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Integrated Path To Architectural Licensure (IPAL)

in Associations/News

Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) has been given the privilege of starting a New Online Graduate Program, IPAL (Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure). IPAL is NCARB approved and SIUC is the only school in the State of Illinois that has this graduate architecture program. The new IPAL Master’s Program will begin its first semester in Fall 2018.

The online IPAL program is designed so that the very best students will be able
to finish their AXP hours, receive their Master’s Degree and Architectural Registration
in 5 semesters (upon completing all requirements of the degree & ARE). Some of the requirements of the IPAL degree are that the applicant must have at least 2000 AXP hours, a NCARB record file, and a letter of recommendation from their design firm’s Principal. You can learn more about the IPAL Master’s Program from NCARB (, SIUC ( , and/or Michael Brazley, IPAL Coordinator (

Anyone that qualifies for this program and is interested, may contact SIUC. The IPAL program begins Fall 2018; SIUE is looking nationwide for students.

Special Agreement to Enhance Transportation Options on the Mississippi River Signed

in Associations/News

Representatives from four St. Louis regional ports, St. Louis Regional Freightway, Bi-State development, and the Port of Plaquemines, located in the State of Louisiana, met Tuesday, March 27, 2018 in St. Louis to sign a special 5-year agreement related to development of a new transportation link for cargo to move along the Mississippi River. The agreement aims to establish and grow an alliance to generate new business and economic growth by promoting international and inland trade routes along the Mississippi River.

Those included were Sandy Sanders, Executive Director, Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District (Plaquemines Port), Mary C. Lamie, Executive Director of St. Louis Regional Freightway, John M. Nations, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bi-State Development, Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director of America’s Central Port, Susan Taylor, Port Director for the Port Authority of St. Louis, Ed Weilbacher, General Manager of Kaskaskia Regional Port District, Neal Breitweiser, Executive Director of Jefferson County Port Authority and Sal Litrico, Chief Executive Officer, American Patriot Holdings LLC 

The important gathering took place at the Bi-State Development, 211 North Broadway in St. Louis

IBEW/NECA Volunteers Make Electrical Improvements to Boy Scout Ranch near Farmington, Mo.

in Associations/News

For more than 50 years, the Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America’s S Bar F Scout Ranch near Farmington, Mo. has served generations of scouts throughout eastern Missouri.  But flickering lights and other electrical issues betrayed an aging infrastructure in bad need of repair. Not anymore.

On Saturday, March 10, 2018, more than 40 volunteers from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and nine electrical contractor members of the National Electrical Contractors Associations (NECA) donated services to repair the electrical issues.

“We greatly appreciate both IBEW and NECA leading by example for our scouts by volunteering to make much needed electrical improvements to the S Bar F Scout Ranch,” said Anthony Fouts, director of camping services for the Boy Scouts.

Work began in the early morning and was completed in about six hours.  IBEW and NECA repaired lights, switches, receptacles ceiling fans and ensured all wiring and installations met the standards of the National Electrical Code.

“A lot of our IBEW members have kids in the Boy Scouts and lead many scout troops,” said Lee Asher, business representative, IBEW Local 1.  “Those members came forward to help IBEW mobilize a team with our NECA partners to make electrical improvements to the ranch in time to serve thousands of scouts this summer.”

Among the NECA contractors that donated service trucks and tools to complete the work were Akron Electric Co.; Aschinger Electric Co.; Bell Electrical; Concept Electrical Services, LLC; Desoto Ozark Electric;  Kaemmerlen Electric, Meier Electric Co.; PayneCrest Electric, Inc.; and Sachs Electric Co. 

IBEW/NECA unite to form the Electrical Connection, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information,

Diversity Inclusion Awards presented by St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers

in Associations/News

Awards Recognize Diversity and Inclusion in Construction 

Efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the construction industry were recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards on March 5, 2018 at the St. Louis Science Center Planetarium, St. Louis, MO.

Diversity Inclusion Organizational Excellence Awards

The Building Futures program was awarded a Diversity Inclusion Organization Award for their leadership support for career development in north St. Louis through hands on workshops for grades 4 through 12.

