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SIBA Scholarships to be Awarded

in Associations/News

WHO: The Education Committee, Scholarship Committee, Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Southern Illinois Builders Association.

WHAT: Individuals who have a career goal in the Construction Management / Construction Related Engineering / Architectural fields and are planning to enroll as a full-time student and maintain full-time student status (12 hour minimum). Applicants were required to show evidence that they were related to an individual employed full-time by an SIBA Member firm for a minimum of 2 years.

WHEN: Deadline to submit application and related materials is November 10, 2017

WHERE: Southern Illinois Builders Association Office, 1468 Green Mount Road, O’Fallon, Illinois

Contact Donna Richter or Kristin McCaw at SIBA to receive requirements and guidelines to apply for this scholarship (618) 624-9055.

Let’s Roll! Annual “Heat’s On” Program Scheduled for Oct. 21st

in Associations/News

Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 and MCA-EMO Partner to Assist Community Members and Local 562 Retirees with Furnace Inspections

More than 300 work vans will roll out of the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 headquarters in Spanish Lake, MO at 8 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 21, deploying out to the homes of St. Louis community members and Local 562 retirees. The annual HEAT’S ON program is a partnership of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri (MCA-EMO) and Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 to provide pre-winter inspections on furnaces.

According to Larry Baker, service business agent for Local No. 562, the free services provided that day are valued at more than $200,000.  MCA contractors donate the trucks and materials needed, while the pipefitters and plumbers donate their time and expertise.

“We see this program as an opportunity to give back to the St. Louis community,” said George D. Corey, president of MCA-EMO. “It’s important for all homeowners to ensure that their systems are in good working order before we get into cold weather.  And it’s a great Fall tradition for both our contractors and Local No. 562.”

The groups work with local social service agencies to identify residents throughout the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County in need of services. The work vans carry filters and minor spare parts to support the workers’ inspection and minor repairs to the homes’ furnaces, water heaters and smoke detectors.

“Since its inception in 1987 we estimate that our service to the community has exceeded six million dollars,” added Baker. “Many of our older members, especially, enjoy passing down the tradition to the younger workers coming up through the ranks.  And it’s just a fun day for our members.”


MCA-EMO offers programs crucial to the ongoing success of contractors and vendors operating within the construction industry in Eastern Missouri. For over 70 years, the MCA has sponsored cost-effective educational opportunities taught by qualified and experienced professionals in the MCA Training Center. MCA-EMO also offers industry events, networking opportunities, and sponsors a student chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  For the past 29 years, the MCA-EMO has co-sponsored the annual “HEAT’S ON” community outreach program with the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union No. 562, providing heating system inspections to thousands of homeowners in the City of St. Louis, and St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. Visit:


The membership of Local #562 is composed primarily of plumbers and pipefitters.  However, they also represent other bargaining groups such as coil cleaners, petroleum maintenance workers, lawn irrigation specialists, drain cleaners and building maintenance workers.  Each and every member of Local #562 is provided superior training and endeavors to work to the highest standard of craftsmanship. You also will find a complete list of mechanical contractors and plumbing contractors that employ Local #562 members, as well as individual lists segregating the contractors into job specific categories:

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Hosts Student Engineering Competition in Honor of Gateway Arch’s 52nd Anniversary

in Associations/Homepage Primary/News

Local students tasked with updating vital components of the Gateway Arch’s tram system

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is celebrating the 52nd anniversary of the completion of the Gateway Arch with an inaugural engineering contest for college students.

JNEM invited three local college engineering schools-Washington University in St. Louis, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Southwestern Illinois College-to participate in the competition. Students have been asked to solve a real-world engineering problem: how to modernize the trams’ electrical and mechanical systems.

“The Arch’s tram system is one of the most unique methods of transportation in the world,” says Frank Mares, Deputy Superintendent, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. “No other elevator system is like it, and there is no precedent when it comes to improving it. We hope this competition inspires our local college students to think outside the box, and use their engineering knowledge and their imagination to find a workable solution. We are eager to see their approach as they demonstrate their multifaceted ways of thinking and showcase their problem-solving skills.”

