Celebrating Local 18 Retiree Jerry Stewart

Jerry Stewart began his journey as a Mechanical Insulator in May of 1972.  A member of Local 18 Indianapolis, he started permit work at the Owens Corning Fiberglass facility. 

"I needed a job," Stewart said. "I was originally an orderly at the old Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis, working double shifts just to make what a first-year apprentice Insulator made. I went through a program called "The Indiana Plan" which helps minorities get careers in the construction industry. Jerry Stewart

"First, they placed me with the Painters, but I didn't enjoy the work," he continued. "Then they placed me with the Ironworkers, but I didn't like dealing with all the heights. Finally, I was sent to the Insulators and the rest is history."

This step led him to a lifetime of commitments and experiences as a member of Insulators Local 18. 

Stewart realized during his first year at Owens Corning that being a member of the Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (HFIAW) was more than just a job. 

It was a pathway to rewarding benefits as well as representation and solidarity. 

Stewart was accepted into Local 18's registered apprenticeship program after his time doing permit work. Four years of apprenticeship training gave him invaluable hands-on experience, working alongside mechanics and fellow apprentices. 

Reflecting on his journey, Stewart fondly remembers the instructors and Local 18 Brothers and Sisters who invested their time into his development. 

Stewart became a Local Trustee after working 10 years as a mechanic. This marked the beginning of his Union involvement. 

In 1986, Stewart was elected as the Financial Secretary of Local 18, beginning a 37-year tenure as the financial steward for the Local. 

The HFIAW thanks Stewart for his many years of service to his Local and the Union as he transitions into retirement. 

"Local 18 has been fortunate to have a dedicated member of our Local handling our finances for so long. Jerry is one of a kind and will be deeply missed when he retires," Local 18 Business Manager Jason Smith said. "He has been an integral part of our organization's progress. Personally, he has been a mentor to me, and I consider him a close friend and Brother. I couldn't ask for a better person to help and guide me earlier in my time as Business Manager. I wish him and his wife Leslie all the best."Jerry Stewart 2

Throughout the decades, Stewart's dedication to the Union and to the members of Local 18 has been a source of inspiration and unity. His legacy as a devoted member and financial steward will forever resonate within Local 18.

After building a remarkable career and a legacy of unity and commitment, his journey is a testament to the power of the HFIAW and its impact on shaping lives. 

Congratulations, Brother Stewart, on your career and a legacy well-earned. Cheers to you. May you enjoy a wonderful retirement! 

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