Heat and Frost Insulators News and Events

Suncoast Pier Marks USA’s 200th Work Boots on the Ground Project

Posted by on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 @ 16:08 PM
Spring Hill, Tenn. — The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) celebrated the completion of its 200th Work Boots on the Ground (WBG) project this week as union volunteers put the final touches on a new wheelchair-accessible boardwalk and fishing pier at the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center (SYCC) in Apollo Beach, Florida.
 
The multi-year, collaborative effort gives thousands of youth and their families opportunities to study, enjoy and appreciate the Gulf of Mexico’s inshore fish and wildlife resources.
 
The project is the USA’s largest to date and has drawn support from a coalition of public, private and union partners including the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Southern States Millwright Regional Council, The Saunders Foundation, Frank E. Duckwall Foundation, Ben Hur Construction, Pure Fishing, TECO Energy and a number of local labor unions. 
 
Collectively, donations in funds, volunteer union labor, materials and other construction expenses topped $800,000. Volunteers alone donated more than 2,000 hours of skilled labor valued at over $100,000 to create the SYCC’S new boardwalk and pier.
 
Part of the FWC’s Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN), the SYCC is a marine-focused conservation education center on the eastern shore of Tampa Bay. The campus includes a 6,000-square-foot education facility and annually serves more than 11,000 youth and adults. 
 
The boardwalk and pier flank a restored saltwater pond and marsh adjacent to the educational complex. The new structure allows visitors to study coastal marine habitats. It also serves as the perfect platform to teach the joys of fishing, thereby supporting the FYCCN’s goal to create the next generation of conservationists by providing youth opportunities to participate in traditional outdoor activities that inspire lifelong stewardship for fish and wildlife conservation.
 
“We owe our deepest gratitude to all the skilled professionals who volunteered their time and talents at the FWC’s Suncoast Youth Conservation Center,” said FYCCN Director Rae Waddell. “The outstanding workmanship on this project will provide greater access to fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities for years to come. The generosity of our volunteers and partners in support of FYCCN’s mission means we’ll be able to engage more youth and families in the outdoors and conservation.”
 
Wayne Jennings, Southern States Millwright Regional Council executive secretary treasurer, said the Millwrights were quick to support the project. “We were honored to partner with USA to assist with the construction of the Suncoast boardwalk,” he said. “The SSMRC is excited to give back to the community and we hope everyone enjoys the boardwalk for years to come. Together we can accomplish anything imaginable.”
 
Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida President and CEO Andrew Walker shared Jennings’ enthusiasm. “We were thrilled to be a partner on this project,” he said. “We are deeply committed to ensuring that nature and outdoor recreation are accessible to all, and this boardwalk does exactly that.”
 
Ben Hur Construction’s Jason Brown echoed those sentiments. “Ben Hur Construction would like to thank the USA for the opportunity to be a partner in such a rewarding project,” he said. “It was great to see so many organizations and individual people come together to deliver such a great project for the community. We look forward to working together in the future with the USA on other great projects.”
 
“We are excited to see the Suncoast pier come to life,” added Pure Fishing CEO Harlan Kent. “Providing accessible educational and outdoor activities for all children is a fundamental way to help grow their interest in the outdoors. We were pleased to be able to help support the USA with this initiative and look forward to seeing the local community enjoy the pier for many years to come.”       
 
Volunteers from the following unions and groups donated their time and talents to complete the project: Florida Gulf Coast Building Trades Council, IBEW International, IBEW Local 915, Insulators Local 67, Iron Workers Locals 7, 397 and 808, IUOE Local 487, Millwrights Local 1000, Roofers International, UA Local 123, United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Ben Hur Construction and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s office.
 
The SYCC project exemplifies the WBG program, which unites labor union workers to complete conservation, public access, education, youth outreach and adult mentorship projects which would otherwise go undone.
 
Launched in 2010, the WBG program has since touched communities in 31 states. The value of volunteer labor donated through WBG topped the $1,000,000 mark in early 2019 and will soon surpass $1.5 million.
 