Serving over 650 students annually, the program offers design and build workshops that emphasize problem solving with 3 dimensional challenges to build stage sets, display elements, furniture scale assemblies and objects for school, community or personal use.  The program also focuses on sustainable design to assess the choice of materials that could impact the environment.  The program engages youth in under-served areas to support interest in potential construction careers.

A second Diversity Inclusion Organization Award was presented to the Electrical Connection in recognition of efforts to promote Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), especially programs that focus on women and minorities.  Working with the St. Louis Science Center and FIRST Robotics, more than 10,000 students in school districts, many with a significant minority student body, were engaged with projects connected to electrical careers.  With apprentice participation by minorities dropping to the single digits during the recession 10 years ago, the organization’s efforts have now raised that participation to 24%.

Diversity Inclusion Champion

The Diversity Inclusion Champion award was presented to Scott Anders of the U. S. District Court Probation Office.  His office provides a “Second Chance” program for ex-offenders to reenter society through training, education, employment, housing and financial management.  The innovative program has become a national model for successful reentry.  Despite the highest  risk case load in the federal system by the Eastern District Court of Missouri, the program has reduced recidivism to less than 15% compared to 67% reported nationally.

A Diversity Inclusion Champion award was also presented to Gabriella Ramirez-Arellano of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  She was recognized for her focus on resources that are not as accessible to immigrants or other language speakers, including access to technology resources.  She conducted Contractor Connect Workshops to bring minority and disadvantaged business enterprise contractors together with leaders in the construction industry and supported more than 25 businesses with seeking minority business certification to support their eligibility for business.

Best practices in the construction industry were also recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during the annual awards.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) represents major buyers of construction.  SLCCC serves as the owner advocate organization for achievement of best value in project delivery and is the regional leader that champions best practices through educational programs, information dissemination and collaboration.


St. Louis CCC Awards Recognize Outstanding Best Practices in Construction

in Associations/News

Best practices in the construction industry were recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards on March 5, 2018 at the St. Louis Science Center Planetarium, St. Louis, MO.   The annual awards recognize successful use of Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to improve project quality, budget and schedule.

SSM St. Joseph Hospital

Construction of the expansion of SSM St. Joseph Hospital was recognized for the Front End Planning Best Practice.  The project added 3 stories to the existing 2 story hospital without disrupting the continuing health care services in a fully functional institution.   Joining in award honors were team members: SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital, Alberici, Northstar Management and the Lawrence Group.

Working with hospital management and department heads, the teams developed a detailed plan for material deliveries and crane logistics.  Bluebeam software was used to plan access routes, maintain  life safety functions and implement phased access to critical utilities.  To support the critical need for patient confidentiality, site specific orientations for all trades people and vendors were conducted to provide coaching on special conditions required in the hospital.  The team delivered the project under budget and 2 months ahead of schedule with zero lost time incidents.

Everly on the Loop

The Materials Management Best Practice was critical to successful construction of a 14 story housing complex for college students.  The project was constructed in a tightly bordered “urban infill” site devoid of lay down space.  Joining in award honors were Clayco, CRG, Koman Group and Forum Studio.

The project was constructed on an entire buildable block in a neighborhood with a proliferation of stores, restaurants and entertainment venues.  There was no space for material staging and only a lane drop in the street side parking area for delivery trucks.  The team used a meticulous process to collaborate with material suppliers and subcontractors to schedule purchases and deliveries to avoid storage costs.  A unique concrete form work was developed that allowed the team to pre-fabricate 10 foot by 10 foot re-usable form tables.  Significant portions of the plumbing and electrical were pre-piped and pre-wired to shorten delivery and installation times.  The project benefitted with a streamlined engineering process, cost savings, fast paced schedule and efficient use of labor force.

Monsanto Building K Waterproofing

Restoring the building integrity of an underground structure was the purpose of the waterproofing project for Building K on the Creve Coeur, MO campus of Monsanto.  Continued service as a fully functional cafeteria and service to adjacent buildings created the opportunity to use the Constructability Best Practice for successful completion.  Joining with Monsanto in receiving the award were the team led by S. M. Wilson with ABS Consulting and Shield Systems.

