L-60 apprentice moonlights in union-made gear

Bill Herman, a third-year apprentice with Local 60 (Peoria, Ill.), holds one of the T-shirts he designed for his company, Union Boilermaker Gear.

BILL HERMAN BECAME a field construction Boilermaker apprentice in 2005, joining Local 60 (Peoria, Ill.) in Sept. 2006. Throughout his four-year apprenticeship, his frustration grew in his search to find union-made clothing and gear. When he graduated in March 2009, he did so with the hope that no other Boilermaker would have to go through such an exhausting search, not now that he has opened his own online company called UnionBoilermakerGear.com.

“One day I was talking to a buddy of mine about how no one sells any gear for Boilermakers like other crafts do. I came home and searched the Internet and found very little,” Herman said.

Tired of seeing jobs go overseas, Herman makes sure that all merchandise he offers is both American- and union-made. Products include T-shirts with artwork he designed, Thorogood work boots (made in Wisconsin), Carhartt premium workwear (from jeans to coats), bandanas, welding hoods and hats, and stickers for hard hats and other gear.

For more information, contact Herman at unionboilermakergear@gmail.com.