Students recently took a behind-the-scenes tour of the popular Journey to the Top tram ride to research the inner workings of the current system. The Park Service also provided students with photos and drawings of the project. Each school’s team will submit their proposal by October 20. JNEM’s tram mechanics staff will review the proposals and determine the winner.

Students will present their proposals at a special banquet on the Arch’s 52nd anniversary of its completion, Saturday, October 28. The winner will be announced and presented the Dick Bowser Trophy, named after the designer of the Arch’s tram system and made from recycled tram parts. The Gateway Arch’s builders will also be in attendance and recognized at the banquet, in celebration of the 52nd anniversary of the Arch’s completion.

If the winning design indeed works, the Arch tram mechanical staff intend to implement it.

WHAT: Gateway Arch Engineering Competition Awards Banquet
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 28; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Award will be given out closer to end of the event.)
WHERE: Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch; 2 South Fourth Street, St. Louis, MO 63102
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Student competitors, faculty coaches, Gateway Arch builders
MEDIA NOTE: The banquet is a private event and not open to the public. Media are invited to attend. Please contact Park Ranger Tony Gilpin at 618-792-6145 to alert him of your attendance.

Protecting our Water Infrastructure

in Associations/News

At River Event, Officials Underscore the Need for Massive Upgrades 

Recent events such as multiple hurricanes and even the water crisis in Flint, Michigan have underscored the importance of access to clean, safe drinking water.   The message seems to be getting through, as a packed crowd of government officials, engineers, public safety officials and concerned citizens gathered to learn more about how reliable our water sources are.

Metro Water Infrastructure Partnership (MWIP), a group of area utilities and professional associations, sponsored the event.  The group hosted a riverboat tour last week to discuss the area’s aging pipes and water systems, and the increasing frequency of water main breaks across the St. Louis Metro region. Water pipes in St Louis are rapidly reaching or exceeding their average life expectancy and need to be addressed: some of the region’s water flows through pipes that are more than 100 years old.

“Our water infrastructure is old and some components are reaching end-of-useful-life. Many elements are waiting to fail and need to be fixed,” said  Curt Skouby, City of St. Louis Director of Public Utilities .  “We can’t continue to do nothing. We aren’t in a crisis yet, but ignoring aging infrastructure has serious consequences.”

Cheryl Norton, president of Missouri American Water, also noted the importance of improving infrastructure and being prepared for natural disasters like earthquakes and tornadoes.

The frequency of water main breaks varies from year to year, but has been steadily increasing since 1970. Changes in infrastructure management have limited the increase of water main breaks, but they still occur on average five times more frequently than in the past. “The loss of funding for proactive replacement programs can lead to significantly higher replacement costs – up to 10 times as expensive, says St Charles County Public Water Supply District #2 General Manager Ron Smith, who presented at the event.

The MWIP says the St. Louis Metro region needs to roughly double the pace at which it replaces water pipelines in order to reach the industry standard of a one percent replacement rate, which is just fast enough to swap out each pipe by the time it hits 100 years old. This would cost about $34 million more per year, raising the average water bill over the next 20 years to around $80 per month from about $30 per month.  On a positive note, this effort would add to the more than 13,000 jobs currently attributed to water utilities in the region.

MWIP is an organization dedicated to advancing community conversations about the importance of investing in our region’s water and wastewater infrastructure. MWIP member utilities provide water and wastewater service to approximately 1.5 million people in Missouri and Illinois. MWIP member organizations include:

For more information about MWIP, visit:

NECA Electrical Contractors Dominate Annual Ranking of St. Louis’ Largest Electrical Contractors

in Associations/Homepage Primary/News

The strength of St. Louis National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA) members is again on display in the annual ranking of the largest electrical contractors by the St. Louis Business Journal.   Eighteen of the 22 electrical contractors ranked are NECA contractors and members of the Electrical Connection – the partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and NECA.  The rankings are by gross billings in 2016 and can be found at this link: 

Among the St. Louis NECA electrical contractors on the September 29, 2017 listing and their revenues are:

