April kicks off World Autism Awareness Month with the St. Louis design and construction industry lending a hand in giving St. Louis a distinct “blue hue.” On April 2, 2017, St. Louis will join Autism Speaks’ worldwide “Light it up Blue” awareness campaign by lighting numerous structures and landmarks blue. Companies and organizations participating in the effort by either lighting their office or assisting in lighting structures include HOK, Illuminating Engineering Society St. Louis; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1; Lighting Associates, Inc., and St. Louis Lighting Group. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism is diagnosed in one out of 68 children.
To date, local structures and landmarks that will be lit blue on April 2nd include:
James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 union hall in South St. Louis
Express Scripts in North St. Louis County
The Magic House, Kirkwood
Mungenast Lexus of St. Louis, 13,700 Manchester Rd.
In addition to lighting St. Louis blue, many in the community will be wearing blue clothing or showcasing the color blue in some way. To learn more on how to participate, visit www.lightitupblue.org or call the St. Louis Chapter of Autism Speaks at 314-989-1003.
Autism Speaks will kick off Autism Awareness Month on Saturday April 1, 2016 with a family fun event at Mungenast Lexus of St. Louis at 13,700 Manchester Road. The 10 a.m. to noon event will include local resource vendors, sensory friendly activities, food, and more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. The CDC has called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown. For more information, visit www.autismspeaks.org.
The length of the nation’s nearly 56,000 structurally deficient bridges if placed end-to-end would stretch 1,276 miles, or half the distance from New York to Los Angeles, a new examination of federal government data by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) shows. There are 185 million daily crossings on nearly 56,000 structurally deficient U.S. bridges. About 1,900 of those bridges are on the Interstate Highway System.
It’s a problem that hits very close to home. More than 3,190 bridges in Missouri, or 13.1 percent of the state’s inventory, are “structurally deficient,” according to ARTBA’s fourth annual analysis of the latest U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) National Bridge Inventory database. Drivers in our state cross these bridges 5,068,727 times a day.
The 2016 figure of 3,190 bridges is down from 3,222 in 2015. Missouri ranks 4th in the nation in terms of the number of structurally deficient bridges and 11thwhen considering structurally deficient bridges as a percent of total inventory. Nationwide, an average of 9 percent are structurally deficient.
According to ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, the report’s key takeaway—and the most important thing to focus on—is that 1,900 bridges on the National Highway Freight Network are structurally deficient. “That’s America’s Economic Expressway,” Black said. “Bridge failures or restrictions on that 66,000-mile network should not be an option. Those bridges and the freight network overall should be the focal point of any new federal infrastructure initiative that emerges. Improving its performance and minimizing the chance of any major disruptions on it would provide big and recurring economic returns.”
State-specific information from the analysis—including rankings and the locations of the 250 most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in the nation and top 25 most heavily traveled in each state—is available on ARTBA’s website.
It is imperative that members of the U.S. Congress turn their attention to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, especially the National Highway Freight Network. At the same time, Missouri legislators need to create long-term, sustainable funding for the state’s road and bridges.
One only needs to remember the Aug. 1, 2007, I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis to understand that the safety of drivers and passengers who transverse these structurally deficient bridges every day are at stake. MoDOT does an excellent job of monitoring and prioritizing repairs on Missouri’s bridges and roads, but their resources have been cut back dramatically. At the same time, our roads and bridges are further deteriorating.
To learn more about the issue and how the U.S. funds its infrastructure click here.
Leonard Toenjes, CAE, is president of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri. AGCMO is the Missouri affiliate of Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA.
IMPACTConference Attendees Cheer Announcement at the 2017 Conference
The Iron Workers (IW) and the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT), announced a new paid maternity leave benefit at the 2017 Iron Workers/IMPACT Conference in San Diego yesterday. The organization is the first to introduce a generous paid maternity leave benefit in the building trades. It is a laudable move considering that the U.S. lags behind its European counterparts when it comes to paid maternity leave and most industries in the country do not offer adequate paid maternity leave. It’s virtually unheard of in the building trades.
