NORTH CANTON Walsh University inherited another piece of the former Hoover Company late last year. The former Hoover Company’s International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1985 AFL-CIO donated its longtime headquarters at 113 S. Main St. to Walsh.
"We want this building to become another hub in which Walsh University can interact with the community," wrote Dr. Douglas Palmer, Ph.D., vice president of Academic Affairs, who answered questions via email. "The location is situated perfectly downtown between our civic leadership in City Hall on one side and private leadership in the Chamber of Commerce next door. Our goal is to be the bridge where public and private interests will come together to continue to develop the economy of Stark County. By commemorating the contributions of the Hoover workers, we will be creating a lasting reminder to always move forward in a way that engages the entire community. This is only one example of how Local 1985 will continue to be in a presence in our community."
Palmer explained how Walsh inherited the building, which is a two-story, 4,060-square-foot building that includes a first floor exhibit area, meeting room, kitchenette, second floor reception area, two offices and a basement board room.
"The initiative to donate the building was spearheaded by the President and Business Manager of IBEW Local 1985 Nick J. Tomey and approved by Local 1985s officers, executive board and all of the remaining Union Members," wrote Palmer. "The idea was spearheaded by Nick Tomey after a meeting with the Walsh University Hoover Historical Center about a donation of the Union’s artifacts to the collection. Nick was impressed by the care and commitment he saw in the Center’s preservation of the Hoover Company history and approached Walsh with the offer of donating the new building."
Palmer said the building is going to be a place for hands on learning for students.
"Through the university’s Museum Studies major, the only undergraduate program of its kind in Ohio, Walsh students are able to combine classroom instruction with hands-on practicum experience at the Center," he wrote. "Students will be involved in design and installation of exhibitions, which will provide them with valuable skills as they enter the workforce after graduation."
Throughout its history, Local 1985 represented The Hoover Company’s workforce including electricians, maintenance workers, mechanics, assembly line workers and truck drivers. At its peak in the 1970s and 1980s, the union represented more than 3,000 workers.
Some of the IBEW artifacts include Local Union 1985’s charter, seal, banner/flag and other miscellaneous memorabilia.
Palmer said the new building will hold regular office hours for people to come in and see artifacts. Palmer also wrote that the university is planning a dedication ceremony, but the day and time have yet to be determined.