From 2007 until 2009, the labor industry took a significant hit with the crash of the housing market. The Great Recession put many of Local 150’s members out of work and in need of assistance.
In January 2009, President James Sweeney announced that he wanted to help Local 150 members get through this difficult time by starting a food drive for its members. What started out as a small effort to help out-of-work members turned into a collaborate effort that brought members together. There is no other Local in America that provides assistance to its members like Local 150. Our grassroots efforts helped raise over $325,000 that went towards buying food for members. The Local 150 Food Bank also received a designated cents-per hour contractor contribution through the Midwest Operating Engineers Construction Industry Research and Service Trust Fund. Over 95% of contributions made to the Local 150 Food Bank went straight to families in need. During the time that the Food Bank operated, we successfully distributed over 6,200 food boxes to members.
After Local 150 members were back at work, the Food Bank transformed into a scholarship for member’s children. Since starting the scholarship in 2013, the Local 150 Food Bank has granted over $48,000 in scholarships to its members dependents to attend college. Each year the scholarship committee selects four recipients for a $2,500 scholarship renewable for four years and two- two year scholarships of $1,000 renewable for two years.