Iron Workers Local 392 steps up to help Godfrey man scammed by non-union contractor

IRON WORKERS LOCAL 392 stepped in to help Ted Kochanski of Godfrey, Ill., who got scammed by a non-union contractor on the construction of a large metal garage/mancave on his property. Apprentice Coordinator Robert E. Lee and apprentices Joseph Schempp, Reese May, Kody Sterkis, Jared Williamson, Joshua Funk and Clayton Archer and Business Representative/Political Director Greg Kapp, stepped up to finish the building. Kochanski called them “miracle workers.” – Iron Workers Local 392 photo

Managing Editor

Godfrey, IL – Iron Workers Local 392 stepped up last week to help a local man scammed by a non-union out-of-state contractor hired to erect a metal building on his property.

Ted Kochanski had purchased the building from a manufacturer and used a contractor recommended by them to set it up a year ago. He paid the contractor up front, but after he had done a minimal amount of work on the project he disappeared.

Kochanski, an engineer at Boeing, tried for a year to get the building up himself but the job was too much. At the urging of the manufacturer, Kochanski contacted someone with Iron Workers Local 7 out of Boston. They reached out to Iron Workers Local 392 in East St. Louis, Ill. to see if they could help.

Local 392 Business Representative Greg Kapp took the call and arranged for the current apprentice class to get some on-the-job training putting the building up.

Now Kochanski is calling Local 392, Kapp and the apprentices “miracle workers.”

THE NEARLY FINISHED BUILDING, assembled with union quality and care by apprentices from Iron Workers Local 392. – Iron Workers Local 392 photo

“The whole crew were just unbelievable, hardworking guys. I’m honored that they touched my life this way and saved me,” Kochanski said of the apprentices’ work putting up the combination garage, man cave and hideout where he and his kids and grandkids can work on cars and play.

“I saved my whole life for it, bought it and paid somebody to put it up, and he got the skeleton up and disappeared,” Kochanski said. “The manufacturer is also looking for him because they had booked him for different contracts.”

Kapp said there was no question Local 392 would help.

“He paid the guy all the money up front and the guy came to town, did a little bit of work then skipped town on the rest of it. He got screwed out of a decent amount of money,” Kapp said.

“I couldn’t have done this without the cooperation of my apprentice coordinator Robert E. Lee and apprentices Joseph Schempp, Reese May, Kody Sterkis, Jared Williamson, Joshua Funk and Clayton Archer.”

“Greg called me and the next Monday they were here,” Kochanski said. “They finished the building from Monday through Friday. I’m speechless. I’m in awe. I feel like there’s been some sort of divine intervention.

“I’ve been a manager at times in my life. Greg teaches these young men all the time. Every step they take he’s teaching. He’s a gem and these young guys are hardworking guys. I can’t speak highly enough about these folks. and what they’ve done.

“My daughter who is 24, came home from running some errands. She came up the driveway, stopped, got out of her car and started crying because she’s seen me struggling over the past year. That’s the kind of effect it’s having on this family. I can’t say enough about them. They’re stars. They’re heroes.”


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