IMPACT Prepares Ironworker Contractors for Growth in Competitive Recovery Economy Through New Course

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Through an all-new project management course, the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) seeks to raise the bar in quality across the construction industry by preparing Ironworker Contractor project managers to fill a growing number of positions.

Texas Mid-South Ironworkers and Contractors are committed to improving our management skills as we compete to gain market share.

The construction industry is on its way back. Heralding a much-needed revival in an industry still reeling from losses during the economic crisis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report on Jan. 4 announcing that 30,000 new construction jobs were created across the United States in December. As conditions improve in all sectors of the U.S. economy, construction industry Contractors must ensure that they remain viable in the highly competitive recovery market by investing heavily in their human capital. The Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) is doing just that—ensuring that Ironworker Contractors and their employees have the superior skills they need to compete in the expanding marketplace.

A dozen attendees from four contracting companies joined IMPACT in Arlington, Texas, last week to attend the newly launched Project Manager Academy (PMA), a course aimed at Contractor leaders, project managers and future project managers.

“The experience Contractors take from this course not only benefits Ironworkers and their Contractors, it benefits owners, developers…the entire industry,” said Kevin Hilton, IMPACT CEO. “We are raising the bar on quality for everyone.”

Marvin Ragsdale, Labor Co-Chair for IMPACT’s Texas Mid-South Region, echoed Hilton. “Texas Mid-South Ironworkers and Contractors are committed to improving our management skills as we compete to gain market share,” he said. “And, the feedback we received from this course proves that our managers are implementing valuable new skills in the field.”

PMA, conducted by IMPACT in partnership with leading construction industry consultants FMI, includes a curriculum designed to cultivate leadership skills and hone knowledge needed in the construction industry, of which project planning, billings and cash flow and communication styles are just a few examples.

According to Harvey Swift, Field Operations Manager for Bennett Steel, Inc., Sapulpa, Okla., PMA has the power to yield real change in the behaviors and practices of Contractor leaders, with the result of “highly improving company profitability.” Swift said, “I think attendees will make a real effort to implement process, cultural and institutional changes at our company.” All of which are needed to survive in an increasingly competitive industry. Dave Bennett, Management Co-Chair for IMPACT’s Texas Mid-South Region, owns and manages Bennett Steel, Inc.

One participant indicated that he “learned how important it is to focus on the customer and to address their concerns.” Another lauded the course’s focus on building internal relationships at contracting companies, in addition to time management and personal life balance.

A 30-year industry veteran said, “I learned a lot of things about myself and things I need to focus on to do my job better. We should all take what we learned here and not forget to apply it.”

The course, spread across four days, contained 13 separate training units:
1.    Management and Leadership
2.    Project Start-Up/Project Turnover
3.    Project Planning
4.    Personal Feedback
5.    Customer-Focused Construction
6.    Time Management
7.    Billings, Cash Flow and Closeout
8.    Field Productivity, Profitability and Financial Management
9.    Change Order Management
10.    Standards and Best Practices
11.    Ethics and Integrity in Project Management
12.    Stand and Deliver
13.    Developing A Personal Action Plan

IMPACT provides educational opportunities for Ironworker Contractors across North America, with the goal of doubling market share by 2021. IMPACT also regularly offers courses for Ironworker Contractors, in partnership with FMI, at the Annual Ironworker Instructors Training Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.

About IMPACT: The Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) is an independent labor-management partnership designed to create work opportunities in the North American ironworking industry. Our primary mission is to provide a forum for Ironworkers and signatory contractors to discuss effective strategies to expand job opportunities through innovative labor-management cooperative programs. IMPACT provides expertise in training, construction certifications, marketing, construction project tracking and bidding, insurance and Davis-Bacon compliance efforts. IMPACT also administers a world-class substance abuse program to ensure that Ironworkers are safe, drug-free and ready to work.

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Brennan Gamwell
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