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Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA to the Rescue!

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On a dangerously sweltering day when much of downtown St. Louis was without power, the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA came to the rescue for an organization that specializes in rescuing stray animals.

It all began on June 16, 2016 after a massive outage left 2,100 Ameren Missouri customers without power downtown, including Stray Rescue of St. Louis.   The animal shelter nonprofit was desperate to find a way to protect 200 dogs in kennels from the rising temperature in its building at 2320 Pine St.  It reached out to the public and dozens of volunteers came by to foster the dogs in cooler spaces as work was underway to restore power.

“The public response was great, but we were at a loss on how to protect the remaining dogs in our shelter,” said Randy Grim, executive director of Stray Rescue.  “Then the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA stepped up and came to the rescue.”  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

The labor-management partnership donated a large commercial generator and the services to install it.  “The Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA is a great asset to the St. Louis community, providing not only great skills and safety to power our region, but also helping the community in times of need,” said Grim.  “We are so grateful for their generous donation.”

More information on Stray Rescue can be found at www. http://www.strayrescue.org/

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services in Missouri and nationwide. More is online at www.electricalconnection.org.

Photo coutesy of the St. Louis Labor Tribune

Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA Make Homes Safer for Low Income St. Louisans

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  • IBEW-Panel-Repair.jpg
  • IBEW-Vent-Install.jpg
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140 IBEW Local 1 Electricians Team with 23 NECA Contractors to Help Rebuilding Together St. Louis.

Nearly two dozen St. Louis low income families living with electric hazards and outdated electrical systems now have safer homes with upgraded electrical installations thanks to the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership.  The partnership mobilized an IBEW/NECA team that donated services and materials to help Rebuilding Together St. Louis make improvements to 23 homes in North St. Louis and North St. Louis County.  The work was performed by 140 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One electricians who teamed with 23 electrical contractor members of the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

This was the 13th consecutive year that the Electrical Connection partnership volunteered in the annual Rebuilding Together home repair campaign.   Since 2003, the IBEW/NECA partnership has supported Rebuilding Together by donating more than $800,000 in labor and materials to improve more than 450 homes for low-income, disabled and elderly St. Louisans.

“The Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership is invaluable to our efforts to improve the lives of low income families in our region,” said Dave Ervin, executive director, Rebuilding Together St. Louis. “Some of the electrical conditions we find in these homes are just deplorable and extremely hazardous to anyone living there.”

Among the many issues that the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership repaired were ungrounded outlets, extension cords used for permanent wiring, a lack of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) switches and outlets, overloaded panel boxes, open splices, fixtures with charred or burned wires and more.

“A lot of the issues we encounter seem to be just shoddy work performed by people who lack the skills needed to perform electrical work,” noted Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1.  Douglas R. Martin, executive vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, NECA, concurred.  “There’s a reason why Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA is a staunch supporter of the National Electrical Code, which is the standard for safe electrical installations that function properly. Always check credentials and leave electrical work to licensed professionals who follow the code,” said Martin.

The Electrical Connection offers the largest number of licensed commercial and residential electrical contractors and skilled electricians in the region with a searchable data base at www.electricalconnection.org.

Dave Roth, business representative and treasurer for IBEW Local One, orchestrated the volunteer initiative.  Participating electrical contractors, who donated 23 service trucks and tools, included:

  • American Electric and Data
  • Bathe Electric Co
  • MR Bathe Electric
  • Bell Electrical Contractors
  • Branson Electric Co.
  • BRK Electrical Contractors LLC
  • Concept Electric Services LLC
  • Electric Limited
  • Fusion Electric
  • Grasser Electric
  • Guarantee Electric Co.
  • Hanenkamp Electric
  • Jag Electric
  • Kaemmerlen Electric
  • Kaiser Electric
  • Kay Bee Electric
  • Northwest Electric Co.
  • Pioneer Electric
  • RJP Electric
  • Sachs Electric Co.
  • Sanderson Electric
  • Schaeffer Electric Co., Inc.
  • Summit Electric

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Find a contractor near you in the Electrical Connection contractor database.

SIBA Announces New Board of Directors and Staff

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The Southern Illinois Builders Association recently announced the names of its board of directors and staff for the current year. The purpose of the Southern Illinois Builders Association is to advance the construction industry through strengthening its members by enabling them to do collectively what they cannot accomplish on their own. They offer a full range of services and programs to provide value to their members in Southern Illinois.