The project required excavation and exposure of the existing below grade concrete while maintaining the shoring and set back restrictions.  The project required carefully choreographed sequence of operations prior to construction.  Because existing waterproofing had been removed prior to installation creating vulnerability to the elements, construction activities had to be evaluated with known risks and alternate solutions.  This included additional labor pre-trained in safety and on standby in the event of unfavorable weather as well as numerous field observations to adhere to construction details and to avoid potential re-work.

Nissan Logistics Center HVAC, Process and Utility Services

Icon Mechanical served as mechanical contractor leading the effort for installation of HVAC, process and utility services for construction of the Nissan Integrated Logistics Center in Smyrna, Tennessee.  The Modularization Best Practice became the essential tool to meet the aggressive schedule.  Additional award recipients were Clayco, Nissan, Panatonni and CRG.

The project would boast two 1500 ton chillers, condenser water and process pump skids and over 40,000 feet of pipe through a one million square foot production facility.  The project needed substantial completion in less than a year from the notice to proceed.  Using Building Information Modeling, the team designed 54 pipe racks with multiple utility systems on each rack.  Modules were pre-fabricated within the controlled environment of a fab shop and shipped to the site.  Each section was fitted with hangars and turn buckles during the pre-fabrication phase which supported precision rack placement and alignment.  Units were shipped into the building and installed at the same time that the structure itself was being built.  The $14 million mechanical component of the project had an expedited project schedule that took 6 months from on-site start to substantial completion.

There are seventeen best practices which have been validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to provide savings in cost and schedule.  Validation is based on results from projects throughout the country.  The CII is recognized as a principal construction industry forum for improving the business effectiveness and sustainability of capital facilities.

Diversity and inclusion champions in the construction industry were also recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during the annual awards.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) represents major buyers of construction.  SLCCC serves as the owner advocate organization for achievement of best value in project delivery and is the regional leader that champions best practices through educational programs, information dissemination and collaboration.

SIUE Construction Leadership Institute Celebrates 2018 Graduates

in Associations/Homepage Primary/Homepage Secondary/News

The Construction Leadership Institute (CLI) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville celebrated 29 graduates of its program Friday, March 9 as a part of the CLI Alumni Day and Graduation celebration. Developed by the SIUE Schools of Business and Engineering, the CLI provides the knowledge, skills and strategies that individuals and companies need in today’s challenging construction industry.

Program Co-Directors Chris Gordon, associate dean of the SIUE School of Engineering, and Kristine Jarden, director of executive education in the SIUE School of Business, oversaw the ceremony.

“The CLI program is designed to align with leadership development needs of the rapidly changing construction industry,” said Gordon. “The CLI Advisory Board takes an active role in helping us continuously update this unique and innovative leadership development program to develop future building industry leaders.”

“CLI’s mission is to produce accomplished leaders who will improve the processes and outcomes in the construction industry,” Jarden said. “We thank the employers for their vision in supporting the education of future business leaders in the industry.”

CLI alumni representing 15 years of the program and the Class of 2018 participated in the festivities. The Class of 2018 graduates are:

The Class of 2018 graduates are:

  • Christopher Ballard – Simms Building Group
  • Katy Beckerle – Alberici Constructors
  • Kerry Brown – Stevens Industries, Inc.
  • Bobby Christopher – Wright Construction Services, Inc.
  • Jake Clancy – Alberici Constructors
  • Christopher Darr – Federal Steel & Erection Co.
  • Brian Dayton – Holland Construction Services
  • Tim Doran – S. M. Wilson & Company
  • Dan Ems – Icon Mechanical
  • Craig Gonet – Alberici Constructors
  • Walker Gusewelle – Poettker Construction
  • Nathan Haas – Kaiser Electric
  • Anne Hoffmann – Raineri Construction
  • Eric Hoffman – McCarthy Building Company
  • Patrick Horan – Drury Development Corporation
  • Eric Kues – Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc.
  • Nathan Munie – L. Keeley Construction
  • Cory Parker – Contegra Construction Company
  • Kyle Pfundt – Alberici Constructors
  • Ben Pratt – McCarthy Building Companies
  • Cody Ryan – The Korte Company
  • Matt Schmid – Guarantee Electric
  • Amy Schmidt – The Korte Company
  • Miranda Stevens – Holland Construction Services
  • Dan Sullivan – O’Shea Builders
  • Joe Tucker – Raineri Construction
  • Chris Walker – Guarantee Electrical
  • Matthew Walters – Alberici Constructors
  • Landon Williams – Stevens Industries, Inc.

