Renovated Texas IUPAT Training Center Opens Doors

On a hot September day in Houston, Texas, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 88 opened its newly refurbished training center in a ceremony with invited guests representing IUPAT leadership, contractors, and local political leaders.

DC 88 Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer Eric Porter welcomed attendees to one of the most advanced training centers in the IUPAT thanks to the hard work of the staff of DC 88, and resources provided by the International.

IUPAT General President Kenneth Rigmaiden addresses members and special guests at the District Council 88 Training Center opening in Houston.

The International Finishing Trades Institute gave a $250,000 grant to the DC 88 training program to purchase equipment, a blast booth, mock ups and other tools to train in multiple IUPAT crafts. The IFTI also assisted their team in receiving a DeWalt tool display, and Safway and Safespan platforms for training.

Staff from the IUPAT Organizing Department, the Finishing Trades Institute and the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI also put their time and skills into the nearly year-long effort.

As a sign of true partnership, IUPAT contractors donated their time and materials to the reformation of the training center. This included Rodney Bardwell, Denise Baker and Dorothy Bardwell, the owners of Spring Glass. They assisted in the purchase of doors, door frames, glass and storefront materials to give the center high quality mock ups for glazing training.

IUPAT contractor JT Thorpe worked with IUPAT instructors from around the country, such as John Hamilton of District Council 4 (Buffalo) and Dave Jones from District Council 5 (Seattle), to perform on-site training while the center was being finished, so that the training never stopped.

Banners representing partners in the industry such as Purdy, SSPC and NACE lined the walls of the state-of-the-art center. This presence of these organizations celebrates the strong partnerships in training we have formed with these industry leaders. In fact, NACE and the IFTI are working together to have the resources in place to become the first NACE NIICAP Accredited AS-3 Training Center in the world.  “This is one of the best examples of how the IUPAT and IFTI are working together with industry partners to have not only our members certified in our crafts and recognized as the best on the job, but our contractors as well,” said Anton Ruesing, director of IFTI.

Training is well underway in District Council 88, and the IUPAT is moving strong to grow and put those newly trained members to work in Texas and in the rest of the Southwest United States.

People are Seeing A Lot of the IUPAT These Days

One of the primary goals of the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI is to showcase the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades to not only those who work and have business with our many trades, but to the general public as well.

This fall, if you were reading USGlass magazine, or attended a national glazing trade show, you saw this advertisement for the IUPAT, among others, both digitally and in print.

At the end of September, the LMCI wrote an article for a USA Today insert reporting on the need for infrastructure investment.

The LMCI is expanding its advertising to cover the rest of the IUPAT crafts in 2019.  Keep any eye for more messages about how the IUPAT is leading the way in the Finishing Trades.

IFTI Partners with Occupational Health Dynamics

The Finishing Trades Institute International (IFTI) is pleased to announce a new and exciting partnership with Occupational Health Dynamics (OHD), a company we have had the pleasure of working with since discovering them while researching ‘best practices’ for the fit testing of our members. Since that initial meeting, they have demonstrated a history of exceptional value and commitment to the health and well-being of those working in the construction industry.

As a result of this experience, the IFTI has partnered with OHD on the Quantifit mask fit testing system for OSHA compliant respirator fit testing.  The Quantifit allows for the fastest fit test on the market and has already been purchased by a number of our training facilities.

According to George Boots, DC 6 (Ohio) Director of Training, “We have used the equipment for just over a year, and our members love it!  Our Fund administrator analyzed the cost savings from using this equipment versus outsourcing fit testing services the previous year, and we had a savings of 35.5% with the use of the Quantifit test system and Examinetics.”

The IFTI continues to make strides in forming partnerships to give IUPAT members the tools to become not only the most skilled on the job site, but the most safe as well.

IUPAT Volunteers Lend Skills to Local Park Fishing Pier

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA), volunteers from the Building and Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin (BTC) and a crowd of union and community leaders, volunteers, park staff and youths gathered at the newly renovated Vilas Park Fishing Pier in Madison, Wisconsin, on September 14, 2018 to celebrate better access to the lake for all.

Using funds raised at the USA’s annual AFL-CIO, BTC Madison Area Conservation Dinner, more than 50 local union volunteers teamed up with the USA and the city of Madison to transform the park’s original floating fishing pier—which was languishing in disrepair in a city storage yard—into a safe structure fully accessible to residents of all physical abilities.

