USWCares: 2017 District 12 USW Jefferson Award Winner, Jim Williams

Jim Williams, president of Local 8599 in Fontana, Calif., is this year’s District 12 Jefferson Award winner for the seemingly endless list of projects he helps lead to benefit his community. To him, it’s more than just a pastime—it’s a calling.

“As a member of the community, I believe that we all should care and support each other wherever possible,” Jim said. “I believe we have an obligation as human beings to do this.”

Two years ago, Local 8599 combined the charitable efforts of their Women of Steel and their Civil and Human Rights committees to partner with the District 12 Civil and Human Rights committee to raise money to buy socks and other items for homeless shelters as well as the Child Welfare and Attendance Community Clothes Closet of the Fontana School District. Since starting the project, they have collected over 6,500 pairs of new socks in all sizes.

Jim’s local is also the founder of the Community Alliance for Fontana Students (CAFFS), which holds quarterly events for parents and students in their community. Their primary goal is to focus on the need for bilingual support for families within the school district as well as basic needs in the classroom, such as paper and pencils. The local also supports the 24-hour American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Fontana every year. There they participate in activities including supplying volunteers, serving food and selling toys.

None of the many charitable events Jim helps lead could be accomplished without all of the hard work for Local 8599 members. He loves being able to step out of the way to allow others to take initiative and to bring new ideas to the table. For him and for his fellow Steelworkers, the goal is always to do the greatest amount of good.

“My personal belief is that a local union is a crucial and dependable part of the community around it,” Jim said. “I am proud to say that the members of Local 8599 make this true every day.”

Jim Williams is just one of the many Steelworkers making a difference in the lives of others. If you know a Steelworker who deserves recognition for commendable community service, tell us! Use the #USWCares hashtag when you post about it on social media, tag @Steelworkers, and nominate for the 2018 USW Jefferson Awards by clicking here.

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