Click on the URL below to review the new Board & Staff list.

SIBA Board & Staff 2016

ASA Midwest Council Hosts St. Louis Construction Showcase & BBQ

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Free event scheduled for June 15th in Queeny Park

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council has assembled more than 70 companies to participate in its 4th Annual St. Louis Construction Showcase and BBQ on Wednesday, June 15th in Queeny Park.  The event is free for all to attend! Visit www.asamidwest.com for a full list of exhibitors scheduled to be in attendance.

The free event is open from 2:00-7:00 p.m., with judging of the BBQ competition to begin at 5:00 p.m.  Attendees will be able to visit with companies that represent all aspects of the St Louis construction industry, while enjoying some fantastic FREE BBQ samples and refreshments.

“The event provides an ideal opportunity for anyone in the construction industry to network and experience the latest innovations in construction technology, software, equipment, tools and supplies,” said ASA Midwest Council president Kevin Douglas. “We are looking forward to a great turnout and are excited about the more than 70 companies already signed up to exhibit at the annual showcase.”

New this year, ASA’s Showcase & BBQ will play host to the Bricklayer 500 Regional Competition.          The winner of the Missouri SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Regional Qualifier will advance to compete at the World of Concrete in Las Vegas in January 2017. Come and cheer on Missouri’s most skilled bricklayers as they battle for 1st place, and a free trip to the World of Concrete in Las Vegas.  The Bricklayer 500 Competition will take place during the ASA Showcase & BBQ on June 15th at Queeny Park.

For more information about the FREE TO ATTEND ASA Construction Showcase & BBQ, visit www.asamidwest.com or email info@asamidwest.com

About American Subcontractors Association – Midwest Council

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council is a construction trade association made up of quality specialty contractors and suppliers serving the construction industry and the community in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and southern Illinois. The ASA Midwest Council’s purpose is to improve the construction process through active participation in education, advocacy and cooperation. For more information about the ASA Midwest Council, visit www.asamidwest.com or contact executive director Susan Winkelmann at 314-845-0855.

Carpenters Back Carnahan for Lieutenant Governor

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The Missouri Carpenters Union is supporting former U.S. Representative Russ Carnahan in his bid to become lieutenant governor.

“Our more than 22,000 members have been working tirelessly to fight back against “right to work” and other attempts to erode the gains we have battled so long to win,” Al Bond, the Carpenters’ executive secretary-treasurer, said.  “Whether fighting for improved funding for dilapidated roads and bridges, or improving health care for our veterans, Russ’ priorities have always been squarely focused on making government work for average Americans.  He is a friend to hard-working families and champions the same issues and ideas we’re fighting for.”

According to the Carpenters Regional Council, Carnahan is stressing the need for better education, from early childhood to grade school and college, is committed to helping those starting and growing their own businesses, and believes government can, and should, do better to strengthen Missouri’s middle class.

Founded in 1882, the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council represents more than 22,000 skilled tradesmen and women across Missouri, Kansas and southern Illinois.

Drivers’ Pension Fund Going Broke

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Last Friday, the executive director of the Central States Pension Fund sent a letter to retirees and covered workers announcing that the fund will be broke in less than 10 years.

 

St. Louis area construction employers, who have drivers, contribute to the Central States Pension Fund.

 

The letter from fund director Thomas Nyhan followed the US Treasury Department’s rejection of a rescue proposal from the trustees of the pension plan.

 

John Moellering, a construction law expert at Lewis Rice LLC, said the Central States Pension Fund was one of the first, and certainly the largest pension fund to apply for a rescue plan under the Multi-Employer Pension Reform Act of 2014. Before that law, pension funds could not cut benefits to retirees. Under the law, distressed funds can file an application with the Treasury Department to cut or “suspend” benefits in order to keep the fund solvent. By any definition, the Central States Pension Fund is distressed.

 

Moellering said, “The Central States fund pays out $3.40 for every dollar that comes in. The net ouflow is about $2 billion a year.”

 

“It is in a death spiral,” he said.

 

In September, the fund’s trustees proposed to cut benefits to current retirees an average of 23 percent, although some retirees would see cuts of as much as 59 percent.

 

The law, Moellering said, “has a sliding scale on how much you can reduce pensions for different groups to make it equitable..”

