International Association of Iron Workers Funds Scholarships for Conference on Women in the Construction Industry

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Women Iron Workers Receive Funding to Attend a Leading National Convention of Women in the Trades

The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, est. 1896.

“Providing our sister Ironworkers is the first step towards recruiting, training, and providing opportunities as a skilled Ironworker." -- Walter Wise General President.

Recognizing the importance of women in the construction sector, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers today announced a Scholarship Fund for members to attend a leading annual conference on women in the building trades.

The Scholarships have been awarded to 26 women Iron Workers and apprentices from Local Unions and Training Centers in the Union’s membership across the U.S. and Canada. The Scholarship recipients will join more than a hundred members of the International Association of Iron Workers who will attend the Fourth Annual Women Building California and the Nation Conference in Sacramento, Calif., April 25-27, 2014.

Iron Workers International General President, Walter W. Wise, said the Scholarships are part of the union’s commitment to supporting the inclusion and successful careers of women. The International is co-funding the scholarships with its Labor-Management partnership, the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust, IMPACT.

The Scholarships are a “critical element” of the Union’s mission to recruit and retain women, Mr. Wise said. The funds for members to attend cover travel, lodging and registration expenses.

“Providing support -- financial or otherwise -- to our sister Ironworkers is the first step towards recruiting, training, and providing opportunities as a skilled Ironworker,” said Wise, who will attend the Conference and take part in a panel.

Currently, there are 2,000 women members of the International Iron Workers.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, and the State Building and Construction Trades of California.

The conference has grown exponentially since its beginning 13 years-ago as a California-only endeavor; four years ago, it expanded to National status, organizers said. The 2014 conference will feature panels, speakers and working sessions focused on strategies and tactics for improving performance standards across the industry for women and for all construction workers and companies.

Scheduled topics to be covered at the conference include Surviving and Thriving in Apprenticeships, Safety and Health on the Job; How to Interview Well; Mentoring the Next Generation; Doing the Green Work, and other construction industry issues.

Lisa Lockhart, a 20 year member of Iron Workers Local Union 112 in Peoria, Illinois, said she was recently pleased to learn she had been selected to receive the scholarship to attend the conference.

“I’ve wanted to attend this conference for a number of years, but couldn’t manage the expenses,” said Lockhart. “Now, I’m really looking forward to participating, and learning more. I’m really grateful for the opportunity. I definitely see this as a good sign of positive progress for the International.”

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 2021, 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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