A Moment in History: The 1985 Whirlwind Recruitment Tour

In March 1985, the Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) launched the “Whirlwind Tour,” with the aim to publicize UPEA goals and show appreciation for public employees. Beginning at the Utah State Capitol Building, members set out to visit 25 different agency locations over 4 months.

Mark Mickelsen, UPEA membership coordinator, said: “Our purpose is to acquaint all public employees with the goals and objectives of the Association and to pay tribute to those who have supported our efforts for the past 25 years.”

The four-month tour was geared for employees who did not know about the services and benefits offered by the Association, but it strived to include all public employees, including current members.

In May of 1985, the Whirlwind Tour continued with many trips from Salt Lake County to the southern and eastern worksites in St. George, Cedar City, Price, Ephraim, and Vernal. In August of 1985, after 45 days of the Whirlwind Tour, UPEA had held 82 presentations and traveled more than 4,000 miles. UPEA staffers signed up 252 new members at the presentations, recruiting an average of 5.6 new members per day!

Flash-forward to today. UPEA is in the process of planning a 2020 Whirlwind Tour. While the Association is still months away from beginning the tour, staff members are excited at the prospects of sharing 50 years of UPEA’s services and benefits with public employees in a big way in the new decade. UPEA will keep members updated on its plans as they get finalized over the coming months of the new year.