CLI is an executive education program jointly developed by SIUE’s School of Business and the School of Engineering’s Department of Construction. It brings together professionals from many sectors of the building industry.

Since CLI’s creation, approximately 370 emerging leaders and executives have benefitted from the nine-week program that strengthens leadership, strategic thinking, communications and key management skills.

For more information on the Construction Leadership Institute, visit or call 618-650-5440.

Photo Above:

(Front Row L-R) Nathan Haas, Joe Tucker, Matthew Walters, Chris Darr, Patrick Horan, Kerry Brown.

(Row 2 L-R) Tim Doran, Anne Hoffmann, Dan Sullivan, Chris Ballard, Miranda Stevens, Amy Schmidt, Cory Parker, Kyle Pfundt , Katy Beckerle

(Row 3 L-R) Bobby Christopher, Chris Walker, Dan Ems, Jake Clancy, Eric Kues, Walker Gusewelle, Cody Ryan, Matt Schmid, Landon Williams, Craig Gonet, Brian Dayton, Ben Pratt.

CREW St. Louis Honors Members, Lesley Hoffarth at 13th Annual Networking Awards Ceremony

in Associations/News

Leader of Forest Park Forever receives Woman of Influence honors 

The St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) honored members at its 13th Annual Networking Awards held on March 8 at The Saint Louis Woman’s Club. In addition to members, CREW-St. Louis presented its third annual Woman of Influence Award. The award recognizes a female leader who has impacted the commercial real estate industry through her leadership, accomplishments and service to the St. Louis region.

Cindy Preszler, broadcast and web meteorologist, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies.

The awards revolve around CREW-St. Louis’ mission to advance, educate and support women to influence the commercial real estate industry. Those honored in 2018 were: 

Woman of Influence: Lesley Hoffarth, President and Executive Director, Forest Park Forever

Hoffarth was recruited by the board to lead Forest Park Forever while still overseeing the $535 million I-64 project. A 20-year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, Hoffarth joined Forest Park Forever after she completed the massive transportation project one month ahead of schedule and $11 million under budget.

In January 2010, she assumed the helm of Forest Park Forever, the private nonprofit conservancy charged with restoring, maintaining and sustaining one of America’s greatest urban public parks.

Hoffarth is leading the organization through a transition of its mission. Initially focused on rebuilding the 1,300-acre park, the organization has expanded its mission to partner with the City to restore, sustain and maintain it forever. To do so, Hoffarth and her team successfully negotiated a first-in-the-nation innovative agreement with the City that forms a partnership, secures funding for ongoing maintenance and builds the next phase of capital projects. This public-private partnership is considered a leading national model, with requests from around the country for advice on what it takes to make it work.

As part of this mission, she launched Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park’s Future. The $130 million campaign was designed to raise $30 million dollars to complete urgent capital projects and $100 million to expand the endowment for long-term park maintenance.

The most ambitious fundraising initiative in Forest Park’s history, the Forever campaign exceeded its goal.

Those gifts already have been made an impact in improving the park:

  • Rebuilding the roads around the Zoo and Art Museum, adding safe crossings, LED lighting and more than two miles of new sidewalks;
  • Rebuilding the bridge between the Boathouse and the Muny and adding safe sidewalks and a connection to the path system;
  • Installing a comprehensive new way-finding system for drivers, cyclists and walkers;
  • And overhauling the Festival & Parking Plaza above the Muny.

New Member of the Year: Lauren Berry, Gershman Commercial Real Estate

Berry jumped right in after joining CREW-St. Louis in late 2016. She serves as a key member of the communications committee. As a major contributor to its social media outreach, she recently agreed to chair the social media subcommittee.

She started an informal networking event for younger members and also serves as co-chair of the organization’s ambassador committee.

CREW Impact Award: Stacey Hudson, CORE Facility Services

Hudson was honored for advancing the chapter’s success. In particular, she has devoted numerous hours to capturing the spirit of CREW-St. Louis in her photographs. Additionally, she compiled a history of the chapter’s past presidents. She currently serves on the executive board as secretary.

