Record Attendance at Ironworkers Annual Conference: “Victory Through Leadership”

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The nation's most iconic skilled trades association holds annual meeting, sees record attendance.

A thousand Iron Workers, contractors and construction company owners are gathering for a three day-conference focused on strengthening business ties in one of the nation’s iconic building trades.

Walter W. Wise, General President of the 120,000-member Iron Workers International, opened the 2014 North American Ironworkers/IMPACT Labor Management Conference with a call-to-arms. Wise encouraged the association’s members and the International’s business partners to honor the union’s past, keep safety a top priority, and stay abreast of technological innovation.

“We will not remain the best kept secret and untold story in America,” Wise said. “Our resume is the skyline.”

In addition to hundreds of ironworkers from across North America, some 300 contractors and owners are also attending the “Victory Through Leadership” conference. Programs and speakers cover a range of issues that affect major construction projects and infrastructure in the U.S. and in Canada, including:

-- The growth of construction projects in Canada and in the U.S. Gulf Coast region.
-- The explosive demand for certified welders.
-- Developing and maintaining effective safety programs.

Major infrastructure and construction projects are expected to increase across North America in 2014. Iron Worker General President Wise, in his opening remarks, noted that both workers and companies benefit from investing in quality safety programs and training opportunities.
The International Iron Workers has 155 training centers in the U.S. and Canada, and offers four year apprentice programs. Among all the building trades, Iron Workers has one highest rates of safety: In 2012, Iron Worker members experienced one fatality per 5.1 million man-hours.

About the Iron Workers and IMPACT:

Founded in 1896, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, AFL-CIO, is a proud trade association which represents more than 120,000 members throughout the United States and Canada. The men and women of our union have worked on nearly every major construction project you can think of—the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sears Tower, the St. Louis Arch, the World Trade Center and now the Freedom Tower. We represent trained, highly skilled and safe Ironworkers who specialize in structural steel, ornamental, architectural, miscellaneous metals, industrial maintenance, welding, rebar and who work in shop locals.

Our mission is to work closely with our members and the construction community to double our market share by 2020, to continue to provide superior construction expertise throughout North America.

The Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT), affiliated with the Iron Workers International Union, is a labor-management partnership designed to create work opportunities in the ironworking industry. Our primary mission is to provide a forum for Ironworkers and signatory contractors to discuss effective strategies aimed 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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