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Missouri S&T to host Transportation Infrastructure Conference

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Missouri University of Science and Technology, together with the Missouri Department of Transportation, will host the fifth annual Transportation Infrastructure Conference on Friday, Nov. 18, at the Havener Center on the Missouri S&T campus. The program will feature recent findings in advanced construction materials, resilient structural systems, non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring of transportation infrastructure.

The registration fee is $70, and includes a USB device containing the conference materials, a professional development hour (PDH) certificate, lunch and coffee breaks. Conference participants will receive six PDHs.

Register online here.

The conference should be of interest to public transportation agencies, professional and consulting engineers, testing labs, academicians, and undergraduate and graduate students.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Atorod Azizinamini, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering at Florida International University and the 2015 White House Transportation Champion of Change; Dr. Ghassan Al-Chaar, principal investigator at the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory; Tom Blair, assistant district engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation St. Louis Metro District; and Paul White, bridge engineering manager, Ultra-High Performance Concrete/Ductal at U.S. LaFargeHolcim.

Conference chairs are Dr. Kamal H. Khayat, Vernon and Maralee Jones Chair of Civil Engineering at Missouri S&T and director of the Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies, and William Stone, research administrator for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The conference is sponsored by the Missouri S&T Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies and the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Construction Trades Expo to Provide Hands-On Look for Students

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Evening session being offered for parents and students to explore this career path together

With thousands of skilled workers in the construction trades set to retire this decade, more and more opportunities are arising for today’s youth to take advantage of the promising future this industry can have for them. The Southern Illinois Builders Association (SIBA) and the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP) are hosting the 18th Annual Metro Construction Career Expo from October 31 through November 4, 2016, with opportunities for both students and their parents to gain a better understanding of the variety of construction trades careers available and the path to pursue one.

Themed, “Earn while you learn with no college debt,” The Metro Construction Career Expo will be held at the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds, 200 South Belt East, Belleville, Ill. An estimated 1,000 students from St. Clair, Madison and Monroe Counties will visit with their schools during the day and gain hands-on-experience as they participate in interactive activities at booths manned by representatives of the various trades, including painters, carpenters, cement masons, electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, laborers, ironworkers, sheet metal workers, operating engineers and plasterers.

The public is invited to participate in a special parent/student evening event from 5 – 7 p.m. on Thurs., Nov. 3, 2016. During the evening session, parents attending by themselves or with their children will be able to visit different stations for each of the trades to chat with representatives to learn more about what each involves, and how their children can start preparing for a future in the construction trades with suggested curriculum choices and relevant skills needed. They also will be provided with takeaway information, including wage and fringe benefit packages for the individual careers.

The construction trades jobs to be filled in the coming years are accompanied by a high wage, averaging almost $33 per hour plus benefits of $22 per hour, for a total of $55 per hour. Individuals pursuing this path also have the advantage of being able to earn while they learn, as their participation in an apprenticeship program makes them part of the workforce from day one.

“As more jobs begin to open up, it is important for us to raise awareness about the tremendous opportunities the construction trades offer for students seeking a secure future,” stated Donna Richter, Chief Executive Officer of SIBA. “Many families do not realize the stability, on-the-job training, high-wages and great benefits that come with a career in one of the many construction trades in our region. Knowing more about the opportunities will help pave the way for more of today’s youth to be ready to start a successful career with just a high school diploma or equivalent.”

The Metro Construction Career Expo is an important event in the ongoing outreach initiative, Manufacture Your Future/Craft Your Future – A Career that Pays in Southwestern Illinois. The campaign, led by the region’s two workforce investment boards, is aimed at connecting high school students to almost 3,000 high-paying jobs soon to be available in the manufacturing and construction sectors throughout Southwestern Illinois.  For more information about the Metro Construction Career Expo, or to sign up a school group to attend, please contact Donna Richter at SIBA at (618) 624-9055.

Established in 1945, Southern Illinois Builders Association (SIBA) represents over 500 construction companies throughout Southern Illinois and is the largest regional contractor association in Illinois. Contractor members range in size from small, closely-held firms doing less than $250,000 volume per year, up to companies performing several million dollars in volume. The Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP) is a not-for-profit industry fund powered by employer contributions based on hours worked by craftsmen of:  Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis & Vicinity; Southern and Central Illinois Laborers District Council; Southwestern Illinois Laborers District Council; Plasterers and Cement Masons East St. Louis Local 90; Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 143 Serving Southern Illinois Counties; Operating Engineers Local 520; and Painters District Council 58.