The Iron Workers’ paid maternity leave includes 6 months of pre-delivery maximum benefit and 6 to 8 weeks of post-delivery benefit. Regardless of what was covered pre‐delivery, the ironworker member will be eligible for up to six weeks of paid leave after the birth of the child and two additional weeks for Cesarean deliveries. The challenges of physical work associated with the ironworking trade create unique health challenges that can jeopardize a pregnancy.
“I’m extremely excited about this policy and I think it’s going to help with retention of ironworker women and encourage them to build a career,” said Vicki O’Leary, an Ironworker rappresentative who made the announcement during a panel focused on the role of women ironworkers. “It’s one more step in achieving greater diversity in our trade.”
The announcement was well received by the ironworkers and contractors in attendance. “It’s a relief to know that female ironworkers don’t have to choose between work and family anymore,” said Blue Coble an ironworker woman from IW Local 75 in Phoenix.
“We are very proud to be the first to introduce a paid maternity program in the building trades,” said General President of the Iron Workers Eric Dean. “It’s about time we make our industry a level playing field for women and make diversity and inclusion a priority”.
“When we first started talking about it, I wasn’t sure how we’d pull it off and what it would cost, but we realized that it’s an investment because we want our well-trained ironworker women to come back to work,” said, CEO of Ben Hur Construction Co. and Co-Chair of IMPACT Bill Brown.
The IW became a trailbrazer in diversity and inclusion in the building trades with its announcement of the remarkable paid maternity leave.
The Iron Workers (IW) represents 130,000 ironworkers in North America who work in construction on bridges; structural steel; ornamental, architectural, and miscellaneous metals; rebar; and in shops.
With the February jobs report that came out earlier this month showing more encouraging signs of growth, the Construction Employers of America highlighted the strength in the performance of the construction industry, particularly that of the specialty trades.
Of the 235,000 jobs created in February, 25 percent were in the construction industry, the group said. It added that the specialty construction trades drove the increase in construction employment, accounting for over 62 percent of the job growth in the construction industry.
“The specialty construction sector continues to demonstrate the vital role it plays in America’s economic resurgence and is, once again, leading employment gains in the construction industry,” Jack Jacobson, spokesperson for the Construction Employers of America, said in a press release. “The skilled, blue collar jobs created in the specialty construction industry are exactly what’s needed to spur sustained economic growth across the country.”
CEA is a coalition of five premier national construction specialty contracting associations, including the National Electrical Contractors Association (a charter member), working together to raise awareness among policymakers, opinion leaders, and the general public, about the value of high-quality American construction. It engages on national, state, and local public policy initiatives to strengthen the domestic construction industry and provide opportunities for top-quality construction workers to earn the skills they need to command high wages.
Over the past twelve months, construction employment overall has grown by 3.3 percent, putting 219,000 construction employees to work. Nationally, construction employment now accounts for 6.88 million jobs, 4.4 million of which are in specialty trade construction. Specialty trade contractors have added 165,600 jobs in the past twelve months (seasonally adjusted), a healthy growth rate given the low level of unemployment nationally.
NECA is the voice of the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the U.S. NECA’s national office in Bethesda, Md., four regional offices, and 119 local chapters across the country support the electrical contracting industry through advocacy, education, research, and standards development. Visit www.necanet.org for more information.
Compares Actual Costs of Seven Common Commercial Exteriors
A new study comparing the construction costs of brick buildings to five common exteriors shows that brick with CMU costs less than precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall and glass panel curtain wall systems.
Conducted by RSMeans for the Brick Industry Association (BIA), the independent study compares total construction costs in five categories: three-story office building, three-story apartment building, five-to 10-story office building, four to eight-story hospital and a six-story dorm.
Comparisons include exterior installation and finish systems (EIFS) with metal studs (lowest cost), brick with steel studs, manufactured stone with steel studs, brick with CMU, precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall and glass panel curtain wall.
“National averages show brick costs less than perceived,” said Ray Leonhard, BIA’s president and CEO. “Since it’s a non-flammable and non-combustible material, clay brick also offers superior fire resistance with a minimum one-hour fire rating.”
A three-story office building using manufactured stone with steel studs costs 2.7 percent more than brick with steel studs. Precast concrete costs 2.7 percent more than brick with CMU, and metal panel curtain wall costs 13.1 percent more than brick with CMU.
