Member Projects: Supporting Our Success
Kurt Kniffin, UCON President, Stacy & Witbeck, Inc.
I look forward to our Members’ Projects issue every year—it’s always one of my favorites. It shows the full breadth of what United Contractor members can accomplish. As I look at the photos, I think of all the men and women who work together to build these projects and the hours on and off the job that individuals, our firms, and partners put in to make them happen.
These projects don’t happen in a vacuum or because of any single entity. A successful project takes planning, execution, and collaboration. It takes expertise, consistency, and innovation. Another trio required for a successful project is our contractor members, Union partners, and United Contractors. Like the three legs of a stool, we support each other and provide balance; it takes all of us to play our part for things to work properly.
Our contractor members represent a wide range of companies, small and large, newly created and decades old, and we’re all working towards building important projects for our clients and communities. Contractor members are only as good as the individuals building the work, and therefore, our Union partners are critical to our success. The Unions’ continued commitment to training and developing the next generation of skilled craft workers makes our work possible.
And, UCON’s staff is there to support contractors, collaborate with our Union partners, and make sure our industry succeeds. UCON supports us in many ways, including safety training and information, labor compliance, insurance help, and continued education. Our three entities performing their intended functions keeps our industry healthy and our proverbial stool standing strong.
This is what makes us unique—we understand our functions and work directly to negotiate contracts using UCON staff support. We focus on win/win agreements and develop long-term relationships with the Unions through open and honest discussions. We sit on many of their Health, Welfare, Pension, and Training committees as trustees and advisors. We have partnering sessions with some of them to develop an understanding of their key issues before contract negotiations. By working together with our Union partners, we have the resources to build our projects. It’s up to all of us to do our part and ensure the legs of the stool remain strong. This teamwork allows us to continue doing what we love and delivering successful projects. And, flipping through the pages of this issue and seeing all the incredible work of our members, it’s obvious to me that the stool built through collaboration has us all sitting pretty!