Her impact on CREW-St. Louis started almost the day she joined in 1991. She became a board member filling the slot of someone moving away. Since then, she has co-chaired the programs committee and continues as a member on this important committee. She also has shared the opportunities available in commercial real estate with female high school and college students.

Economic Impact: Sarah Davis and Brittany Burke, CRG; Julie Panagos, Koman Group; Farris Hughes, Fifth Third Bank; Jenny Marler, Dentons US LLP; Eryn Bassett, Environmental Operations Inc. (Everly on the Loop)

The award honors a development project that impacts a community and the CREW-St. Louis members who played a pivotal role in the completion of Everly on the Loop

It took vision to convert what had been a vacant lot into a 14-story, 209-unit residential complex. The site formerly housed the Yellow Cab Company but the building was demolished in 2006.

Working with the community, area business leaders and political entities, formal approval to rezone the property took place in February 2016. Construction began soon after in May 2016. It was completed in record time, opening its doors in August 2017.

The student housing high-rise development anchors the East Loop in St. Louis City. Its impact extended development beyond Skinker Boulevard and connects to the nearby MetroLink station. And it will encourage future development.

The $66 million development greatly added to the region’s economy, supplying nearly 1,000 jobs as it rose from the ground. Equally impressive, 29 minority and women-owned firms were awarded contracts, expanding their capability to tackle larger projects in the future. Apprentices received experience, including several from the Construction Career Development Initiative.

Developed by CRG and the Koman Group, Everly on the Loop features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that appeal to students at nearby universities such as Washington University, as well as to young professionals who cherish urban living. Leases have been signed for more than 80 percent of the residential units.

The vision to move this forward required the skills of several CREW-St. Louis members.

Sarah Davis with CRG provided legal counsel before, during and after construction, and Brittany Burke handled public relations and marketing support.

Other members include those in the Koman Group, which became a partner in the project. Julie Paganos oversaw finish selections for the common areas and residential units, as well as details for the amenities and security.

Farris Hughes represented Fifth Third Bank, the project’s key lender, and she enlisted Denton’s Jenny Marler to oversee the legal work and due diligence to complete the $52 million syndicated construction loan. Eryn Bassett with Environmental Operations performed the environmental due diligence.

Career Advancement for Women: Erin Torney, Colliers St. Louis

CREW-St. Louis members recognized Torney for her constant efforts to support and advance the careers of women in commercial real estate. In fact, one nominee credits her for helping when she contemplated a transition to a new company.

Part and parcel, she has served in key positions as a member of the golf and ambassador’s committees. She then became co-chair of the ambassador’s committee, which welcomes new members and provides networking opportunities to all members. She is ideally suited for her latest role as co-chair of the membership committee.

Torney holds leadership positions with other organizations outside of CREW-St. Louis, focusing her efforts on education and advocacy to help others advance their careers.

CREW-St. Louis is one of the largest of CREW Network’s global chapters. Its more than 200 members come from all disciplines in commercial real estate. For more information, visit Follow CREW-St. Louis on Twitter @CREWSTL.

Civic Pride Greatest Asset in Selling St. Louis, ULI St. Louis Panel Agrees

in Associations/News

By KERRY SMITH, Editor, St. Louis Construction News & Review

Nearly 100 members and guests of Urban Land Institute St. Louis gathered in the historic Magnolia St. Louis boutique hotel March 8th to hear a message of how crucial civic pride is in attracting business, investment and visitors to The Gateway City.

The organization, whose mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating sustaining, thriving communities, convened a panel Thursday morning to talk through St. Louis’ strongest development-related assets. Of the list they articulated, a less conventional one rose to the top: civic pride.

Kitty Ratcliffe, president of Explore St. Louis – formerly known as the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission – said messaging coming from the mouths of those working on the front lines of the hospitality industry have the ability to influence site selectors, developers, investors and convention venue scouts as to whether or not they seriously consider St. Louis. Ratcliffe said the convention and visitors commission formed a nonprofit educational entity, St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation, in 2013 to “create a culture of confidence and competitiveness among St. Louis area residents” to propel the city’s growth. At Thursday’s panel discussion, Ratcliffe said equipping local hospitality industry workers with the same plusses about their city is every bit as critical.

