February 2013

IMPACT--Creating Job Opportunities for Ironworkers and Contractors

This issue of The Ironworker magazine is a little different than what you're used to: It focuses on IMPACT and the work we do to create job opportunities for ironworkers and contractors across North America.

Let me begin by recognizing the leadership of General President Emeritus Joe Hunt, whose vision and desire to grow our great union led to IMPACT's formation back in 2003. I would also like to commend our Management Co-Chair, Bill Brown, who remains enthusiastic and completely invested in IMPACT's mission. And, of course, I would like to thank Eric Waterman, IMPACT's founding CEO, who retired earlier this year. His zeal to promote labor-management collaboration was--and still is--the driving force behind IMPACT's success over the past 10 years.

Finally, I would like to take a moment to recognize Darrell LaBoucan and Ross Fraser, who have both shown incredible initiative in leading IMPACT's Canadian expansion. And with IMPACT Canadian Regional Director Bert Royer now serving three new Regional Advisory Boards, IMPACT has become a truly international organization.

As a proud ironworker, your general president and IMPACT co-chairman, I am personally invested in the success of ironworkers and contractors throughout North America, and just like Joe, Bill, Eric, Darrell, and Ross, I understand that ironworker/contractor collaboration is critical for us to grow as the union ironworking industry.

From my experiences as a 37-year member of the Iron Workers Local 28 (Richmond, Va.), I know the need that ironworkers have to take home a regular paycheck to support their families, to stay safe and secure on the job, and to have access to top-notch training and journeyman upgrading programs.

Having been involved with IMPACT since its founding in 2003 as general vice president, general treasurer, and general secretary, I am also intimately familiar with IMPACT's focus on safety, quality, and productivity, a focus which has yielded groundbreaking programs that have galvanized growth throughout the industry.

IMPACT embraces the virtues of safety, not only for ironworkers, but also for contractors. We must save lives and reduce all types of injuries on the job for our members' sake. Yet, safety is also critical to the viability of our contractors and industry. Many owners won't even agree to let a contractor bid a project if that company presents a marred safety record.

My confidence in our future is fortified by the young ironworkers added to our ranks. These young men and women are passionate about the quality of their work as they take advantage of the array of new training and IMPACT courses, including the popular Superintendent Training and Contractor Development courses.

The leadership of our local unions recognize that to grow, we must produce. Productivity results from partnering with contractors. They are the tip of the spear when it comes to pinpointing more work. As contractors get more work, ironworkers do, too.

Whether you're an ironworker, contractor, owner, or developer, I hope this special edition of The Ironworker magazine paints a detailed portrait of how IMPACT works to improve safety, quality, and productivity on a daily basis...all to create job opportunities for ironworkers and contractors while improving the ironworking industry for everyone who relies on our expertise.

Through IMPACT and collaboration between ironworkers and contractors, we're proudly building North America.