ElevatorInfo was recently in Chicago and had the great pleasure of interviewing International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) General President Frank J. Christensen and his dear friend Chris Gardner, whose rags-to-riches story was shared with the world in the hit movie The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith.
Frank and Chris are leaders working together to change the world. Specifically, their organizations – the International Union of Elevator Constructors and the Christopher P. Gardner Foundation – are uplifting children and young adults across the United States, helping them achieve their goals by offering significant guidance and mentorship, meaningful opportunities, and fundamental tools. They are transforming lives by literally setting young people’s careers in motion.
Keeping The American Dream Alive
With Labor Day upon us, ElevatorInfo engaged in a dynamic conversation with Frank and Chris about the American Dream – and what keeps it alive today.
The American Dream – something that Frank and Chris agree is an idea that every generation can take a little bit further and a little bit higher – is still possible thanks, in part, to the great careers found in the unionized building and construction industry.
Making it a reality
The Building Trades Unions, the International Union of Elevator Constructors, and The Christopher P. Gardner Foundation connect today’s youth with earn-as-you-learn apprenticeship training that leads to exciting careers – careers that offer family-sustaining wages, excellent health benefits, and retirement security.
“To get where you want to be in life – it takes hard work. It’s not luck,” said IUEC General President Frank Christensen. “Our role is to help guide young people. That’s our shared goal – the union and Chris’s foundation – we want to help men and women achieve their goals in life by giving them a hand up, by giving them guidance. Chris and I are doing everything we can to make their dreams a reality.”
With a smile, Chris Gardner added, “Luck is the dust created when opportunity and preparation collide.”