Allsup Sponsors Conference and Free Screening of “Thank You for Your Service”

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Joins with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Southwest Illinois, and other organizations to support “No Family Left Behind”

Allsup, a nationwide provider of veteran’s disability appeals representation, invites the public to a free screening of the award-winning documentary, Thank You For Your Service, on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Faith Family Church, in Shiloh, Illinois.

Hosted by Operation Honor, the movie screening and panel discussion kick off the No Family Left Behind Behavioral Health Conference and Connection Fair, Nov. 11-12.

“Nearly 25 percent of suicides in Illinois and Missouri involve a veteran,” said Brian Russell, conference director and Iraq and Afghanistan veteran. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, three primary mental health concerns for veterans are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and traumatic brain injury.

“The need for an event like No Family Left Behind can’t be overstated,” said Russell. “As a community, we’ve got to show up, listen, and show our veterans they have not been forgotten.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), PTSD is the third most common service-connected disability among current VA disability recipients.

“PTSD can cause problems with trust, closeness and communication,” said Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Service® and VA-accredited Claims Agent Brett Buchanan. “Survivors may feel angry, detached, or worried in their relationships, and this can put enormous stress on families.”

Buchanan added that veterans often have medically complex issues. In addition to PTSD and other psychiatric conditions, they may have orthopedic conditions, cancers, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

“There has been a 200 percent increase over the last 10 years in original VA disability claims that contain eight or more medical issues,” said Buchanan. “These are not easy issues being decided. There are special laws and regulations for Gulf War illness, combat veterans, PTSD claims and total disability due to individual unemployability.”

No Family Left Behind is designed to help veterans and military families connect with resources to address these and other issues and improve their quality of life. The Connection Fair features local and national organizations that provide products and services to veterans and their families, including employment, mental health services, VA disability appeals, financial planning and more.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Mark Russell, founding director of the Institute for War Injuries and Social Justice of Antioch University, featured in Thank You for Your Service.

Conference registration is $10. To register, visit the website at OperationHonor.net or call (618) 277-0232.  Scholarships are available. Continuing education units are available for professional counselors and social workers.

Coordinate interviews with Dr. Russell, Brett Buchanan and Brian Russell by emailing Tai Prohaska at t.prohaska@allsupinc.com. Headshots are also available.

For more information on Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Service, visit Veterans.Allsup.com. 

Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, re-employment, exchange plan and Medicare services for individuals, their employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Visit http://www.Allsup.com or connect with Allsup at http://www.facebook.com/allsupinc.

Missouri Earns “Most Improved” in Energy Efficiency

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Missouri is one of the three most improved states in the 10th annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said: “Missouri is proud to be among the most improved states for energy efficiency this year. Our state energy plan recognizes the vital role that energy efficiency plays in helping Missouri citizens and businesses manage their budgets. Going forward, Missouri will continue to work towards a more sustainable and secure energy future and create next-generation jobs in this fast-growing industry.” 

 

Two other states joined Missouri in the Most Improved category: Maine and Michigan.

 

“Governors, legislators, regulators, businesses, and citizens are increasingly recognizing that energy efficiency is a critical state resource that keeps money in the local economy,” said Steven Nadel, executive director, ACEEE. “The past year has been an exciting time for energy efficiency, with several states strengthening efficiency policies and programs. States are spurring efficiency investment through advancements in building energy codes, transportation planning, and leading by example in their own facilities and fleets. These investments reap large benefits, giving businesses, governments, and consumers more control over how and when they use energy.” 

 

The three “M” states still have a ways to go to reach the top, however. California and Massachusetts tied for first place. The balance of the top 10 consisted of Vermont (#3), Rhode Island (#4), Connecticut and New York (tied for #5), Oregon (#7), Washington state (#8), Maryland (#9), and Minnesota (#10).

 

The states most in need of improvement: Louisiana (#47); Kansas (#48); South Dakota (#49), Wyoming (#50), and North Dakota (#51). 


The 2016 ACEEE State Scorecard zeroes in on six policy areas in which states pursue energy efficiency: utility and public benefits programs and policies; transportation policies; building energy codes; combined heat and power (CHP) policies; state government–led initiatives around energy efficiency; and appliance and equipment standards. Here are the leaders in each category:

* Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont are the top states in utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies. A total of 26 states enforce and adequately fund energy savings targets to drive investments in utility-sector energy efficiency programs. The states with the most ambitious targets include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Arizona. New Hampshire is the most recent state to adopt energy savings goals for its utilities. 

