Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust

Expanding Job Opportunities for Ironworkers and their Contractors

  • 2018 North American Iron Workers / IMPACT Conference
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Just wanted to say that Mark, Michael and Stuart from FMI and Trevor from PWC did an excellent job engaging the classroom in discussion each day, and had a great program format for teaching. The information they brought forward was extremely useful now as I'm sure it will be throughout my career. This was only my 2nd IMPACT course that I have attended, I would like to commend IMPACT on organizing these events for Ironworkers and contractors alike, IMPACT always put on an amazing program, and does a very good job at making these events comfortable and welcoming to attend. I plan to attend more IMPACT events as the information is always very useful and IMPACT does a great job of finding the right instructors for the occasion. I would like to thank everyone at IMPACT for the work they do to set these events up and providing the opportunity to attend these courses.

Regards,

Jacob Wicks
Chief Estimator
JCT Metals Inc.

News

NEWS(1)

Decorated War Vet Finds New Life as an Iron Worker

08/17/2015

By Joe Maniscalco

 

Rob LeFurgy with General David Petraeus.

Rob LeFurgy with General David Petraeus.

 

New York, NY - Four years ago, Local 361 apprentice Rob LeFurgy wasn’t even sure what an iron worker did. All the decorated Iraqi war veteran knew for certain was that he sorely missed the brotherhood and sense of higher purpose he had known serving in the U.S. Army. Becoming an ironworker, however, has gone a long way to satisfying those intense feelings of longing and restoring the 28-year-old Oakdale, Long Island resident’s hope in a brighter future. 

“This union turned my life around,” LeFurgy says. “No one can relate to what I did over there, but these guys come really close.”

LeFurgy first met Local 361 Business Manager Matt Chartrand during a particularly dark time in August of 2011. Having survived the war in Iraq and dedicating himself to earning a degree in International sales & marketing, LeFurgy, nevertheless, found himself in the grips of a grim lethargy that simply would not relent. 

“I was an American soldier, and I could anything,” Lafarge says, “But nothing interested me.”

In 2007, the proud ironworker was on patrol with 1st Sergeant Jeff McKinney in Adhamiya, Iraq, when the 40-year-old  family man from Garland, Texas, took his own life. LeFurgy later survived his own near-death experience shortly after when a roadside explosive blew up, flipping the battle vehicle he was riding in, and pinning him against its twisted turret.

“I always knew I wanted to be in the military,” the former West Sayville firefighter says. “My mother didn’t want me to go. My brother was in the Coast Guard, but they kept on rejecting me because of my tattoos. So, I went with the Army.” 

LeFurgy, however, never talked about his military service when Chartrand offered him an opportunity to become a union ironworker through the Helmets to Hardhats program. 

“He started telling me about the job and it was the first time I was interested in something again,” LeFurgy says. “Matt didn’t even talk about what an ironworker does. He talked about what an ironworker is, and what an ironworker represents. That’s when I fell in love with it. It didn’t even matter what the job was — before I even got out there and touched the iron, It made me itching for more.”

LeFurgy’s first job brought him to the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, where the kinship he immediately established with his new brethren helped him more fully engage with society once again. It also helped him realize that after all he had been through in Iraq, seeking therapy was a smart move. 

“They took me under their wing,” LeFurgy says. “Working with these guys made me realize what I had to look forward to — this was a place to belong.”

In the Army, LeFurgy found a fraternity of people dedicated to both each other, as well as a deep desire to achieve something beyond themselves. He’s since rediscovered those same things as a third-year Local 361 apprentice connecting steel and dropping columns. 

“Not only are we building the American infrastructure, we're building the American person,” LeFurgy says. “It’s all abut taking care of each other and doing things the right way.”

LeFurgy recently proposed to his fiancee Nicole, and the two plan to marry in 2017. 

“The union saved me, my family supported me, and my fiancee gave me new life,” LeFurgy says.

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