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USGNN Original StoryIMPACT Holds First Annual Labor/Management Conference

Joseph Hunt, Ironworker general president, opened the conference with a discussion on how labor and management can join forces to provide skilled workers and successful contractors to meet construction demands.

More than 525 contractors and ironworkers participated in the inaugural Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) annual labor/management conference, which took place in Las Vegas, January 28-29, 2008. IMPACT is a labor management partnership of local unions and their signatory contractors that works to address mutual problems and to create solutions to those problems. Some of the issues the group focuses on includes training, safety and creating a drug-free workforce.

The goal of the conference was to share information, dialogue with each other and offer ideas and programs that can benefit both labor and management.

"Ironworkers work a great deal with glass," says Eric Waterman, IMPACT chief executive officer. "We unload, prepare, install, caulk and seal various types of glass systems in the buildings and structures that we erect."

Joseph Hunt, Ironworker general president, and William Brown, president and chief executive officer of Ben Hur Construction Co., opened the conference. Brown began by praising both management and labor representatives for coming together to discuss ways they can overcome common challenges together. Hunt also talked about how labor and management can join forces to provide skilled workers and successful contractors who can meet the construction demands in the United States and Canada.

Vic Cornellier, president of TSI/Exterior Wall Systems, provided a contractor's perspective on how the organization meets the needs of labor and management.

Vic Cornellier, president of TSI/Exterior Wall Systems, a contract glazing firm located in Hyattsville, Md., was the second speaker. Cornellier spoke about "the impact of IMPACT," providing a contractor's perspective on how the group is meeting the needs of labor and management. He said contractors and local unions should work together to support the group's efforts, which could strengthen its ability to capture market share. In addition, he said the greatest benefit through IMPACT is that contractors are getting a trained, safe and drug-free ironworker workforce.

In addition, Collette Nelson, executive vice president of the American Subcontractors Association, gave a presentation on understanding prompt pay and learning how to avoid claims and litigation.

Plans for next year's conference are currently in the works. Exact dates have not yet been set, but organizers say the event will take place in early February of 2009 in Las Vegas. To learn more visit www.impact-net.org.

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