  • Sachs Electric — $233.3 million
  • J.F. Electric Inc. — $207 million
  • Guarantee Electrical Co. — $157.37 million
  • PayneCrest Electric Inc. — $120 million
  • Kaiser Electric — $40.5 million
  • Aschinger Electric Co. — $39.8 million
  • Kaemmerlen Electric — $34.43 million
  • TSI Global Cos., LLC — $31 million
  • K&F Electric Inc., a Zak Co. — $29.81 million
  • Bell Electrical Contractors Inc. — $27 million
  • TD4 Electrical and Communications LLC — $24.08 million
  • Schneider Electric of St. Louis LLC — $24.06 million
  • Schaeffer Electric Co. Inc. — $21 million
  • RJP Electric LLC  — $20.61 million
  • Pyramid Electrical Contractors — $19.7 million
  • Kay Bee Electric — $18 million
  • M.R. Bathe Electric – $11.2 million
  • J. Bathe Electric — $5.64 million

NECA members in the rankings include minority contractors.  The industries served by the NECA contactors on the list span residential and commercial, including healthcare, power, industrial, retail, multifamily, renewable energy, institutional, R&D, data centers, schools and more.

St. Louis NECA contractors partner with IBEW to form the Electrical Connection, providing safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information, visit

Welcome to the new HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital

in Associations/News

In less than 30 days, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s will be making one of the largest moves in its history – from Belleville to the new facility in O’Fallon. This is the next chapter in fulfilling the health care Mission through advanced technologies, professional, skilled and compassionate caregivers, and the highest level of quality service. It is the next step on the hospital’s  journey to offering patients the highest quality care in a comfortable and healing setting.

All along, the goal was to create a healing environment that combines technology and efficiencies to provide region leading, high-quality care. In our new facility, we will offer state-of-the-art technologies to provide advanced services in surgery, medical imaging, laboratory, and the emergency department, just to name a few. Hospital designers and planners also hope the public enjoys the private rooms, efficiently designed clinical areas which allow nurses to spend more time with their patients at the bedside, and the deluxe amenities offered in the Women and Infants Center.

St. Elizabeth’s plans to be the health and wellness destination for the region for decades to come. The new $300 million O’Fallon campus sits on 120 acres and is easily accessible off of Interstate 64. This location and amount of space allows for wonderful outdoor spaces for patients, visitors and colleagues and provides many growth opportunities for the future.

Throughout the design of the new facility, you will see that patient care, privacy and overall experience are our priority. Please enjoy this informational piece to learn more about how we continue to put patients first and join my excitement in opening our new facility to the region on November 4, 2017.

Public Open House events are scheduled for October 7 and 8 from 10am-2:30 pm.

Missouri’s Contractors Celebrate BuildMO Week Oct. 2-6

in Associations/News

Contractors Grapple with Critical Worker Shortage

Today, the AGC of Missouri, government and civic leaders gathered at North Technical High School in Florissant to celebrate BuildMO Week, Oct. 2-6, a week-long celebration of the construction industry in Missouri.  Part of the Special School District, North Technical High School provides Career and Technical Education (CTE) that prepares students for continuing education and the workforce.

Leonard Toenjes, CAE, president, AGC of Missouri, spoke about the economic impact of construction on Missouri’s economy and welcomed St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger; Thomas P. Schneider, Mayor, City of Florissant; and Tom Heeger, Co-Chair, St. Louis Construction Cooperative.

Toenjes noted that construction is a major driver of Missouri’s economy, employing more than 118,700 in August (seasonally adjusted) persons throughout the state. View here :


In 2016, U.S. GDP totaled $18.6 trillion; construction contributed $784 billion (4.2 percent).  In Missouri, construction contributed $11 billion (3.7 percent) of the state’s GDP of $301 billion.  Construction wages and salaries in 2016 totaled $408 billion in the U.S., including $7.0 billion in Missouri. The U.S. had 682,000 construction firms in 2015, of which 92 percent employed fewer than 20 workers. Missouri had 13,000 construction firms in 2015, of which 91 percent were small (fewer than 20 employees.)  SOURCE: AGC of America: State of Missouri Economic Report, Sept. 26, 2017

Toenjes also noted that a “perfect storm is forming in our industry.” He said that, due to retirements, demographics and the 2008 downturn in the economy, a shortage of trained construction workers has reached critical levels in Missouri and throughout the country.  Results from a recent workforce survey by AGC of America indicate the shortage threatens to hold back the entire U.S. economy.