A five- to 10-story office building with a metal panel curtain wall costs 10.8 percent more than brick with CMU, and 5.7 percent more in precast concrete than brick with CMU. Manufactured stone with steel studs costs 4.2 percent more than brick with steel studs.
A three-story apartment building using manufactured stone with steel studs costs 3.6 percent more than brick with steel studs. Precast concrete costs 4.3 percent more and metal panel curtain wall 14.1 percent more than brick with CMU.
A four- to eight-story hospital project using metal panel curtain wall and/or glass panel curtain wall costs $2+ million over brick systems.
Six-story dorms with precast concrete cost 4.7 percent more and metal panel curtain wall costs 8.8 percent more than brick with CMU. Manufactured stone with steel studs costs 2.9 percent more than brick with steel studs.
BIA can provide cost data for these building types in virtually any U.S. zip code.
BIA at www.gobrick.com is the nationally recognized authority on clay brick construction representing the nation’s distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products: 703-620-0010.
By: Joey Shorter, Ph.D., Executive Director ELECTRI Foundation and NECA Director of Research
Some people believe there will be little change to the worlds’ energy mix over the next 20 to 30 years. They would say hydrocarbons will remain dominant with renewables providing no more than 10 to 15 percent of total supply over the next two or three decades. The Grantham Institute (see: “The Disruptive Impact of Technology”, Nick Butler, Financial Times, 03-06-17) has tracked and produced analytical data showing solar will take 23 percent of the power generation market by 2040 and 29 percent by 2050.
Additionally, electric vehicles will absorb 35 percent of road transportation by 2035. A third sector will have impact, wind power, taking up another 12 percent of the power market by 2050. In fact, some of the U.S. plains states are already producing 35 – 45 percent of their energy needs through wind power.
In 2016, the US Department of Energy’s research showed battery costs for electric vehicles had fallen 73 percent (from $1,000 per kWh in 2008 to $268 per kWh in 2015). Cost competitiveness of renewables will continue to improve as industrialization of solar, electric transportation, and wind power advance rapidly, especially in the United States and China.
A few facts are certain: solar power remains as the cleanest, most abundant, renewable energy source available; 1 kilowatt of solar power prevents 150 pounds of coal from being mined, and 300 pounds of CO2 from being released; just one day of sunshine meets the world’s energy needs for an entire year!
Watch these videos on impact of solar power and electric vehicles:
Electrical Contractors can move increasingly toward perfecting and capitalizing on solar production installation, storage and maintenance. The Electrical Training Alliance can continue to develop related instructional materials and training for the work to be done to expand solar and wind power components, as well as everything related to powering electric transportation. The McKinsey study from 1980 projected that there would by 900,000 mobile phone subscribers by 2000 – they missed, there were 109 million! The Grantham Institutes’ data projects energy will be cheap and plentiful, but volumes of use will be high with the world population growing to 9 – 10 billion. Hundreds of millions of people will be brought into the energy consumption market as regional economies are transformed with these low-cost energy supplies in Africa and South Asia. Such expansion is sure to bring huge profits for those geared-up to do the work.
NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not too distant future. Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.
Airport Director receives Woman of Influence honors
The St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) honored members at its 12th Annual Networking Awards held on March 9 at The Saint Louis Woman’s Club. Besides members, CREW-St. Louis presented its second 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.
The awards revolve around CREW-St. Louis’ mission to advance, educate and support women to influence the commercial real estate industry. Those honored in 2017 were:
Woman of Influence: Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Director of Airports, St. Louis Lambert International Airport
After a successful 25-plus years in airline aviation, Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge accepted the challenge to oversee the region’s airport. She took the helm on Jan. 3, 2010, just days after leaving her position as managing director of American Airlines’ St. Louis operations.
American’s decision to reduce St. Louis from a hub to a focus airport greatly impacted its flights and passenger traffic. Hamm-Niebruegge went to work to restore the airport’s prominence. Under her leadership, airline passenger volume now stands at nearly 14 million, almost equaling its record set back in 2008. Last year alone, the airport grew passenger volume by 10%, placing St. Louis in the top 10 U.S. airports for passenger growth. Flights have been added, with twelve new nonstop markets in the past 18 months and two more on the way this June.