* California, Massachusetts, and New York are out in front on energy-efficient transportation policies. California’s requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions have prompted several strategies for smart growth. Massachusetts promoted smart growth development in cities and municipalities through state-delivered financial incentives. New York is one of the few states in the nation to have a vehicle-miles-traveled reduction target. 

* Several states—including Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Washington—join California and Illinois in achieving top scores for building energy codes and compliance this year. A growing number of states have taken major steps toward the adoption of the most recent DOE-certified codes for both residential and commercial new construction. These include Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

* Massachusetts, Maryland, and California score highest for their combined heat and power policies.

* California, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Tennessee set the pace in state government-focused initiatives. 

* California continues to lead the nation in setting appliance standards, having adopted standards for more than 100 products. Within the past year, it became the first state to adopt standards for LEDs and small-diameter directional lamps, and it also updated its standards for HVAC air filters, fluorescent dimming ballasts, and heat pump water chilling packages.

States continue to be standouts in other regards when it comes to energy efficiency. New York posted an increase in electricity savings. Earlier in the year, the Empire State also completed major updates to its state building energy codes. Utah and Tennessee made similar gains thanks to updates to state building energy codes this year. Arkansas committed to extend its energy efficiency goals and gained points for state government-led policies, having recently closed its first commercial PACE project.

Weston Berg, research analyst and lead State Scorecard author, ACEEE, said: “Over the last 10 years, we have seen that many if not most innovative policies and programs that promote energy efficiency originate at the state level. As a cost-effective compliance option, efficiency is a valuable addition to any state’s policy toolkit, saving money, driving investment across all sectors of the economy, creating jobs, and reducing the environmental impact of energy use.”

Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, US Department of Energy (DOE), said: “States oversee many policies and programs that unlock efficiency’s many benefits—economic competitiveness, more jobs, an improved environment. The Scorecard shows states are diving deeper, pushing further, innovating, and making tremendous progress on efficiency.” 

METHODOLOGY

ACEEE allocated 50 possible points to states among policy areas: 20 points to utility and public benefits program and policy metrics; 10 points for transportation policies and programs; seven points to building energy codes; four points to improved CHP policies; seven points for state government-led initiatives; and two points going to state appliance and equipment standards. 

Policy information for The 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard reflects the state of play on energy efficiency as of the end of July 2016.

To download the full State Energy Efficiency Scorecard online visit: http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard. 

IBEW St. Louis Convention Gives Back to the Gateway City

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IBEW 125 Anver LogoThe International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International Convention in St. Louis continues this week, providing a significant economic boost to the Gateway City. It is the third largest convention being held in St. Louis this year. St. Louis has hosted the international convention more than any other city – a record six times.

Hotels, restaurants, retailers, civic attractions and more are all benefiting from the estimated 4,000 delegates who began arriving Sept. 16, 2016 for the convention which concludes on Sept. 23, 2016. According the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission the convention is generating an economic impact of $7.9 million in direct spending. The St. Louis Business Journal earlier reported that a total of 22,815 hotel room nights would be reserved as a result of the convention.

One of the highlights kicking off the convention was a Sept. 15, 2016 ribbon cutting for the Henry Miller Museum in St. Louis where IBEW was foundeded 125 years ago as the first electrical union in the nation. In addition, there was a “Day of Service” where up to 400 IBEW members performed 26 community betterment projects in St. Louis.

The convention has included a “Gateway to St. Louis Introductory Tour,” shopping excursions throughout the St. Louis area, including St. Charles county, a tour of St. Louis’ historic homes, a concert and picnic and a visit to Ballpark Village. It also includes visits to other well-known attractions, including the Anheuser Busch Brewery, which IBEW has teamed with members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) to build and maintain over the years, and, of course, the iconic Ted Drewes.

Learn more about the convention at this link and see all of its contributions to the St. Louis area in this video.

Senior Apartments to be Built by the Swansea MetroLink Station

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New Transit-Oriented Development Project Will Offer Affordable Senior Living With Easy Access to MetroLink

Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA), in partnership with Bywater Development Group and Bi-State Development (BSD), is pleased to announce a new, $10.5 million development that will bring senior apartment living adjacent to the Swansea MetroLink Station in Swansea, Ill. The transit-oriented development (TOD) project, which will be developed by SWIDA and Bywater, was approved by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) in Chicago on September 16.

