Hammond, Ind.-based IBEW Local No. 697, a union of electrical workers covering Lake and Newton counties in Indiana, is celebrating 100 years of commitment to excellence. Chartered on June 12, 1911, IBEW Local No. 697 started with only nine electrical workers. At the time, the opposition to unions was very much active and bitter. Yet, these men prevailed and survived against the insurmountable social and economical obstacles. Over the years, the group has promoted reasonable methods of work, cultivated feelings of friendship among those in their industry, settled disputes by arbitration, and assisted each other in times of need. IBEW Local No. 697 has secured a high standard of living and security for their members.

This local electrical workers' union has not only been instrumental in the industry but has always had a keen focus and interest in community and civic affairs. Over the years, the group has engaged in philanthropic efforts with the United Way, Hoosier Boys Town, TradeWinds, Little League, Parents as Teachers, American Legions and LARRI, to name a few. The close knit group has also served as a support network for aging members who gather regularly at the Local Union Hall.

In addition to the hundred-year birthday, Local Union No 697 has an additional reason to celebrate in 2011. The organization has recently completed construction and moved into a new Union Hall building, which will serve not only as the Local Union Hall and gathering place for the Retirees' Club but also as the funds offices, a credit union, and the center for the state-of-the-art Apprenticeship Training Center. The new facility is the first LEED building in Lake County, Ind., featuring cutting-edge environmentally friendly technology and building practices.

This summer, the members of IBEW Local No. 697 will gather to commemorate a century of continued support from members, retirees, and contractors. Their 100 Anniversary celebration on June 11 will include all members and industry partners for an evening honoring the local union that has served such an important role in its members lives and the community over the years.