Additionally, she has overseen the renovation to reopen “C” concourse and the $70 million dollar renovation of the historic T1 terminal. After a tornado struck the airport on Good Friday in 2011, she successfully reopened the airport for operations in 36 hours.
Her tenure has improved the airport’s financial standing, with debt reduced and savings of almost $60 million dollars over the past four years.
The airport also continues to attract new businesses to increase its revenue base and utilize 2,500 acres of land for commercial development. These efforts include a cargo development agreement with a company to develop 60 acres of airport property known as the Northern Tract. And St. Louis is in the final stage of approval to become a USDA port of embarkation to allow live animal charters to depart from St. Louis.
Hamm-Niebruegge’s accomplishments earned her recognition from Airport Revenue News as the 2015 Airport Director of the Year for medium hubs.
New Member of the Year: Erin Valentine, McCarthy Building Companies Inc.
Since joining CREW-St. Louis, Valentine has volunteered her time and expertise. She played a big role in the organization’s annual golf outing last year. She now serves as co-chair of the communications committee, overseeing the organization’s website, social media, e-newsletter and other communications vehicles, as well as its marketing efforts.
She was recently included in the St. Louis Business Journal’s class of 40 Under 40. And she was honored as a 2017 Young Top Professional by Engineering News-Record.
Those honors stem from her contributions to McCarthy Building Companies. Since joining one of the nation’s top construction companies in 2001, she has contributed to expanding the company’s specialized expertise and helped drive the firm’s overall success both in the St. Louis region and across America.
CREW Impact Award: Karen Karwoski, Simmons Bank
Karwoski was lauded for her longstanding involvement in CREW-St. Louis. Since joining CREW-St. Louis 13 years ago, she has chaired numerous committees and served on the executive board. She led the chapter as president from July 2014 to the end of 2015. During her tenure as president, Karwoski launched the chapter’s first signature event and played a significant role in its ongoing strategic plan. She was also recognized for mentoring fellow members.
itment extends to CREW Network, the international organization. She has been an advocate for the CREW Network Foundation, the only such charitable foundation that dedicates its resources solely to advance the success of women in commercial real estate.
Karwoski was also commended for her impact on the industry. She is a leading expert on the financial needs of commercial real estate companies. In banking for more than 20 years, she now focuses on treasury management.
Economic Impact: Sue Pruchnicki, Bond Architects Inc.; Rebekah Bahn Kingston, Gwen Knight, Wendy Timm and Pam Boelhauf, Colliers St. Louis; Melissa Vighi, Lashly & Baer P.C.; and Julie Drummond, Color-Art Integrated Interiors
(Renovation and New Branches for St. Louis County Library)
Real estate projects often have a lasting, positive impact on the region. Such is the case with the renovation and new branches for the St. Louis County Library System.
The transformation of the county’s library system was made possible when voters approved a tax increase to fund new facilities and upgrades to existing structures, as well as enhanced library programs and services. Several CREW-St. Louis members have played – and continue to play – a role in the multiyear capital improvement campaign called Your Library Renewed.
Bond Architects was selected to provide architectural and interior design services for 13 branch renovations and is supporting Mackey Mitchell on two new branches.
Colliers St. Louis was selected to provide real estate services. This assignment includes assisting the library in site acquisitions, site dispositions and leasing of facilities.
Lashly and Baer has provided legal services to the St. Louis County Library District since the project’s inception.
Color Art collaborated on the project, which included providing shelving installation.
Your Library Renewed will be completed in 2021.
Career Advancement for Women: Angie Earlywine, Forum Studio
CREW-St. Louis members recognized Earlywine for her constant efforts to support and advance the careers of women in commercial real estate. As a mentor to many, colleagues commended her “for her selfless actions to give of her time and talent to others.”
She joined CREW-St. Louis in 2004. She has held numerous positions, serving on the board and as a national delegate to CREW Network. She currently guides the chapter as its 2017 president.
As a principal and director with Forum, she brings 18 years of leadership and expertise in the areas of workplace strategy and design innovation to the built environment.
A noted authority, she has shared her expertise with audiences at national conferences and has published articles and White Papers on the best practices in workplace design.
