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Critical Careers Spotlight: Carpenters Local #237

Becoming a Carpenters Union Apprentice provides people with the rare opportunity to “earn while you learn.” This approach makes it easier for people of all ages to get involved with the trade since they have the ability to earn a living while being an apprentice.

Brian Burks, an East Peoria native is in his third year of the four year apprentice program and apart of Union #237. Burks graduated from East Peoria High School in 2001, and enlisted with the Marines shortly after. While serving as a Marine, he also worked for Budweiser and FedEx before joining the Carpenters Union. “I was nervous about switching to something that is completely different,” says Burks about going from the military to the Carpenters Union, “But I love building things and learning how to fix things on my own, so it was just natural that I joined the Carpenters Union.”
“This trade is great for someone who is a hard worker, enjoys challenges, and loves learning new things,” says Burks. Becoming an apprentice will teach you everything from building a house, concrete work, flooring, windows, to doing home repairs, and most of what you learn is done in the field while actually working. After the 4 year apprenticeship program is over, Burks will take the test to become a Journeyman and hopes to be a supervisor or even own his own company someday.
“This is a great career opportunity with health benefits, retirement, and when something in my house needs fixed, I can do it myself! That alone saves a lot of money.” Says Burks, “I wish I could have started the trade sooner, and I hope more people get involved right out of high school.”
If you would like more information on becoming an apprentice visit:, or you can call Director Robert Swegle at (309) 353-4232.
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