Royce Peterson came here 22 years ago for a traveling construction job, and never left.
Peterson is a member of Carpenters local 1260, he works for the Regional Council as a Business Rep and is the treasurer for the Iowa City Federation of Labor.
While working on the Papajohn Administration Building, 22 years ago, Peterson, joined the union, and met the woman who would become his wife.
When offered to move on to the next out of state construction job, he decided to stay here, find work, get married and raise a family, even an extended family.
Besides being active in the Legion Riders group (motor cycle riders with the American Legion) raising funds for veterans groups, and a housing accessibility program in Johnson county, Peterson also helps others who are having a “rough home life.”
He said there was a child that was coming to their house for numerous years, and began to stay quite often. He and his wife spoke with the child’s mother and found out his home life was “really really bad.”
So they let the child live with them for over three years. This child is now in college playing basketball. “We’ve done this quite often,” said Peterson, “three weeks after this child moved out, we had someone else living with us. We just like to help.”
He said that job as a Business Rep keeps him very busy. At the time of this interview, there were 103 apprentices in their program, which Peterson said “is record breaking.”
“I think we’re one of the best secrets in the world” he said, ” When we start talking to them about benefits and wages, they are surprised, they think it is too good to be true.”
Besides being a local hero, Peterson said that Iowa City Federation of Labor President, Patrick Hughes is one of his heroes. He said he kind of followed in Patrick’s footsteps and they became good friends. “He’s done a lot of good stuff in the area,” Peterson said about Hughes.