurice Coates Jr. (Evansville), president of CK United

The new appointees will join other cabinet members outlined in state statute, including:

  • Governor’s Workforce Cabinet Chairman Danny Lopez
  • Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo
  • Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne
  • Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers
  • Indiana Economic Development Corporation President Elaine Bedel
  • Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick
  • Ivy Tech Community College President Sue Ellspermann
  • Vincennes University President Chuck Johnson

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 is a labor union representing 23,000 working men and women in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. Local 150 represents workers in various industries, including construction, construction material production, public works, concrete pumping, steel mill service, slag processing and others.



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