USA CEO and Executive Director Scott Vance is proud of these achievements, and is quick to note how the organization’s surge in growth is allowing the USA and its allies to complete a rising number of projects aimed at enriching the lives of community residents while protecting the nation’s outdoor heritage.
 
“We celebrated the completion of our 100th project in 2017 after seven years of doing the WBG program,” said Vance. “Now we are celebrating the completion of our 200th project just 20 months later. Not only has our number of WBG projects expanded rapidly, their scope and impact on conservation and local communities has increased dramatically as well.”
 
The SYCC wrap-up comes on the heels of a number of other 2019 project completions, including public piers at the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge just outside Liberty, Texas, and Harrison County Sheriff’s Office’s County Farm near Gulfport, Mississippi.
 
Union volunteers also recently completed shooting range improvements at Prince George’s County Trap and Skeet Center in Glenn Dale, Maryland, donated a pair of track chair-accessible ground blinds to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and repaired hurricane damage at Goose Island State Park near Corpus Christi, Texas. 
 
The USA has also orchestrated a flurry of youth outreach events in 2019. These include Get Youth Outdoors Day events—held in concert with the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) First Shots program—in Tennessee and Texas, along with Take Kids Fishing Day events in Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. “Additional events in 2019 will propel the USA’s youth programs to the incredible milestone of taking more than 10,000 kids fishing,” Vance noted. 
 
The USA has plenty of other WBG projects and events in the works for 2019 and beyond, including ongoing improvements at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia. A large-scale enhancement project is also planned for the William Powers State Recreation Area in southeast Chicago, which includes construction of an ADA-compliant fishing pier. 
 
Additional efforts range from the construction of a weigh station-pavilion on the shores of Smith Lake near Jasper, Alabama, to an archery range at North Marcum Recreation Area on Illinois’ Rend Lake and a pedestrian walkway in Prineville, Oregon.
 
“Our projects are changing lives, changing the way the public looks at unions and changing the way union members see themselves as local heroes and volunteers,” Vance said. “All of this is driven by an amazing team effort that includes the contributions of our founding partners, charter unions, corporate supporters, agency allies, staff and the hardworking union members who give up their weekends to offer their skills to give back to their communities.” 
 
Information provided by Union Sportsmen's Alliance. 
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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance

7th Annual USA Fundraising Gala Celebrates Mission Expansion, Union Brotherhood and Valued Partners

Posted by on Mon, Jul 22, 2019 @ 15:07 PM
In the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) held its 7th Annual Fundraising Gala July 16 at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.
 
With more than 200 in attendance, the union-powered nonprofit organization raised nearly $200,000 in net proceeds to help propel its mission to unite the union community in providing access to the outdoors, opportunities for all, and preserving North America’s outdoor heritage.
 
“It’s been only 12 years since we launched the USA,” AFL-CIO President, USA founder and board chair Richard Trumka said in his address to the group. “And we now have more than 300,000 active members—and counting.”
 
The USA draws on the talents of its members—union brothers and sisters who possess a variety of trade and organizational skills—who volunteer their time to participate in projects that benefit conservation and public access in their local communities. Volunteers also donate time to outreach events such as youth outdoors days and veterans’ fishing events.
 
“The USA was responsible for more than 40 conservation projects from Maine to Oregon through our Work Boots on the Ground (WBG) program last year,” added Trumka, “where more than 600 volunteers donated 5,000-plus hours worth a quarter-million dollars in skilled union labor.
 
“And in one day—a single day—800 kids across the country got the chance to experience the thrill of casting a line and catching a fish through our outreach programs. Since 2017, we’ve introduced over 10,000 kids to fishing through our Get Youth Outdoors program!”
 
Jeanette Mauk, Ohio AFL-CIO field representative and recipient of the USA’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award, summed up the volunteer experience. “We do what we do because it’s in our hearts,” she said. “Union members want to give back to the communities in which they work and live, and doing things like renovating a disabled-accessible fishing pier at a public park, or putting on a Take Kids Fishing Day does just that, while strengthening ties between union members and their neighbors.”
 