More than $28,000 in materials and nearly $10,000 in union volunteer labor were donated to the project, which was organized under through the USA’s Work Boots on the Ground (WBG) conservation program. Volunteers coordinated transportation of the pier to one of the local union shops where over the course of a cold Wisconsin winter, numerous repairs were made, including the installation of new decking and a sturdy railing system.

In preparation for installation of the renovated pier, volunteers and union contractors also designed and constructed a pier abutment as well as a new sidewalk and steps on the edge of popular Lake Wingra.

As a testament to the access the new pier provides community members to Wingra’s panfish, bass and other gamefish, the structure was in use within minutes of the dedication. As union representatives and volunteers packed up to leave, Adam Paull of Madison took his four-year-old daughter Natalie fishing on the new pier. Thanks to the abundant and hungry sunfish schooling a short cast from the dock, she quickly reeled in the first fish of her life.

Natalie was ecstatic, while her father was grateful to the union volunteers, Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and other project partners for providing a place to create such priceless memories. “This is great,” he said. “The pier is in the perfect place for us to enjoy the lake together and catch fish.”

City officials were likewise grateful. “I’m deeply appreciative to the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and all the trades for making this happen,” said Madison Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp. “The high quality of craftsmanship displayed by these union volunteers is a testament to their commitment to this project and to their community, and marks the continuation of a longstanding tradition of union workers giving back to the city of Madison.”

“The Building Trades Council has been working with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance for six years to raise funds for conservation projects and Take Kids Fishing youth events,” said project leader BCT Executive Director Dave Branson. “We feel this fishing pier was a good project to give back to the community and make the lake accessible to everyone.”

“The Vilas Park pier project is an excellent example of how local unions are positively impacting their communities and the future of conservation through the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Work Boots on the Ground program,” added USA Conservation Manager Robert Stroede. “This pier provides improved and safer public access for all residents to enjoy the fishery and beauty of Lake Wingra.”

In an outstanding display of solidarity and community service, a coalition of volunteers from the following unions and groups donated their time and skills to this project: Ironworkers (IW) Local 383, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Local 13, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) Local 314, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (IAHFIAW) Local 19, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 159, International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 132, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 7, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Locals 113 and 330, Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 18, Badger Sheet Metal, Forse Consulting, Ideal Crane, Sullivan Design Build, Terra Engineering and Construction, and Wiedenbeck, Inc.

LMCI Survey Seeks Answers to Suicide & Substance Use in Construction

Valued IUPAT Members & Contractors:

Workers in construction have suffered greatly from substance use disorder and suicide. We have all heard the statistics, and far too many of us know of a family member or cherished friend who is dealing with these issues in their life.

The Painters and Allied Trades LMCI is taking measures to address these issues for employers, members and their families by bringing substance use and mental health professionals together to provide support and resources for relief.

In the coming weeks and months you will hear more about these resources, but in the meantime we need your help to collect information crucial to our success.

We ask that you take a minute to complete this brief survey. Your answers will play a large part in changing lives. Please know that the information is being collected by a third party and will remain anonymous and confidential, as no identifying information such as names and emails are asked for or recorded.

Thank you for your willingness to help develop the Substance Use Disorder & Suicide Prevention program through your survey input and comments.


Special Announcement About the 2018 LMCI Finishing Industries Forum

I am writing to inform you that the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI Finishing Industries Forum (FIF), as you have come to know it, will not be held in 2018.

For nearly 15 years, the LMCI has held this annual event for the leaders and industry partners of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.  In those years, the tools, resources and alliances developed at FIF have served to build a stronger unionized industry for both business and the workforce.

In 2017, the LMCI FIF drew union and business leaders from the Finishing Industry together in several committees to address market share in our trades, recruitment and retention, and the impact of substance abuse and suicide on the crafts men and women of the IUPAT.

This year, instead of the traditional meeting we have followed at previous Finishing Industries Forums, we are gathering representatives of the committees alone to meet and continue their work. It is our goal to present the results at the 2019 Finishing Industries Forum in Las Vegas, which will be held in December.

In the meantime, we will continue to update you on the progress made in these committees, as well as what the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI will have to offer at next year’s Finishing Industries Forum over the next several months via our email newsletter – The LMCI Blueprint. Also, be sure to check in with us on Twitter – @TheLMCI, and Facebook – to keep up to date on everything the LMCI is working on.

Anton P. Ruesing, V

DOL: OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program Shows Annual Benefits of More than $1 Billion

From OSHA Quick Takes: OSHA recently published an analysis showing how the agency’s On-Site Consultation Program, contributes $1.3 billion to the national economy each year. The On-Site Consultation Program provides free, confidential safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses. Employers who implement the workplace improvements suggested by OSHA consultants can reduce lost time due to injuries and illnesses. This in turn can lead to higher employee morale, increased productivity, and lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Learn more about the program HERE.