This new development, called Metro Landing of Swansea, will feature a handsome three-story building with 62 affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments for older adults seeking an independent lifestyle. Located adjacent to the Swansea MetroLink Station, residents will have car-free transportation options via MetroLink and MetroBus to conveniently access restaurants, retail, entertainment venues, recreational locations, employment centers, and medical facilities around the bi-state region. The Swansea Station is located on the Metro East Park and Recreation District BikeLink trail system, so seniors will be able to utilize the trail for exercise and recreation.

This development would not have occurred without the collaboration of a number of groups including IHDA, the St. Clair County Transit District and the Village of Swansea.  The Village has been a vital asset in the predevelopment planning process.  “It is truly an example of how public and private partnerships can lead to an important community investment,” James Nations, SWIDA’s Chairman said. “This is an excellent opportunity for SWIDA and Bywater Development Group to contribute to active senior housing as this segment of the population continues to grow.” The SWIDA Board of Directors is seeking other markets in the region in need of comparable developments.

Mike Lundy, Executive Director of SWIDA said, “It has been great working with Bi-State Development. We are very pleased with the new senior housing development and worked extremely hard to move this development forward.”

“This new development to be positioned next to the Swansea MetroLink Station reflects other successful transit-oriented projects in our area, and is a testament to the positive benefits the Metro transit system brings to the region,” said John Nations, President and CEO of Bi- State Development (BSD). BSD operates the metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region.

“Metro Landing of Swansea is reflective of a very strong and effective public/private partnership and stands to serve as a model for transit oriented senior housing. It will create both a positive impact on the community and an ideal living environment for its residents.  Our organization is highly honored to be a part of this collective effort,” said Aaron Burnett, President of Bywater Development Group.

Metro Landing of Swansea is scheduled for construction commencement in the summer of 2017 with full completion by late summer of 2018.

The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority is a special-purpose, municipal corporation and local governmental unit whose purpose is to promote and enhance economic development within the counties of Bond, Clinton, Madison and St. Clair Ill. To learn more, visit www.swida.org.

Bi-State Development (BSD) operates the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the region’s freight district, and the Bi-State Development Research Institute. BSD is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region.

OSHA to Establish Alliance Agreement With TekSolv & American Allied Safety Council

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OSHA, TekSolv – American Allied Safety Council, Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Council, and Council of Owners of Construction Associates Inc. have established an alliance that will provide safety trainings, safety resources, and information to roughly 10,000 skilled training workers in Southwestern Illinois. TekSolv administers its American Allied Safety Council trainings to the Council of Owners of Construction Associates Inc. whose members then employ skill trade workers through the Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Council.

John Mouser, CSP, President, Teksolv, states “TekSolv is honored that OSHA has chosen to recognize the achievements of our American Allied Safety Council (AASC) through the OSHA Alliance program. Our unique blend of labor, industry, contract, and stakeholder leadership on our Advisory Board has truly resulted in an unprecedented partnership designed to benefit all involved.”

Through the development and sharing of information on the importance of prevention of workplace hazards, OSHA and the partners will collaborate to encourage worker safety and health in the construction industries. This also includes small businesses and apprentice training programs.

The focus for these trainings will be on common hazards faced by workers in the industry such as falls, electrical, struck-by, fire, confined spaces, and machine safety. The agreement will further promote agency’s rule making, enforcement initiatives, training and education, outreach and communication, and safety campaigns. All allied partners expect this agreement to be positive and beneficial for Southwestern Illinois.

Adam Micun, Vice President, TekSolv, explains the benefits and advancements that are being made with this alliance. “Through the elimination of redundant training programs, site access requirements, and medical screenings; several key advancements occur in the workplace. Industry is able to receive “toolready” workers on day one and eliminate costly on-site training programs as well as the time required to administer them; the contractors, often small businesses, are able to dramatically reduce costs and invest more dollars into safety and personal development; and the trades are afforded an opportunity to work in a larger variety of facilities through reciprocity. This results in the direct economic advancement of the region through increased jobs and opportunity for American workers.”

About TekSolv TekSolv, headquartered in Newark, Delaware, provides a unique range of comprehensive professional service solutions that meet the demand of a legion of industrial markets, including safety, rescue, and training services; systems integration and oilfield automation services; engineering consulting; and environmental monitoring and occupational health services.

