Building awareness in the Midwest
At the heart of any great membership organization lies a strong culture of affiliation and participation. Each year, staff and board from the International Code Council strive to cultivate and expand the connections and collaboration with our Code Council chapters and members that make this association truly unique.
After visits to the Northwest and the Northeast, this year an ICC contingent led a tour from July 15–18 that included stops in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois to update Code Council members and stakeholders on organizational initiatives, activities and issues related to the building safety and fire prevention industry. The group included International Code Council Board President Jay Elbettar, Board Director Angie Wiese, ICC Membership and Certification Vice President Ron Piester, Executive Project Manager Madi Dominescy, and Government Relations Regional Managers Rick Hauffe and Tim Schmitz.
International Code Council board members and staff held Members Forums in each state to answer wide-ranging questions from chapter members and share the latest from the Code Council, including the:
- Safety 2.0 initiative —the International Code Council’s signature initiative to welcome a new generation of members and leaders to the building safety profession.
- Building Safety Career Path initiative — introduces the building safety profession as an exciting and attractive career option for individuals and audiences not traditionally connected to building safety.
- ICC Military Families Career Path Program — helps veterans who are transitioning to civilian life and their family members learn more about building safety career options.
- High School Technical Training Program and College Technical Training Program — established to introduce students to the codes and work in tandem within existing construction trades, construction technology or engineering programs.
- importance of the International Codes and keeping up-to-date with the latest codes and standards.
- voter validation through cdpACCESS — the Code Council’s cloud-based system for the code development process that allows users to collaborate, review, submit and vote on code change proposals and public comments.
- training offerings through ICC’s Learning Center and Preferred Provider Program.
The tour started in Region III with Code Council members from Minnesota and Iowa chapters. International Code Council board members and staff met with state code officials at the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry in St. Paul. Construction Codes & Licensing Division (CCLD) Director and State Code Official Scott McLellan and Assistant Director Scott McKown shared a 90-minute presentation on the CCLD program to create building official apprenticeships, emphasizing the importance of welcoming the next generation.
McLellan stated that the International Code Council training department has been a major collaborator in the development of this one-of-a-kind program to help fill the growing demand for new code officials. The program will recruit participants to receive instruction and shadow code officials on the job in Minnesota. At first, the program will enlist six people to undergo training and work experience to achieve Code Council certifications and meet CCLD standards for continuing education units (CEUs).
Following the CCLD visit and presentation, Code Council board members and staff attended the ICC Members Forum event with members from 10 local Code Council chapters. The forum panel included Jay Elbettar, Angie Wiese and Ron Piester, who fielded wide-ranging questions and shared the latest updates from the Code Council.
In Madison, Wis., Assistant Deputy Secretary Kirsten Reader from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services and other high-level staff discussed Safety 2.0 and the importance of the International Codes and keeping up-to-date with the latest codes and standards.
The group then visited the Wisconsin Department of Health Services where Henry Kosarzycki, architect and director of the Office of Plan Review and Inspection, provided the team with an overview of the plan review and inspection process the state takes with healthcare and other related facilities.
The last meeting of the day was a Members Forum luncheon in Madison hosted by President Elbettar.
From Madison, the Code Council group drove to the Chicago suburbs for the last Member Forum of the tour. The forum lasted over an hour and a half, with discussion focused on Illinois’ Region IV map makeup, ride-along programs at the local level, the Code Council’s Safety 2.0 initiative, and ICC voter validation. Members were very receptive and appreciated ICC’s efforts and requested continued support.
Click here to see photos from the tour.