UWW’s U.S.A. Board of Trustees established the Joseph A. Beirne Community Services Award in November, 1974 to recognize local and national labor leaders who provide outstanding United Way volunteer service. The award was created to honor the memory of Joseph A. Beirne, former President of the Communications Workers of America, who was a tireless social activist. Past recipients of this award include William, McCarthy, President, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO; Sam Bianco, President, Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council (AFL-CIO), Unite Here & United Mine Workers of America; and Ron Gettelfinger, President, International Union, United Auto Workers.
Patty has served the Pierce County community for more than a decade. She is more than a volunteer; she serves as an advocate for change. Patty has served on a wide range of regional and statewide leadership boards pertaining to labor, education and economic development. She dedicates her time professionally and personally to promote social and economic justice, education and training and works to ensure a safety net is there for those in need.
Patty is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 76, and is the President of the Pierce County Labor Community Services Agency, a program that provides emergency assistance through local union referrals, working in concert with UWPC's 2-1-1 referral human services call system. Countless families in need have received help, especially during the recent economic downturn. For four terms, Patty Rose has led by example, by serving on the UWPC Board. When her local United Way moved to Impact areas to achieve greater results, she jumped at the opportunity to serve on the Advocacy Committee. She now serves as Co-Chair of this committee, whose efforts have included educating State Representatives when funding for the 2-1-1 system was at risk of crippling cuts in the State Budget. As a result, those cuts were avoided and thousands of people received desperately needed referrals.
Patty also co-founded the Tacoma Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) youth scholarship program. This program awards 25 scholarships each year to provide financial assistance for high school students who need a summer school class to graduate to ensure economically disadvantaged seniors, youth, unemployed and others in need are kept on the pathway for success. The body of her work is the epitome of leadership by example, and she works every day to advocate giving back through volunteerism.
Patty has been a champion to the idea that education is a key to the success of everyone, and ties individuals back to the community. In her personal endorsement of Patty for this award, Governor Christine O. Gregoire stated that Patty truly embodies the spirit of this award.
Established in 1974, United Way’s Joseph A. Beirne Community Services Award honors the memory of Joseph A. Beirne, the first president of the Communications Workers of America and the first labor representative to serve as president of United Community Funds and Councils of America (now United Way Worldwide). The award recognizes union members for outstanding volunteer service with United Way.