By Teresa Magnus, Principal, Magnus & Company
“I’m So Proud of Dad”
Last week I was invited to attend the Iron Workers District Council of Texas and Mid-South apprentice competition in Houston. The last event of the two-day competition is the column climb. I know. We don’t allow column climbing anymore. The Ironworkers know that too. It is antiquated, just like grown men saying the Pledge of Allegiance at attention before the start of a meeting, but they do that too. This column climb, though, (tied off and compliant with OSHA) is no longer a test of a work skill; rather it is a testament to strength, pride, and heritage. I never understood this until I experienced it in person. But this story isn’t about me or why I love this industry this time. It is about this family. Because, you see, their dad was one of several who completed the column climb. His children ran to hug him and celebrate his success. And on the way back into the school to have lunch together, I saw his daughter turn to his son and say, “I am so proud of Dad.”
And in that instance I was reminded of all that is good in this industry. It’s not really about heat maps of labor demands or spending projections or workforce curves or any other macro graph that consumes my work day. It is about craft workers, proud of their trades, and their families. FAMILIES. Children proud of their parents.
And while this apprentice finished second in the competition, to his children he won…and as an industry, so did we.