Event draws over 1,400 participants from North America
A CONTINGENT OF 43 Boilermaker members from the United States and Canada attended the 2016 Women Build Nations conference in Chicago April 29-May 1.
Sponsored by North America’s Building Trades Unions, the multi-craft event attracted more than 1,400 participants, bringing together union apprentices and journeymen as well as an extensive support network to share experiences, mentor and learn. Also attending were leaders from organized labor and affiliate organizations, politicians and apprentice coordinators.
At this year’s conference, the International made a substantial donation to help defray member travel expenses, although some participants covered most or all of their own travel. The Boilermakers’ Great Lakes Section, led by International Vice President Larry McManamon, sponsored the Boilermakers’ caucus, where members discussed challenges and opportunities, and identified priorities for advancing women Boilermakers in their careers. IVP McManamon also attended the event and took part in the caucus.
Special Assistant to the International President (SAIP) Bridget Martin served as the women’s coordinator for the Boilermakers. She helped organize discussions and provided insights into the organization and women’s issues.
MOST Representative Bridget Connors also led discussions about the various MOST programs and how they impact member readiness and marketability to contractors and owners.
BNAP National Coordinator Marty Spencer answered questions about the Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program, and area coordinators from different parts of the country shared information as well.
“It was terrific for all of us, particularly Boilermaker sisters, to be recognized,” said SAIP Martin. “But it was even more important for International Vice-President Larry McManamon and the Great Lakes Area Apprenticeship Program to host the first Boilermakers’ tradeswomen caucus. What every tradeswoman wants, needs and deserves is the same thing as her union brother: full gender equality. She needs role models and mentors who can bring her along just as the old timers have always brought along the guys. That is why this conference is so important.”
BNAP National Coordinator Spencer noted: “It was a very informative conference, and it was good to see the intense pride within our Building Trades sisters. The Boilermakers were well represented, and our caucus produced many interesting discussions, and raised a lot of good points.”
Also participating from the Boilermakers were, from Local 1 (Chicago) Eric Davis, Justin Gustafson and Kelly Yearwood; from Local 29 (Boston), Amanda Green; from Local 60 (Peoria, Ill.), Tamera Gaskins; from Local 83 (Kansas City), Sherree Burton, Tatum Keister, Lori Manroe, Jessica Mendenhall, Michelle Nagle, Sara Rick, and Crystal Spratley; from Local 104 (Seattle), Beth Petrick; from Local 107 (Milwaukee) Dawn Beardsley and Lekisha Kimbrough; from Local 146 (Edmonton, Alberta), Myste Loewen, Alida Nourry and Victoria White; from Local 54 (Pittsburgh), Rose Lerini; from Local 363 (East St. Louis, Ill), Lauren Grant; from Local 374 (Hammond, Ind. ), BM-ST Dan McWhirter, Jessica Ofman and Candace Rininger; from Local 454 (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Tammy Marlow, Wendy Overeem, and Billie C. Penney; from Local 456 (Rock Hill, S.C.), DeAnn Smith; from Local 627 (Phoenix), Carrie Sanders; and from Local 647 (Ramsey, Minn.), Alexandra Enberg, Carey Kowalski, and Nichole Umplby.
Other leaders and staff in attendance included BNAP Administrative Assistants Mark Wertz and John Standish; Great Lakes Area Apprentice Coordinator Larry McManamon Jr.; Northeast Area Apprentice Coordinator Stephen Murphy; SAJAC Apprentice Coordinator Eric Olson; Brianna Hale and Wanda Conroy, Great Lakes Area Apprenticeship Program; and Alicia Paige, Bank of Labor.