“Seventy-one percent of Missouri contractors recently surveyed noted they are having difficulty filling some hourly craft positions and 20 percent report they are having difficulty filling some salaried field positions,” noted Toenjes. “Forty-one percent report they are having difficulty filling some office salaried positions.” View Missouri Workforce Survey results at:  <

“This is why the career and technical education programs provided at North Technical High School and other schools throughout our state are so important,” added Toenjes. “The hiring situation is very favorable right now for students trained in the trades. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, construction and extraction employment is projected to grow 10 percent between 2014 and 2024. And, according to new data released last week by the AGC of America, in 2016, annual pay of all construction workers in the U.S. averaged $58,600, 10 percent more than the average for all private sector employees. Construction workers’ pay in Missouri averaged $56,000, 20 percent more than all private sector employees in the state.

“Construction is an excellent career path for today’s young people,” added Toenjes.  “New technologies like Building Information Modeling, drones, innovative building methods and new materials are transforming the way we design and build everything.  The sky’s the limit for a young person entering our industry today.”

North Technical recently updated its construction curriculum to ensure that students see many career paths in the industry during their first year. By rotating through immersive, real-world projects in four core areas of carpentry, construction trades, electrical trades, and HVAC, North Technical students choose their second year curriculum with focus and purpose.

“The Construction Innovation structure at North Tech allows students to maintain interest in the first year of the Construction Trades Programs by exposing them to nine week bursts of interesting projects and equipment function,” said Dr. David Baker, Assistant Superintendent of College and Career Readiness for Special School District. “These are 16- and 17- year-old young men and women and we must gain their interest in the field before we can prepare them to move forward as part of the construction workforce.  The program is dependent upon the strength of our instructors and their sincere interest in student success and competence in their respective fields is what ensures program success.”

BuildMO Week activities began yesterday with a news conference at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, MO, with officials announcing establishment of a new AGCMO student chapter at OTC. Additional AGCMO networking and training events also are scheduled throughout the week. Students from North Technical High School’s Culinary Program provided refreshments for the St. Louis kickoff event.

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri represents the united voice of the construction industry throughout the state of Missouri. AGC of Missouri represents over 525 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties across the state of Missouri. AGC of Missouri operates offices in St. Louis and Jefferson City. Visit:  <>

St. Louis Regional Ports and Terminals Ranked Most Efficient

in Associations/News

Capture One-Third of the Upper Mississippi River Barge Freight Traffic

Vital role in nation’s freight network reinforces need for infrastructure investment along the Ag Coast of America

St. Louis regional ports were ranked by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as the most efficient inland port district in terms of tons moved per river mile during 2015, the most recent year for which final numbers are available. The St. Louis region’s barge industry handled 500,000 tons per mile. The Ports of Huntington-Tristate, West Virginia and Ports of Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky, ranked second and third respectively, moving more than 200,000 tons per river mile, making the St. Louis region two and half times more efficient on its river usage than its closest competitors.

Those efficiencies translated into one-third of all freight traffic along the section of the Mississippi River from Minneapolis, Minn., to the Ohio River near Cairo, Ill., being captured by the St. Louis region’s ports and river terminals. According to the USACE, the 70-mile St. Louis regional port system represents only 8 percent of this 855-mile section of the river, yet carried one-third of the 2015 freight. The numbers reinforce the St. Louis region’s critical role in the nation’s freight network and further solidifies its position as the ‘Ag Coast of America.’

What does this mean? The St. Louis region’s ports and river terminals have created a highly competitive shipper and carrier market. This ability to capture more than 30 percent of the market share of 109 million total tons of all freight traffic is attributed to excess capacity at river terminals and high concentrations of barges; exceptional intermodal connectivity; and the region’s unrivaled location in the heart of America’s agricultural heartland, providing the northernmost ice-free and lock-free access on the Mississippi River to and from the Gulf of Mexico.

