Image Partnership Intact

I am writing to correct an error in your editorial "Industry Image Initiative" (ENR 5/10 p. 48). In the article you state, "the [National Construction Image] committee no longer is affiliated with NCCER," which is incorrect. The consensus of the committee was that affiliation with NCCER was important to the image effort and should continue.

Three years ago, when the National Construction Image Summit launched the committee, NCCER realized that the image effort must be an industry-wide initiative and not a NCCER program. NCCER assumed and has maintained the role of facilitator. Through the work of many dedicated construction industry professionals and leading educators the committee has now re-invented itself with new vision, new leadership and a new organizational structure. This approach is not unusual for a new effort and the dedication and commitment of the participants is stronger than ever. The committee is reinvigorating its mission.

To use the words of Thomas Edison, as an industry we have successfully identified several ways that won’t work in changing our image, so we are now closer to a solution. The solution will require funding and broad industry-wide support and participation. As a participant on the National Construction Image Committee I would challenge ENR to be a voice in garnering the broad industry support that is needed for this vital effort.


New Effort to Define Image

Your editorial accurately described the third annual meeting of the National Construction Industry Image Steering Committee as a watershed event. The purpose was to reflect on achievements and to refine the vision of Chair Pete Wert, who successfully led the start-up effort for the past three years.

Under Wert’s leadership the committee launched the National Hard Hat Heroes Award Program and developed an industry recruiting DVD that speaks to the interests of future generations to make a difference, repair unintended damage done by our built environment, and enhance our collective quality of life.

Never before have real improvements in working conditions, national demand for skilled workers and new technologies been aligned in support of meaningful change. Your editorial provides a cautionary warning in citing the failure of past efforts to change the industry image. The decision to abandon the classic committee structure reflects careful study of the issue. The adopted "Champions" structure is a solution for a new era.

It is unfortunate that your editorial failed to grasp that what was happening in Dallas was a metamorphosis. It was in fact the beginning of new life. We have both the support and financial commitment of an impressive cross-section of industry leaders, including NCCER.

The National Construction Image Committee is consciously striking out on a new path. Rumors of our death were greatly exaggerated.