“Coming together as union brothers and sisters to support our communities is what it’s all about,” echoed Insulators Local 14 Apprenticeship Training Director John Stahl. He organized and led a multi-faceted Work Boots on the Ground project to enhance public access and rebuild facilities at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia last year, which continues in 2019. The undertaking, which earned the USA’s 2018 Conservation Project of the Year Award at the Gala, directly benefits the 35 million people who live within a two-hour drive of this urban refuge.
 
The final individual honor presented at the Gala, the USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, went to United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers International President Kinsey Robinson. One of the organization’s original founders, Robinson now serves on the board of directors, and was recognized for his longtime service to the USA.
 
USA President and CEO Scott Vance also thanked the organization’s Charter Unions for their unwavering support to the mission of uniting union members in service to their communities. 
 
USA Charter Unions include:
 
AFL-CIO
International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
International Association of Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons
International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
International Union of Elevator Constructors
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
IUE–CWA Industrial Division
Laborers International Union of North America
North America's Building Trades Unions
NFL Players Association
United Association
United Auto Workers
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers
Utility Workers Union of America
 
Vance is also quick to point out that the organization’s ability to contribute to the welfare of the outdoors and people who cherish it lies not only with its dedicated unions and their members.
 
“From the beginning, we’ve welcomed and are grateful for the assistance and steadfast support from corporate partners who are devoted to our mission,” he said. “Partners like the Union Insurance Group (UIG), Bank of Labor, the Union Labor Life Insurance Co. (ULLICO) and Carhartt. Each of these organizations is a Diamond Level Partner, having provided more than $1 million each to the USA over the past 12 years.”
 
Four organizations were given special recognition during the event for their part in supporting USA’s mission. For donations surpassing $250,000, Lifetime Partner Awards were presented to Segal Consulting/Marco Advisors, Provost-Umphrey Law Firm, American Income Life Insurance Co., and Pure Fishing. Special thanks went to founding partner Buck Knives for its invaluable contributions dating back to the USA’s inception, including handsome, custom-logoed knives for the Gala. Additional founding partners include AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation, Bank of Labor, UIG and ULLICO.
 
“There is no way the USA could have become as big, or as strong, or accomplished as much, without the support of these valuable and loyal founding partners, and those who have joined them in support of our mission,” Vance said.
 
Along with the awards program and great fellowship, event attendees enjoyed a delicious meal and beverages, generously supplied and served by the Union Insurance Group, and had a fabulous time participating in the event’s fundraiser raffle and auction. Donated items ranged from a Florida Keys tarpon adventure and African safari to custom firearms and a trip to the NFL Pro Bowl.
 
Many thanks to all those who attended and helped support the USA’s mission.

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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance, Local 14, Philadelphia, PA

Brotherhood Outdoors Kicks Off Original Episodes with Action-Packed White River Adventure

Posted by on Fri, Jul 19, 2019 @ 16:07 PM

Spring Hill, Tenn. — The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) invites outdoors enthusiasts to catch the excitement as its award-winning Brotherhood Outdoors television series whisks hardworking union members away on action-packed hunting and fishing adventures.

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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance, Local 14, Philadelphia, PA

Insulators in the outdoors - Union Sportsmen's Alliance

Posted by on Mon, Jul 8, 2019 @ 13:07 PM

The HFIAW is a proud charter union of the Union Sportsman's Alliance (USA). 

We know many of our members enjoy the great outdoors, the below photo album catalogs all of the images that have been sent to the IAHFIAW to share their love of the outdoors and have a chance to be published in the quarterly edition of The Insulators Journal.  

The pictures in the below album have been updated to reflect the most recent Summer edition submissions. 

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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance

USA, Union Volunteers Restore Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge Fishing Pier

Posted by on Tue, Jul 2, 2019 @ 13:07 PM

Spring Hill, Tenn. — A popular fishing pier on Champion Lake in the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge received a much-needed face-lift thanks to union volunteers, the Union Sportsmen's Alliance (USA) and the Lower Trinity Basin Master Naturalists. 