About TekSolv AASC The American Allied Safety Council provides trainings for all services in a convenient location in Southwestern Illinois. The AASC is endorsed by local area building trades, is supported by OSHA through the Partnership Alliance and offers fully customizable program solutions. For more information on TekSolv and the AASC, visit teksolv.com or call 866.TekSolv.

Is Your LED Retrofit Safe?

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Is Your LED Retrofit Safe?

In 1893, electric light technology was put on display at the world’s fair in Chicago.  These lights were installed inside paper-mache buildings, and Chicago earned the nickname ‘White City’.  A lesser known fact is that lighting caught many of the paper buildings on fire.  These fires resulted in the creation of Underwriters Laboratories, or UL. Now, almost 125 years later, UL provides a safe path for new lighting technologies to be installed into commercial buildings.   That path is UL1598C Certification.

Full Article Here

James E. Frey Receives AGC of Missouri Award

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Missouri’s building contractors honored James E. Frey, retired senior vice president, Alberici Group, Inc., with the AGC of Missouri Skill, Responsibility, Integrity Award.  The award was presented by AGC of Missouri board chairman, Phil Hocher (right), president of Pace Construction Company, at a membership meeting held on September 15.

“This is a very special recognition for Jim, who served the AGC of Missouri in a top leadership role for more than a decade,” commented Len Toenjes, CAE, president. “This coveted award is not bestowed annually, but rather is reserved for special recognition of service above and beyond on behalf of our organization.  We congratulate Jim on his service and thank him for his many contributions to the betterment of Missouri’s construction industry.”

A 1974 cum laude graduate of the University of Missouri-Rolla with a degree in civil engineering, Frey served as chairman of the AGC of St. Louis (predecessor to the AGC of Missouri) in 2002 and as a member of the board from 2006 to 2008. From 2001 to 2010 he chaired the Competitiveness Nucleus Group that worked to improve competitiveness in the construction industry and led to the adoption of more consistent contract language in basic trade contracts, thereby increasing productivity.  From 2006 to 2010, he served as co-chair of PRIDE of St. Louis, Inc. (Productivity and Responsibility Increase Development and Employment, now known as the St. Louis Construction Cooperative), the nation’s first voluntary construction labor-management organization.  In 2011, PRIDE honored him with its Al Fleischer Management Award.

Over the years, Frey has served on numerous key committees, including service as a member of the AGC Labor Policy Committee and also representing the AGC on the St. Louis Council of Construction Employers.

He has spoken at numerous national meetings and seminars, including programs for the Design-Build Institute of America, AGC of America, the American Institute of Architects, and the International Risk Management Institute, just to name a few.

A member of Alberici Corporation’s board of directors from 2004 to 2009, Frey was a member of the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Construction Leadership Institute Advisory Board from 2008 to 2016, serving the last three years as chairman. He also was a member of that institution’s Construction Department Advisory Board from 1990 to 1995.  He served on the Advisory Council for Missouri University for Science & Technology Civil, Architectural and Environment Engineering Department in 2005.

Active in the community well beyond the construction industry, Frey served on Fontbonne University’s Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2008 where he was a member of the Executive Committee.  He served on the boards of KETC/St. Louis Videonine/Medianine, Inc. from 1996 to 2001.  From 1989 to 1999, he served on the board of the Ranken Jordan Home for Convalescent Crippled Children and as their president from 1996-1998. He was on the College for Living board of directors from 1988 to 1998, and served as that organization’s president from 1994 to 1998. For St. Joseph’s Academy, he was chairman in 1995 and served on its Financial Advisory Committee from 1992 to 1995.

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri is the largest organization representing the united voice of the construction industry throughout the state of Missouri.

New Contracting Goals for St. Louis City

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The St. Louis Development Corporation will announce new city contracting goals for minority-owned and woman-owned businesses on September 23. The announcement is scheduled for 3:30 pm in the main boardroom of the St. Louis Development Corporation, located at 1520 Market Street.

 

The contracting goals were developed in response to a disparity study completed for the City of St. Louis nearly 18 months ago. The disparity study examined whether there was racial or gender bias in the city’s contracting for construction, professional services, and other goods and services.

 

The disparity study documented problems in the city’s contracting process that denied opportunities to ready, willing, and able minority-owned and woman-owned contractors and made 40 recommendations on how to improve the process.

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