FTIUM 2023 Year in Review

2023 was a year of giant steps for DC 82 and FTIUM. We’d like to take a moment at the end of this year to share our most notable highlights!


At the beginning of 2023, we launched the FTIUM Care Team - a network of caregivers who provide access to life-saving mental health services, substance use counseling, health consultation, and more critical resources to DC 82 members, FTIUM students, and our staff.


Associate of Applied Science in Construction Technologies students walked in their graduation ceremony. Congratulations on an even brighter future!


A glowing article about the FTIUM Care Team was published in the Star Tribune, featuring FTIUM student Mike Vitt.


DC 82 members and FTIUM apprentices updated their resumes with dozens of continuing education courses offered in Little Canada and outside the Metro.


We focused on suicide awareness, connecting students and members with resources to get help 24/7.


FTIUM launched its new-and-improved mobile training unit, sharing vital training on the go.


FTIUM staff received critical NARCAN training and toolkits to keep everyone safer on the job.


We reflected on the history of FTIUM with DC 82 Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Stark. Jeff talked about how the Minnesota Legislature heard our voices as workers - they now know that having union-trained apprentices and journey workers can be the difference between having a successful project and having a safety disaster. https://iupat82.org/ftium-where-we-came-from-where-were-going/


Finishing Trades Academy had its first day of school on September 14. The program welcomed over 20 all-star high school students from diverse backgrounds. Finishing Trades Academy had over 30 high schools sign on to be a part of the program. That means giving even more high school students a gateway to apprenticeship right after high school.


In October, we focused on preventing harassment on job sites. Interrupting problematic behaviors when you see them on a job site is a concrete way you can create change.


FTIUM & DC 82 focused on the hard work of our incredible apprentices with 5 spotlight interviews and social posts.


Data showed us that DC 82 members utilized the FTIUM Care Team about 3 times more than similar employee assistance programs (EAPs) in Minnesota. We’re doing great, let’s keep it up!

Nothing we do would be possible without our incredible, diverse, always-growing student body. Thank you for contributing to our community as we collectively change the culture of construction. Onward to an even greater 2024!

All 16 Finishing Trades Academy students walk at graduation.

Women In Construction Week 2023

Chanay Huff Commercial Painter

Chanay Huff

Commercial Painter

When did you realize you wanted to work in construction? 
I realized about two years ago that I was interested in being in construction.

What’s your current job? What does it entail? 

I spent my first 10 months having basically no real knowledge of what I’m doing when it comes to commercial painting, so I started at material running and learning small patches, eventually learning how to spray rooms as well as metal doors and operate new machinery. I also got to be a part of the touch-up crew going around and doing the finishing touches.

When was the last time you can recall feeling brave at work, or conquering a fear? 
My first time operating a sprayer was really nerve-racking. I was shown how to use it, and it was definitely a bit intimidating at first, but after a bit I got the hang of it. It wasn’t so bad

Grecia Palomar

Grecia Palomar


What are some of your long-term goals?
My long term goal is to keep growing in my career, as I have great passion for what I do. My wish is to further my education and become a role model for generations to follow.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering the industry? Do you think more young women should consider the trades?
I believe all young ladies should consider a path in the trades. It has become more inclusive, and it’s a place where you gain confidence and find pride in your work. I would advise all my young ladies entering the trades to go for it, to join, to participate, to show up, to grow and to be fearless. I believe that we are all capable of doing the work if we show up and are willing to learn. I say pick up the tools and don’t believe anyone who tells you this is a man’s world, and you don’t belong.

How has being a union member contributed to your professional success? Personal?
Being a union member has helped me obtain certifications and training I would have otherwise never received. I was able to complete and graduate with my apprenticeship which in turn helped me acquire my Associates Degree. I have been able to grow my career within my union and continue my path towards my bachelor’s degree. This union has given me confidence and support allowing me to push forward and offer my two boys a better future on my income alone. My life would not be the same without this career and the opportunities this union has offered. I am so blessed to be a part of something so great.

Hannah Johnson Painter Local 681 Rochester Pompeii Painting

Hannah Johnson

Painter, Local 681 Rochester Pompeii Painting

What is your favorite type of project to work on and why?
My favorite project to work on would probably be spraying and backrolling walls or just spraying anything. I find it fun and relaxing at the same time. 

How has being a union member contributed to your professional success? Personal?
I think being in the union so far has shown me how much we offer and how you can grow as well. Everyone supports everyone in some way. It can be very inspiring.

What do you think is the most important personal quality of someone in this industry?
You have to have a strong work ethic, attitude, and be a good colleague to make the job run smoothly.

Krista Ferris Drywall Finisher Local 386

Krista Ferris

Drywall Finisher, Local 386

How long have you been working in the trades? What were you doing before?
I have been working in Local 386 for 1 year and 4 months. Before, I was in healthcare assisting vulnerable adults who couldn’t do daily activities by themselves because of their disabilities.

Who do you admire?
I admire the amazing woman who brought me into this trade! Her name is Jo Deppa. I have known her since I was 10. Her family and my family grew up together. She is the very reason I’m in the trades today.

I admire her for the woman she is in the union. She stands up for herself and takes pride in her work and gives her best every day! She has been in the union for 28 years. I’ve had the opportunity to work with her for a few companies and the knowledge and advice she has given me while becoming a taper has been helpful in doing my work today. I have learned so much from her and she helped me become a better taper. Not only does she push me and guide me, but she shares her knowledge that she has had throughout her years in the union so I can be great just like her.

One thing I’ve learned so far is that everyone will do the job differently, but if you’re working hard and as a team you’ll be just fine! Jo is my mentor/role-model not only on the job but in my life. We have been through some rough times but she has always been there for me. I admire her leadership, hard work, and the woman she is.

As women in the trades, we already have it hard enough. The stereotypes of being a woman doing the job we do is difficult. We’re judged, looked at differently, or told we can’t do the work. We as women can do anything we set our minds to! As a union member I hope someday I can speak to women of the trades and let them know that no matter your color, race, or beliefs, if you work hard you can do any one of the trades.