Walsh Commemorates Opening of IBEW 1985 Labor Museum and MakerSpace


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Walsh University Dedicates IBEW 1985 Labor Museum and MakerSpace, Dec. 6

As a tribute to the Hoover Company’s International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union (IBEW) Local 1985, Walsh University formally dedicated and opened the new IBEW 1985 Labor Museum and MakerSpace with a ceremony and reception on Thursday, Dec. 6. 

Canton Repository Article and Video: Labor Museum, MakerSpace Opens in North Canton

IBEW Local 1985 donated its longtime union headquarters to Walsh University in 2016, in an agreement that underscored community engagement and a shared vision to preserve the Hoover Company and IBEW Local 1985 legacy in North Canton.

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 late 1970s and early 1980s, the union represented more than 3,000 members, at multiple locations throughout Stark County. 

Originally planned as an exhibit to honor that legacy through memorabilia and artifacts, Walsh took the original concept and added in an interactive children’s makerspace in an effort to teach how labor practices from the past such as the assembly line and electrical know-how, can be applied to current technology. There are hands-on activities and teaching stations where the children can learn and play an active role in applying these practices. 

Exhibits include a replica of a union headquarters office during the 1980s, with a desk, punch cards and captioned memorabilia in an immersive experience where children and guests can explore artifacts that explain the impact and role of a union in the local community. Other interactive exhibits help children investigate the importance of union speeches, manufacturing assembly lines, electrical know-how and the ways in which technology has impacted the industry through innovations such as 3D printers. Ideal for student field trips, afterschool programs or club outings, Museum access is available by reservation to Andrea Singarella, at or call 330-490-7567.