As your general president, I also serve as co-chair of the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT), our labor-management trust founded in 2003.
Since we have so many new members, I would like to discuss IMPACT’s beginnings, role and function.
In the late 1990s, many trades began labor/management programs to partner and grow their segment of the unionized construction industry. When General President Joseph Hunt was elected in 2001, he decided the Iron Workers Union needed to form a labor/management program similar to other trades.
Historically, the Iron Workers had already formed the National Fund for apprenticeship curriculum development and delivery, and we had the Institute of the Ironworking Industry to innovate and stay abreast of our industry. These programs were melded into and under the new program, IMPACT.
Later, General President Walter Wise recognized though IMPACT was up and running, there was inequity in funding. Some locals were not contributing anything or very little, but were utilizing the various programs offered by IMPACT, and some locals were paying a disproportionate share. To balance the funding, a resolution was introduced and passed at the 2011 International Convention to lower IMPACT’s overall cost with the requirement of equal payments resulting in consistent and level funding by all.
Today, IMPACT offers numerous programs for ironworkers in the U.S. and Canada in all aspects of the work we do.
Many members ask questions about IMPACT regarding funding, content and direction. Here is an overview of where we are today and where we are headed. There are 13 regions set up across the U.S. and Canada known as regional advisory boards (RAB). Each region has a group of employers and ironworkers to make up the RAB, with each RAB funded by a regional account that keeps $.20 of every dollar contributed by its members. These funds are spent on various initiatives deemed important by the RAB committee for the benefit of the local, contractor or the region.
The rest of the funds are sent to a national trust governed by a board of trustees made up equally of ironworkers and contractors. The board of trustees consists of 13 co-chairs, two from each region and additionally three general officers and three national contractors. The IMPACT board sets policy for long and short term needs of our industry.
Your contributions to IMPACT have funded the entire National Training Fund, inclusive of all the training manuals developed, the annual ironworker instructor training program, the biannual apprenticeship competition, and all certification programs. Also funded via IMPACT, the Safety and Health Department and the Davis Bacon Department.
The IMPACT annual report contained on the following pages will talk in depth about the layers of support IMPACT provides for our industry.
The core mission of IMPACT is more jobs for our contractors resulting in more jobs for our members. We continually evaluate each area to view its effectiveness and rely on feedback from our members and our employers. I appreciate the fact that we have established a program that works. I promise in my role as a trustee and co-chair to prioritize the use of our money to obtain the best possible outcome to grow our union ironworking industry.