Her career includes work for the region’s and nation’s top companies: Enterprise Holdings, Cisco Systems, BlueCross BlueShield, Principal Financial, Diageo, JLL, BJC Healthcare, John Deere, T-Rex, Transunion and Spencer Fane.
The St. Louis chapter of CREW Network was started in 1982. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest of CREW Network’s 76 chapters in North America, with nearly 200 members from all disciplines in commercial real estate.
Photo Above: Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge received a standing ovation from the audience at the 12th Annual CREW-St. Louis Networking Awards. Hamm-Niebruegge received the Woman of Influence Award for her leadership in turning around St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
Construction to extend the River Des Peres Greenway 1.8 miles north from Lansdowne to Francis R. Slay Park is scheduled to begin Monday, March 13. The paved, separated greenway for walking, running and riding bikes is being built parallel to the southbound lanes of Wabash and Ellendale Avenues (which is the same street that changes names) between Lansdowne and Canterbury Avenues in the City of St. Louis.
On Monday, March 13, traffic on Wabash/Ellendale will be reduced to one northbound lane and one southbound lane between Lansdowne and Canterbury. Construction will be staged to ensure vehicle traffic will remain open in both directions at all times. Any driveways or side streets that intersect with the new greenway will be constructed one half side at a time to ensure access for residents and property owners.
“We want to make sure people who drive or ride bikes on Wabash and Ellendale are aware of these temporary lane changes necessary to accommodate the expansion of the greenway,” says Angelica Gutierrez, Great Rivers Greenway Project Manager. “We are working closely with our partners and construction team to minimize inconvenience to neighborhood residents and others who use this roadway so we can expand this greenway for all to enjoy.”
Between Lansdowne and the Interstate 44 Bridge, people driving or riding bikes will use the two existing northbound lanes on Wabash to travel north and south. The two existing southbound lanes in this area will be temporarily closed to traffic. Between St. James and Canterbury, people driving will utilize the existing two southbound lanes of Ellendale to travel north and south. The two northbound lanes in this area will be temporarily closed to traffic.
“There will be no loss of street parking on Wabash, but parking will be intermittent as construction progresses,” says Deanna Venker, Traffic Commissioner for the City of St. Louis. “Residents and visitors will be able to park on side streets and we will ensure walking access is maintained, with minimal detours throughout construction.”
This phase of the River des Peres Greenway expansion is a partnership between Great Rivers Greenway, the City of St. Louis and the Missouri Department of Transportation. Goals of the project include expanded walking and biking connections to residential neighborhoods, business districts, MetroLink and MetroBus, as well as traffic calming to increase safety for everyone who uses the roadway.
Permanent changes to the roadway include the reduction of one southbound lane from Lansdowne to Canterbury, parallel to the new greenway. Both northbound lanes will remain. Other improvements include roadway resurfacing, new lighting, enhanced drainage and low maintenance, native landscaping.
“When the greenway is finished, people will be able to walk, ride a bike, push a stroller or use a wheelchair completely separate from traffic, all the way from the new neighborhood greenway at Arsenal and McCausland to Lemay and Carondelet Parks,” says Gutierrez.
Construction is expected to last about 10 months.
Great Rivers Greenway is a regional greenway district created by a vote of the people in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County. For more information, visit www.GreatRiversGreenway.org.
18 St. Charles High School Students Saluted for Excelling in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mat
The best and brightest high school students in St. Charles County were saluted in the 8thAnnual STEM Celebration Breakfast, co-sponsored by the Electrical Connection. The annual salute recognized 18 students that excel in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. The STEM Celebration Breakfast, presented by EDC Business & Community Partners in St. Charles County,was held Friday March 3, 2017 at the Old Hickory Golf Club in St. Peters, Mo. The Electrical Connection is a labor-management partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
STEM is a national and regional effort to better prepare the workforce of tomorrow by encouraging today’s students to engage more in studies, events and careers involving science, technology, engineering and math.
“You can’t help but be inspired by these high achievers,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “We are proud to salute their success and one day envision working with them as they bring forth new ideas that will be served by an equal level of innovation by the IBEW/NECA electrical industry.”
The STEM breakfast is one of several educational initiatives support by the Electrical Connection. Others include partnerships with theFIRST Robotics, the Saint Louis Science Center, Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club and more.
