|From left, Local 1 MD/VA/DC Organizer Clemente Gonzales, IMI PCC Instructor Keith Harris, and Local 1 MD/VA/DC Field Representative Kevin Long.|
The QuEST opportunity came about during the AFL-CIO Union Industries Show in Portland, Oregon. Impressed by the BAC/IMI booth, Mary Traeger of the AFT PLUS Member Benefits Department invited BAC and IMI to host an exhibit and distribute literature on the benefits of a career in the unionized masonry industry at the QuEST Conference. From there, IMI National Apprenticeship & Training Director Steve Martini and BAC Director of Organizing Pat Zimick took the lead in organizing the booth.
Martini, IMI PCC Instructor Keith Harris, and Local 1 Maryland/Virginia/District of Columbia Field Representatives Chuck Driscoll, Jr., Kevin Long, Jose Alvarez and Peter Bryant, and Organizer Clemente Gonzales were on hand to provide information and answer questions.
As Martini puts it, “Our main message was we are a part of your community, and we can put your students in touch with local apprenticeship programs for information to begin a viable career in the masonry construction industry.” A wealth of BAC/IMI information was distributed from materials on IMI’s Contractor College to apprenticeship programs offered at the BAC/IMI National Training Center and through Local apprenticeship programs. “We had a great response,” said Martini. “Overall, teachers and administrators showed great support and enthusiasm.”