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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance, Local 22, Houston

USA Honors Insulators Local 14 Training Coordinator John Stahl with Conservation Steward of the Year Award

Posted by on Tue, Jun 18, 2019 @ 12:06 PM

Spring Hill, Tenn. — The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) has honored International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (Insulators) Local 14 Member John Stahl with the 2019 Insulators Conservation Steward of the Year Award for his exemplary commitment to conservation and community service.

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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance, Local 14, Philadelphia, PA

Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Hosts Family Campout at Montgomery Bell State Park

Posted by on Tue, Jun 11, 2019 @ 08:06 AM
Burns, Tenn. — More than 70 youngsters and their families joined union volunteers for a weekend packed with conservation-related activities during the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) third annual Family Campout at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tenn., June 8 and 9.
 
The weekend included variety of engaging outdoor experiences including a snake exhibition, youth fishing derby, hiking and an instructional archery event. Along with the free events, free lodging and delicious meals enjoyed by all participants, youth also received a rod and reel courtesy of Pure Fishing and game calls provided by Plano Synergy.
 
Organized by the Union Sportsmen's Alliance, the event was supported by the Nashville Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC), Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council, Montgomery Bell State Park and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
 
The Montgomery Bell campout was part of a series of free, community-based outreach activities organized under Work Boots on the Ground—the USA’s flagship conservation program. It was also supported by national conservation partners Provost Umphrey Law Firm, Pure Fishing, Plano Synergy and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.
 
USA Conservation Coordinator Cody Campbell felt the event went well and noted its importance to families new to outdoor recreation.
 
“It was extremely rewarding to see youth and parents enjoy themselves outdoors together, especially those who’ve never experienced these traditional outdoor activities or gotten close to nature,” said Campbell. “We opened the door to a whole new world for them and provided the tools and confidence to continue exploring it.”
   
One parent told Campbell the weekend-long event was, “Our first experience camping, fishing and spending time outdoors as a family.” Another said bringing his family to the campout, “Really brought us all together.”
 
While volunteering at the event, Nashville BCTC President Anthony Nicholson was reminded of the benefits union members enjoy while giving back to their communities and encouraging young people to get outdoors.
 
“Some of these children had never fished before, never owned a fishing pole or even sat by a campfire,” he said. “Getting together with other union members to introduce them to these experiences was priceless."
 

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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance, Local 86, Nashville, TN

USA, Union Volunteers Complete John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Improvements

Posted by on Fri, Jan 4, 2019 @ 08:01 AM

Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA)

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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance, Local 14, Philadelphia, PA

USA Sponsors Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Posted by on Fri, Nov 2, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

For Immediate Release
November 2, 2018

USA Sponsors Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

First Shot Mentored Deer Hunt
Cambridge, Maryland — Twenty-three aspiring hunters gathered to learn how to pursue big game and provide food for themselves and their families at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Oct. 26-27 during the refuge's inaugural First Shots deer hunt.

The hunt was sponsored by the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA), Maryland Department of Natural Resources and National Wild Turkey Federation. More than 60 applications were received for the 23 available opportunities to be mentored by an experienced hunter and learn hunting basics including scouting, stand placement, biology and field care. The individuals selected were all new adult hunters who did not have a support network to help them develop a new lifelong passion.

Applicants were also eager to harvest their first deer, and at press time the apprentice hunters had harvested a total of 17 deer, with additional hunting opportunities set for later in the week.

In September of 2017, the USA partnered with the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to conduct a sika and white-tailed deer population survey using infrared imaging technology. The long-term goal was to provide necessary population data to the refuge—allowing for more opportunities for sustainable deer hunting.

USA put out a call to local members asking them to consider volunteering as a mentor. International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 24 Training Coordinator Brian Cavey wasted no time applying to be a mentor.

“I was honored and privileged to take part in Maryland’s Mentored Deer Hunting Program,” said Cavey. “What a way to introduce new hunters to the wonderful world of the outdoors and hunting.”

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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance

Insulators in the Outdoors

Posted by on Mon, Apr 2, 2018 @ 13:04 PM

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017, as the non-profit organization continued to engage, educate and organize Union members, their families and like-minded individuals who share a passion for hunting, fishing, shooting and the great outdoors.

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Topics: Union Sportsmen's Alliance

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