As 2022 comes to an end, Building Industry Association of Washington President Joseph Irons, president and general manager of Irons Brothers Construction, Inc., celebrates a successful year of leadership.
Throughout the year, Irons led the association through legal victories, grew the Certified Builder program, encouraged diversity in the industry and bolstered workforce development efforts.
Working to make homes affordable through legislative and legal work
With nearly 85% of the state unable to afford a median-priced home, BIAW’s top priority in the Washington State Legislature and in the courts was working to keep the costs of building new homes in check.
Under Irons’ leadership, BIAW worked to defeat legislation that would have added new costs to building, costs that drive up prices for new homes and remodeling for Washington families.
“At a time when home prices are sliding back from an all-time high, interest rates are rising, supply and labor costs are growing, and government interference continues to increase homebuilding costs, we provide solutions and fight against changes that make housing more expensive,” he said.
The association also settled a case with the governor’s office to ensure the residential homebuilding industry had a vote on the State Building Code Council to help keep homebuilding costs down there as well.
Growing the Certified Builder program
BIAW’s Certified Builder program recognizes residential homebuilders who meet rigorous requirements in customer service, accountability and construction excellence.
Irons made it a priority to encourage builders across the association to apply for the program — and the association welcomed 13 new Certified Builders in 2022, more than any other year since the program launched in 2018. The program now has Certified Builders in 11 of the state’s 14 local building associations.
Both Irons and his wife, Melissa, have achieved Certified Builder status.
Irons also emphasized growing the diversity of the homebuilding industry, encouraging people from all genders, races, ages and political ideologies to join the association and rise to leadership.
“We’re a welcoming association, and we’re in good hands moving forward, hands of many colors, ages and genders that reflect the communities we serve,” Irons said.
Attracting the next generation of builders
With a nationwide shortage of skilled trades workers, Irons supported the work of the BIAW Workforce Development team, resulting in new resources for students and others interested in joining the industry.
He also worked with the association’s legislative team to promote legislation emphasizing pathways to the trades as part of the state’s graduation pathways program.
“Careers in the trades can be just as lucrative as other fields and more — without high levels of college debt,” Irons said. “Local building associations across the state offer hands-on training and work experience as well as scholarships for trade schools and four-year construction management programs. I encourage anyone who’s interested to join us.
As Irons’ presidency comes to an end, he will continue his lifelong leadership in the building industry as Immediate Past President.
“I’m proud of all our BIAW members and leaders,” Irons said. “I look forward to continuing to contribute to our industry’s success.”
Learn more about Irons Brothers Construction at www.ironsbc.com.