Every year at Ullico our goal is to develop new tools to assist the labor market. This year we launched our new Private Exchange and Defined Contribution platforms for unions and their members. Both programs are designed to fit the labor market and provide real options for member healthcare and retirement needs.
We partnered with the Self Insurance Institute of America [SIIA] to support legislation in Congress to preserve stop loss insurance for Health & Welfare Funds. Additionally, we joined with Genesis Health Technologies, LLC to advance a new diabetes monitoring tool that improves patient care by providing real-time data-sharing between patients, healthcare professionals and insurance providers. 2015 has been a strong and steady year for all our business units; profits are up and expenses are down, and to top it off, we received some positive news from the U.S. Department of Labor that should position us well for 2016 and beyond.
In late October, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an Interpretive Bulletin that revises its guidance on decisions by fiduciaries under ERISA in considering Economically Targeted Investments. This action rewarded a years-long effort led by North America's Building Trade Unions President and Ullico Secretary-Treasurer Sean McGarvey to clarify the flexibility that investment decision-makers have to consider the collateral economic benefits of investment products like J for Jobs and the Ullico Infrastructure Fund.
In the wake of the DOL Bulletin, I encourage investors to consider what I often call "the double bottom line" produced by investing in Ullico products. Our products feature a safe risk adjusted return for investors; provide work hours and wages for union members, and projects for contractors; and generate needed tax revenues. These collateral benefits are both tangible and economically significant. This year, more than $1.4 billion was committed to projects through our J for Jobs program, creating 6,500 jobs, 13 million work hours, and $774 million in wages and benefits for union members*. Not only do these projects build communities, they also generated over $34 million in tax dollars for cash-strapped state and local governments.
At Ullico, we have an important distinction, in that we are Labor's company. I am proud to say that we never forget where we came from, and we always know who we serve. For over 88 years, we have been making a difference because of a board and staff that is committed to creating new products that solve problems for the union workplace, and because we continue to support organizations and causes that share our vision for an America that honors and values everyday working people.
We are thankful to all our clients who give us the opportunity to serve them, and from all of us at Ullico: best wishes for a Happy Holiday season, and stayed tuned—the best is yet to come.
Edward M. Smith
President and CEO