The St. Charles County students honored at this year’s STEM breakfast include:
Joseph Cassidy, Fort Zumwalt North High School
Will Cavanagh, Fort Zumwalt South High School
James Dohrman, Francis Howell North High School
Kurtis Dressel, Lutheran High School of St. Charles County
Noel Kling, Lewis & Clark Career Center
Ross Kuemmel, Holt High School
Jacob Larson, St. Dominic High School
Ajay Makkena, Francis Howell High School
Hamza Mansoor, Liberty High School
Daniel Motto, Christian High School
Lauren Nowakowski, Fort Zumwalt East High School
Akash Patel, St. Charles West High School
Will Runion, Orchard Farm High School
Bradley Schinker, Francis Howell Central HS
Alexandra Schulte, Timberland High School
Marshall Vaccaro, Fort Zumwalt West High School
Ethan Wetter, Duchesne High School
Karen Ye, St. Charles High School
Electrical Connection members provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. For more information visit www.electricalconnection.org.
Above Photo: 18 St. Charles County high school student were saluted by the Electrical Connection for excelling in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.
Missouri’s most prolific producer of highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians is strengthening career opportunities through an education partnership with St. Louis Community College (STLCC). The IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center has entered a partnership for apprentices and journey workers to earn associate degrees from STLCC. The training center, located at 2300 Hampton Ave., is operated jointly by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association. For more than 70 years, it has produced more highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians than any training program in Missouri.
The college will offer the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Skilled Trades Industrial Occupations Technology Apprenticeship program, or Skilled Trades AAS program. The STLCC Skilled Trades AAS program is a joint effort to recognize apprenticeship training as postsecondary education to prepare the current and future workforce. An associate degree will be awarded to a journey worker who successfully completes the approved U.S. Department of Labor apprentice program and 15 credit hours of general education courses at STLCC. “This will equip them with the knowledge, skills and certifications they need to seek employment and promotion in the construction industry, and allow them to advance and/or pursue further postsecondary educational opportunities,” said Steve Long, STLCC’s associate vice chancellor for Workforce Solutions.
“Our educational partnership with St. Louis Community College will strengthen career paths for our apprentices and journey workers,” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1. “While the training center produces highly technical skills for the electrical industry, many of our members have entrepreneurial skills that benefit the business community. Many have founded their own companies.”
In February 2017, the St. Louis Regional Chamber announced an initiative to make the St. Louis metropolitan region among the 10 most educated in the nation. Among the goals is to increase associate degrees by 10 percent, an 18,000-person increase, and bachelor’s degrees to 40 percent, a 75,000-person increase, by 2025. See www.topteneducation.org.
“Our plan to partner with STLCC has been in the works well before the chamber’s new education initiative, but we applaud the effort,” said Doug Martin, CEO, St. Louis Chapter, NECA. “We have decades of investment in developing pacesetting skills and safety in the electrical industry to meet an ever more complex array of construction projects. The St. Louis Community College education partnership allows us to more fully leverage our incredible talented workforce by opening new avenues for careers.”
The training center is entirely industry funded by IBEW/NECA at no taxpayer expense. IBEW/NECA invests $2 million annually in training. That includes 10,000 hours of training for apprentices, who earn a wage while they learn, and continuing education programs for journey workers. The training center’s more than 70-course curriculum uses advanced technology including a rooftop solar array and courses on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and next generation electrical/communication installations, including green energy, smart building technology and advanced manufacturing.
There are currently 467 apprentices enrolled in four separate programs registered with U.S. Department of Labor. The training center offers tutoring and mentoring and has a 91 percent graduation rate. Over the last four years, 27 percent of participants have been minorities. Through its participation in career fairs and its Electrical Connection partnership (www.electricalconnection.org), IBEW/NECA is committed to a broad outreach to recruit apprentices while also energizing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education in schools which is critical to producing the highly skilled electrical and communications workforce upon which Missouri depends.
STLCC will offer classroom- or web-based courses for the convenience of the students. Participants will pay the in-district tuition rate per credit hour for any course offered as part of the college’s general education curriculum. STLCC also will provide information on how to apply for financial aid, student loans or grants.