Overton Training & Certification on IUPAT/FTI Campus

The International Finishing Trades Institute holds over 50 classes on campus in Hanover, Maryland, on a yearly basis.  With so many classes, the administrators and staff of the IFTI focus on offering a wide range courses to advance the level of training in the many trades the IUPAT represents, as well as instill a strong culture of safety through training (check the LMS section of the IFTI website – – to learn more about what we offer).

This spring, the IFTI held an Overton Rigging-Lifts-Forklift-Handsignaling certification course. This 40-hour class offered combined classroom and hands-on training to attendees.  Over the course of that week, IUPAT trainers learned how to build effective classroom presentations, applying a written exam, pre-operational inspection procedures, evaluating competency in the different tools and learning how to properly generate, submit and record the required records for this certification. The course also includes a “big picture” perspective and training on the laws and regulations regarding these tools on the job site.

“This training is of huge value to IUPAT,” said Anton Ruesing, director of the IFTI.  “It makes our members safer in the field, and it helps our contractors because fewer accidents means a lower cost of doing business for them.

“Anything we do that focuses on keeping our members safe at the end of the day, and making sure they have a nice long career providing for their family, is what we want to focus on and get it right.”

Watch an Industry Spotlight video on the Overton training on the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI YouTube Page.

LMCI Develops and Distributes Trade Show Booths to U.S. and Canada for Recruitment

In June, IUPAT district councils in the United States and Canada received a new booth aimed at recruiting IUPAT members at local job fairs and trade shows. The kit includes a 10 x 10 foot banner with lights, a 3 foot retractable banner, and a table drape.  Although the initial design is for recruitment, the LMCI will soon give district councils the option to order and switch out the large banner with messaging for other purposes and goals.

FIF 2017 Update: LMCI Building Resources for Suicide Prevention & Substance Use Disorder/Recruitment & Retention

Last December, the LMCI Finishing Industries Forum (FIF) hosted four committees comprised of IUPAT members, IUPAT employers and subject matter experts that are crucial to building IUPAT employer market share and the development of resources to benefit and grow the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. These initial committee meetings were judged to be a great success, and the LMCI has

On the market share front, the LMCI is bringing IUPAT leaders, employers and industry association professionals together to find new and innovative ways to grow business in the glazing and industrial coatings industries.  The Glazing Committee recently met in Oakland, California (see last edition of the Journal), and the Industrial Coating Committee will meet in July.

In June, the Suicide Prevention & Substance Use Disorder Committee met in Boston.  Over the course of two days, members of the committee created three primary courses of action:

  • Design and distribute a survey to both IUPAT members and contractors to get a snapshot of what each groups sees as current options for help and treatment, as well as which resources they would like to be made available to them.
  • Create a Peer Advocacy program to help members who are seeking help to navigate the medical and counseling resources available to them.
  • Launch an online presence on the web and social media platforms that provides a path to easily downloadable materials addressing these issues, and a central resource for phone numbers and websites for organizations that specialize in providing assistance to those in need for both Substance Use Disorder and Suicide Prevention.

The Painters and Allied Trades LMCI is leading a number of committees originally launched at the 2017 LMCI Finishing Industries Forum to benefit and grow the membership of the IUPAT, its employers. In June, the Recruitment and Retention committee and the Suicide Prevention & Substance Use Disorder committee met in Portland and Boston respectively.

Also in June, the Recruitment and Retention Committee met in Portland Oregon. There, members of the committee further focused on actions the LMCI and the International Finishing Trades Institute (IFTI) should implement in the rest of 2018 and beyond to grow our union.

Committee members outlined a plan to achieve their goals by implementing a mentoring program for IUPAT members who need guidance on enjoying the full benefits of being a union member and in the movement, diversifying our message with special emphasis on women and minorities to grow our ranks, and opening our training centers to our communities for open houses to see what a career in our crafts have to offer. The committee also suggested that opening our training centers to community groups for meetings and gatherings would also assist IUPAT efforts to build partnerships with those groups.

There is more work to be done on work that began just over six months ago at the 2017 LMCI Finishing Industries Forum.  More updates in the next edition of the Journal, but if you don’t want to wait until September to hear more, sign up today for the LMCI BluePrint. The email newsletter that updates you regularly on LMCI news.  Just email with LMCI BluePrint in the subject line, and say “Sign me up!” in the message box.  You’ll be added to the list.