“We all know what a great community this is and how much we love it,” said Ratcliffe. However, five years ago we formed the foundation because we felt that our own people were in some way, shape or form our worst enemies in selling St. Louis as a destination.”

Back then, despite a vibrant destination-driven ad campaign in cities such as Washington D.C. and Chicago that drew prospects to visit St. Louis, Ratcliffe said too many of these leads were met in cabs, at hotel front desks, at St. Louis restaurants and elsewhere with less-than-stellar messaging from the city’s own.

“Clients would come in, take a cab from the airport and check in at the front desk and they were met with responses such as, ‘Why would you look here? Why would you want to choose St. Louis?’ With support from local corporations, our foundation has now trained more than 1,000 cab drivers, hundreds of hotel workers and a great number of others working in the St. Louis hospitality sector how to respond with what’s great about St. Louis,” she added. “We absolutely have to train and encourage people in our community to be evangelists for our community. It has to start from the inside out.”

Robert O’Loughlin, a fellow panelist at the ULI St. Louis event, is chairman and CEO of Lodging Hospitality Management, which owns 20 hotels across the St. Louis metro area. O’Loughlin agreed.

“You can’t go out and sell prospects on coming to a particular area until you first sell your own people on it,” O’Loughlin said. “It has to start from the ground up, from the inside out. When employees feel good about where they’re at, visitors and prospects will hear a very sincere story.”

St. Louis NECA Salutes Doug Martin for 40 Years of Service

in Associations/News

Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), was honored by colleagues in the construction industry for 40 years of service to NECA.   The March 6, 2018 salute at the Missouri Athletic Club in Des Peres was the second time Martin was honored this year by the St. Louis construction industry.  On Feb. 22, 2018, Martin received the Al Fleischer Management Award for 34 years of service to the venerable Saint Louis Construction Cooperative (SLCC)

A strong advocate of labor-management cooperation, Martin works closely with Frank Jacobs, business manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1, guiding the NECA/IBEW labor-management partnership, Electrical Connection, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Both the St. Louis NECA and the SLCC celebrations of Martin’s service drew leadership from labor, management and the businesses served by the construction industry.

“Doug has always been a champion of advancing construction proficiently and uniting owner, contractor and trade union to overcome any challenges that may arise,” noted Steven S. Sobo, PE, FMP, SFP director, capital projects, Washington University School of Medicine. “He is very attentive to the owner’s needs and is quick to respond when called for guidance or assistance.”  Sobo is a member of the SLCC.

For the St. Louis Chapter NECA, Martin helps guide a trade association representing more than 200 electrical and communication contractors located in eastern Missouri.  “NECA represents the most proficient electrical contractors in our region, large and small, who provide a wide variety of electrical and communications services,” said Emily Martin, president of St. Louis NECA and president of Aschinger Electric.  “Doug’s 40 years of advocacy for NECA at the bargaining table, in the legislature and to the public has helped sustain the robust electrical contracting industry we have today.”

Martin is responsible for negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements with three local unions of the IBEW, under which more than 5,000 electricians and communication technicians are employed.  Martin serves as a management trustee on multi-employer health, pension and other employee benefit funds.  He also coordinates education, marketing and public relations programs for member contractors and is a spokesman before governmental agencies in connection with legislation impacting the electrical and communication contracting industry.

“There is trust and mutual respect with Doug,” said Frank Jacobs, IBEW Local 1 business manager.  “We don’t agree all the time, but Doug listens and always presents his point of view with honesty and conviction.  Most importantly, Doug is very passionate about the value of skill and safety in the electrical industry upon which IBEW and NECA collectively build its future as labor-management partners.”

In his role with St. Louis NECA, Martin works with Jacobs and Electrical Connection Executive Vice President Jim Curran to help market skills and safety, invest in workforce development, develop strategic business and education partnerships, fortify STEM education and develop NECA/IBEW as a valuable resource to meet Missouri’s future energy and technology needs.

