Ironworkers Take a Creative Approach to Engaging and Educating Contractors

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Two contractor courses aim to ensure that Ironworker signatory contractors are the best in the industry.

Last week, the Ironworkers Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) and the Iron Workers International celebrated the completion of two wildly successful, never-before-offered contractor classes. “Effective Project Management” and “Pricing for Profits,” focused heavily on leadership, customer service and budgeting to maximize profits, and both aimed to help contractors find, bid and manage jobs.

“IMPACT and the Iron Workers International want to make sure that our signatory contractors are the best in the industry,” said Eric Waterman, CEO of IMPACT. “Effective Project Management” and “Pricing for Profits,” offered free of charge to signatory contractors, were included for the first time this year as part of the Iron Workers Instructor Training Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., July 12 – 23.

“We offer training guides, certification reimbursements and dozens of other products and services to our contractors. But the next logical step is to offer free courses to help educate them. We want to ensure that they are productive and successful, because good business is good for our union,” Waterman said. IMPACT already invests more than $50 million annually in training and upgrading for Ironworkers in the field through the National Training Fund.

32 contractors attended the two-day seminar, and all of them returned positive reviews.

“It’s very important to communicate with contractors and owners and subcontractors, as well as to prioritize,” said Ryan Chewning, a project manager from Berlin Steel’s Washington, D.C. office. “As a young project manager, this class is especially important.” “Effective Project Management” included a communication and leadership component tailored for construction contractors and project managers.

“Effective Project Management” focused on how to elevate project management performance and expectations based on the Project Leader Model from the FMI Management Consulting. “Pricing for Profits” aimed to give contractors the tools to project job costs and set profit goals. Representatives from FMI instructed both classes.

IMPACT is currently surveying contractors and attendees on what contractor courses they would like to see in the future.

“This is something we’re just starting, and there’s already been favorable response,” Waterman said. “Our next step is to schedule more classes, educate more contractors and help to revitalize the industry for both the Ironworkers and our signatory contractors.”

About IMPACT: The Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust ( was formed in 2003 under Section 302(c) 9 of the Labor-Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act. IMPACT is a non-profit, tax-exempt labor-management trust under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. The primary mission of IMPACT is to expand job opportunities for union ironworkers and their signatory contractors through progressive and innovative labor-management programs, training and safety. IMPACT is governed by a 26-member Board of Trustees. Each of IMPACT’s 10 regions is represented by one labor trustee and one management trustee.

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Brennan Gamwell
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