On national day of action, union painters brighten disabled vet’s Shoreview home

web.IUPAT82-volunteers.groupVolunteers from the Painters and Allied Trades helped ready a new home in Shoreview for the family of a disabled military veteran last weekend.

The project was part of a nationwide day of volunteer activity, IUPAT Gives Back Day, sponsored by the union. Terry Nelson, business manager of Upper Midwest-based IUPAT District Council 82, said the initiative would become an annual event.

“Projects like this show that we are not just highly skilled trades people, but we are volunteers in many areas, from supporting events like our children’s charity to serving as coaches and mentors in our communities,” Nelson said. “Unfortunately, some people forget that.”

Locally, painters teamed up with Journey Home Minnesota, a nonprofit organization founded by Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman, that provides affordable housing in safe neighborhoods to military veterans and survivors of domestic violence.

Ten IUPAT apprentices spent three days working inside the new home last week, honing their skills alongside instructors, volunteer journey-level workers and union staff. And on Saturday, a crew of about 12 volunteers – a mix of journey-level workers, apprentices and students from the Humphrey Job Corps training center – finished painting work on the 2,000-square-foot, four-bedroom house.

District Council 82, which represents more than 3,000 workers in eight IUPAT unions, sponsored similar events in North Dakota and Montana as well.

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