Their work recently earned the Electrical Connection two prestigious awards:  The St. Louis Regional Chamber Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award and the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers Inclusion Award for Organizational Excellence for Inclusion

“The electrical industry is fortunate to have Doug with technology rapidly changing our world,” noted Curran.  “Doug has the vision to meet challenges with thoughtful solutions that will guide our contractors and workforce through the changes.”

Photo Above: Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association and Emily Martin, president of St. Louis NECA and president of Aschinger Electric

Electrical Connection Earns Inclusion Award

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The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) has presented the Electrical Connection with an Inclusion Award for its efforts to strengthen diversity in the St. Louis construction industry.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

In earning the SLCCC’s Organizational Excellence for Inclusion Award, the Electrical Connection was saluted for taking a holistic approach to investment in training and creatively expanding outreach to minority communities.  Today more than 25 percent of apprentices accepted in the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center are minorities.  IBEW/NECA invest $3 million annually in training, developing highly complex electrical and communication technology skills. The training center has a graduation rate of more than 90 percent.  Its career-building education is free of charge, at no taxpayer expense, and allows apprentices to earn a living with benefits as they develop the skills and safety needed for next generation electrical and communications installations.

Ten years ago, the Great Recession devastated the ranks of the region’s skilled construction workforce.  Many dropped out of the industry or moved away. IBEW/NECA fortified its investment in training from 8,000 hours to 10,000 hours in 2011.  It also tasked its Electrical Connection partnership to develop new strategies to energize minority outreach through its business relationships and partnerships.

Among those in the minority community who have benefited from the outreach is 47-year-old Trisa Newburn whose massage therapy business was shut down by the Great Recession.  Now in her final year of apprenticeship at the training center, Newburn is on the threshold becoming an IBEW electrician.  “This career would be great for lots of people nowadays especially when you can get out of college and still not have a job.  I can get out of school and have many jobs to go to, with good money,” noted Newburn in a Feb. 22, 2018 Fox 2 story on the recovery and resiliency of the St. Louis construction industry.

One of the biggest IBEW/NECA investments was made in fall 2017, when it committed $500,000 to a STEM education partnership with the Saint Louis Science Center that fortifies an eight-year-long commitment helping schools improve science, technology, engineering and math education.  The investment helps the Science Center reach more schools serving minority communities.

“The Science Center’s mission is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO, Saint Louis Science Center.  “The Electrical Connection is a great partner in advancing that mission while broadening outreach to minority communities, where we work together to cultivate greater opportunities for minorities in the electrical trades.”

Other investments and outreach has included:

  • Effective STEM partnerships that unite programs like the Saint Louis Science Center and FIRSTRobotics with the unique skills of the electrical industry that are in high demand to serve science and technology.  STEM subjects are connected to electrical careers in compelling ways as more than 10,000 students have been engaged in school districts with a significant minority student body.
  • Connecting its education programs with key business/education organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, St. Louis Gateway Chapter; American Association of Blacks in Energy, St. Louis Chapter; Project Lead the Way(Jennings School District) and more.
  • Creating a career development education partnership with St. Louis Community Collegein 2017 that allows apprentices and journey workers to earn associate degrees.
  • Participation in more than 20 career fairs annually at high schools throughout the area and furthering outreach through its membership in Missouri School Board Associationand the Missouri Association of School Administrators.
  • Publicizing details of compelling transitions to electrical careers by minorities
  • Fully supporting the Building Union Diversity (BUD)program, a series of nine-week pre-apprenticeship training programs that ready minority construction career aspirants for apprenticeship training.
  • Creatively broadening outreach through trust-building programs aimed at younger children through its $10,000 support of the Ferguson “Shop with a Cop”program 2016 and 2017.  The charity helped familiarize young children with the electrical industry
  • Continuing support of the Regional Union Construction Centerand its mission of creating a sustainable minority contracting community.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers represents the buyers of construction services in the St. Louis region.  Learn more at

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information visit

Image above, L to R: Carol Daniel, KMOX; Mike Newton, IBEW Local 1; Ramon Tumblin-Rucker, BJC HealthCare and SLCCC Diversity Committee chair; Frank Jacobs, IBEW Local 1; and St. Louis NECA representative Ken Naumann, Kaiser Electric.

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