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NEW ORLEANS, LA – Tony Poma has been named the 2019 TAUC James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year. The award, which recognizes outstanding labor-management cooperation and quality craftsmanship in the union construction and maintenance industries, was presented at a special ceremony on May 2 at the National World War II Museum during TAUC's annual Leadership Conference.
Tony is a member of Iron Workers Local #25 in Detroit. He was nominated by Ideal Contracting for his outstanding work as General Foreman on the General Motors M-5 Flint Body Shop and General Assembly Addition in Flint, Michigan.
In addition to the Craftperson of the Year statue, Tony was also awarded a selection of tools from TAUC Legacy Partner DEWALT (See picture at end of article).
About the James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award
The James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award honors outstanding labor-management cooperation and quality craftsmanship in the union construction and maintenance industries. It is given to building trades members who have a gift for recognizing the vision of a project and can bring that vision to fruition in a professional manner. Apprentices, journeymen, foremen and general foremen from all crafts are eligible for nomination.
The recognition program was originally created in 1989 as the Craftsman of the Year Award. TAUC changed the name in 2008 to memorialize James J. Willis, Sr. He was a dear friend and supporter of TAUC and an authentic leader within the union construction industry for more than five decades. Jim started out as an apprentice ironworker in 1945 at the age of just 16 and eventually rose to the rank of First General Vice President within the international union. He also served as President and Labor Co-Chairman of the National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee, Inc. (NMAPC) from 1988-2000.
Jim was hugely influential within the union construction industry, and his steadfast commitment to fairness and cooperation was legendary. It is fitting that the award bearing his name honors a union worker who demonstrates unparalleled leadership and professionalism, because Jim exhibited the same qualities throughout his life.
The James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award recognizes five categories of achievement:
Projects must be completed in the calendar year of the award. Nominations are forwarded to our judge's panel to be evaluated and ranked in each category. This year, the members of the James J. Willis Award Task Force were: Rusty Brown, Kiewit Power Constructors; Dewey Pearman, Northwest Indiana Contractors Association; and Jacob Snyder, Enerfab Power and Industrial.