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The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada (UA) has generously become a Platinum partner of IAPMO’s International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) for 2021. The UA represents an estimated 340,000 plumbers, pipefitters, sprinkler fitters, service technicians and welders in local unions across North America.
While IAPMO’s collaboration with the UA dates back more than 40 years, UA Director of Plumbing Services Tom Bigley said the UA and IWSH partnership is a natural extension of the two organizations' expertise and missions today.
“IWSH finds those who have the need for clean, sustainable water and sanitation, and the UA has the network throughout the United States and Canada to provide the skilled manpower and resources to work collectively to get the job done,” he said. “Both organizations have political connections that they can pool together to help get dedicated funding for future projects as well.”
The newly announced partnership follows ongoing support from the UA and six UA Local chapters across the United States through the 2018-19 IWSH Community Plumbing Challenge (CPC) projects, when a group of volunteers — including UA Local members — helped bring clean, running water and safe sanitation to a series of homes in the Navajo Nation. UA members have also been sponsored by local chapters to join previous IWSH projects in Indonesia and South Africa.
“We received a tremendous amount of support from the membership in what we did at Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona,” Bigley added. “Many have asked to be a participant in the next IWSH project, so we thought that this was a charity that fit well with what our membership believes, which is everyone in the world deserves clean water and sanitation.”
IWSH Managing Director Seán Kearney applauded the increasingly important role UA members and locals have played in recent IWSH projects.
“World-class skills, labor and expertise from the UA are exactly what is needed to ensure our most vulnerable populations and community partners receive the best service,” he said. “We will continue to build this partnership together through upcoming IWSH activities, highlighting the importance of the plumbing industry in protecting public health and safety in North America and across the world.”