Working with United Steelworkers in Gary, IN

Back in February, I received an email out of the blue from a company called C&C Operations, saying they were looking for someone to teach a sausage making class. The class was going to be in Gary, IN, at a career development center for United Steelworkers. Would I be available to teach it?

I’ve been a bike commuter since I started college, but I bought my first car this past January. A 2004 VW Golf wagon, stick shift. My dad taught me stick when I first learned to drive, though I haven’t driven much since. Driving to Gary, IN once a week to teach a sausage making class seemed daunting and maybe not worth the time. But as I went back and forth with C&C Operations, I realized that this was an opportunity I really wanted to take. They gave me complete freedom to teach the class however I’d like to teach it, and when I mentioned I’d like to start our first class by breaking down a whole ham and grinding our meat fresh, they didn’t bat an eye.

I was also excited about the opportunity to work with the United Steelworkers Union. C&C Operations is a company that provides personal development training classes to United Steelworkers nationally, and their classes run the gamut from drywalling, to jewelry making, to cooking. Because of scheduling issues, I had two students at this first class, but the intimate class size made for a fun and relaxed class, where the three of us got to decide exactly what we wanted to learn, make, and eat. Justin and Craig have both worked for United Steel for over 15 years, and they are close friends. At their request, we made cevapi, which I had never made or even eaten. It was rewarding to hear that it tasted exactly how it was supposed to! I learned a lot from them, and am I happy to say that C&C was able to schedule not only another sausage making class this coming fall, but a whole animal butchery class as well! Though we had our final session last week, I look forward to making the trip back to Gary come September.