“It’s a combination that adds up to the St. Louis region having inexpensive barge freight rates for the handling of fertilizer, steel, manufactured goods, coal, petroleum products and agricultural commodities,” notes Mary Lamie, Executive Director of the St. Louis Regional Freightway, which is a freight district and comprehensive authority for freight operations and opportunities within eight counties in Illinois and Missouri that comprise the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Available capacity of the existing ports and river terminals and a high concentration of barges, combined with proposed barge facilities coming online over the next couple of years, strategically positions the St. Louis region to capture an even greater portion of the freight traffic moving along the Mississippi River. However, U.S. Department of Agriculture reports suggest that, without improvements in U.S. infrastructure from the farm to ports, global agricultural market shares will decline dramatically.

Given the existing barge freight traffic market share handled by the St. Louis region’s ports and the opportunities for additional growth, the importance of continued efficient and reliable rail and truck interconnectivity is critical for maintaining global competitiveness.

“Investment in this infrastructure, including improving at-grade rail crossings and increasing efficiency of freight rail interconnectivity with the region’s Class I railroads, is key to supporting the barge industry,” Lamie said.

Over the past year, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) President Mike McCarthy led the 75 members of The Freightway’s Freight Development Committee through a process to develop and build consensus around a priority list of 20 multimodal projects that were identified as critical to modernize the region’s freight infrastructure. The list has unanimous regional approval and the backing of both the Missouri and Illinois congressional delegations, which has vaulted regional priorities into national priorities.

For more information on the entire Freightway project list click here<>. To learn more about the St. Louis Regional Freightway, visit<>.

B.O.S.S. Event – Is Your Business Protected?

in Associations/News

Four Government Agencies are Targeting Your Business – You Need to Know!

As of 2017, there were 40% more enforcement officers than in 2016.  They have changed from being guardians of safety and equality to compliance police dedicated to revenue generation for the government.

  • Do you know if you are protected?
  • Do you know how easy it is to be audited?
  • Do you know what your rights are if they come knocking?

Every kind of company in every industry is a target!  In our next B.O.S.S. event we will cover the top 4 things you can do TODAY to protect yourself, your employees, and your business.

  1. ICE – How to protect your operation from the latest ICE crackdowns after they ramped up their enforcement staff by 3X.
  2. OSHA – How to identify the TRUE cost and risk of injuries in your work place.
  3. DOL – Let’s understand the Wage and Hour issues, plus the new laws and restrictions. Find out what they haven’t told you yet.
  4. EEOC – How to uncover your risks as much as you can – but you’re never truly protected.

We encourage you to join us and other business leaders for this important topic.  All business owners are welcome – feel free to extend this invitation to others you care about.

Register Now

Wednesday, October 18th

Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) West

7:30 am to 9:00 am

Andrew Caruso of TriNet has been in the Professional Employer Industry for more than 10 years.  He holds a PHR certification from SHRM as well as a MLE certification from Harvard Square. Currently he is the Midwest Director of Sales for TriNet.

Rebecca Finch of TriNet has been with TriNet 3 years and in business development and sales leadership, working with C-level executives and business owners throughout a number of industries for more than 30 years. Both Andrew and Rebecca work with business owners to help them manage and reduce their risk in many areas, including their exposure when it comes to compliance and regulations.

Tri-Net works with over 14,000 clients nationwide, helping them manage risk, reduce and contain costs, and increase productivity.

Design & Construction Technology Conference

in Associations/News

Discover Leading Technology Plan now to attend for inspiring presentations, hands on labs and networking opportunities.. Design & Construction Technology Conference 7th Annual Design & Construction Technology Conference Friday, November 2, 2017 Orlando’s Event & Conference Center 2050 Dorsett Village Maryland Heights, MO.

Hosted by Inspiring Presentations   Focus on current and emerging technology related to design and construction Hands on Labs   Get hands on experience taught by AEC professionals.

Meet with other professionals and leaders in the AEC industry   Sponsorship opportunities are available.  Contact us to showcase your products:

St Louis Council of Construction Consumers

180 Weidman Road, Suite 127

Manchester, MO 63021

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