 

If the Treasury Department had approved the plan, it would have gone retirees and workers for a vote. If they had voted it down, the Treasury Department could have imposed it anyway. Since the Treasury Department rejected the rescue plan, however, there will be not vote.

 

Moellering said that he was surprised that the Treasury Department turned down the proposal. There are few options left.

 

“Normally, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation is a backstop for retirees who lose their pensions when their funds fold, but it doesn’t have the wherewithal to pay out on the underfunded Central States plans,” he said.

 

More than 400,000 retirees get pension checks from the Central States Pension fund.

 

“The fact that the federal government’s multiemployer pension insurance program, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), is also running out of money means our participants may see their pension benefits ultimately reduced to virtually nothing when the Fund runs out of money,” Nyhan wrote to retirees.

 

“The whole multi-employer pension arena is very troubled right now,” Moellering said. “The model was fine when it started, with more people contributing than were collecting, but as industry has matured, it no longer works. You can only squeeze participating employers so much, especially when they are competing with numerous employers who don’t contribute to the fund,” he said.

SMPS-St. Louis Announces Its 2016-2017 Board of Directors

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SMPS-St. Louis recently announced their 2016-2017 Board of Directors.

The following slate has been elected by acclamation as the 2016-2017 SMPS St. Louis Chapter Board of Directors. The following individuals will commence their terms in office on September 1, 2016.

President: Amanda Bohnert, S. M. Wilson & Co.
President Elect: Catrina Cook, Spellman Brady & Company
Immediate Past President: Jessica Davila, CPSM, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
Treasurer: Cindy Hausler, CPSM, Mackey Mitchell Architects
Treasurer-Elect: Jennifer Bradshaw, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
Secretary: Cheryl Vancil, Oates Associates Inc.
Communications Director: Courtney Kinamore, S. M. Wilson & Co.
Programs Co-Directors: Kristyn Newbern, Access Engineering, LLC and Shane Harris, Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI)
Membership Director: Alec Gleason, TOKY Branding + Design
Education Chair: Megan Hinrichsen, Development Strategies
Special Events Chair: Nora Bresnahan, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
Sponsorship Chair: Shannon Egger, Ross & Baruzzini
Student Chapter Liaison, Dave Scarmana, Lawrence Group

SMPS was formed in 1973 in St. Louis by a small group of professional services firm leaders who recognized the need to sharpen skills, pool resources, and work together to create business opportunities. Today, the organization represents a dynamic network of 6,000+ marketing and business development professionals from architectural, engineering, planning, interior design, construction, and specialty consulting firms located throughout the United States and Canada. Please visit our website at www.smps-stl.org.

Celebrate The Renovated St. Louis Riverfront at “Picnic On The Riverfront” on June 2nd

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The Event, which will include a 2,016-foot-long community picnic table and fireworks display, will kick off season of events for residents and tourists

Few construction projects get feted with a giant picnic, but BSI Constructors transformation of the St. Louis riverfront by the Arch is one of them. Great Rivers Greenway, the City of St. Louis, CityArchRiver Foundation and other partners are going to celebrate the completion of the project on Thursday, June 2, St. Louis’ largest ever community picnic, complete with a 2,016-foot long table with chairs.

The picnic is open to the public. The official ribbon cutting on June 2 will begin at 5 p.m. on the overlook stage along Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard. Afterward, attendees can explore the nearby Mississippi Greenway, enjoy local music and educational activities for kids and purchase dinner from food trucks and other vendors. People are also welcome to bring their own picnic meal. An interfaith blessing will kick off dinner at 6:15 p.m., followed by an aerial photo of all the picnickers. The event will end with a brief fireworks display at 8:30 p.m.

The renovation of the 1.5-mile stretch of riverfront includes the recently rebuilt Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard and extension of the Mississippi Greenway from the Biddle Street Trailhead south to Chouteau Avenue, with protected walking and biking paths. The entire riverfront was elevated an average of almost two feet to limit flooding, returning more days of the year back to the community for walking, riding bikes, sightseeing and special events. While the historic elements were preserved, such as the cobblestones lining the levee; new amenities such as benches, bike racks, lights, power outlets and a street-level stage will make the space more inviting for events and programs.

The construction, which is wrapping up, is on track to meet or exceed minority participation goals with 32 percent participation by minority-owned business enterprises and 19 percent participation by women-owned business enterprises. Fifty-one percent of construction contracts were awarded to disadvantaged business enterprises. Workforce participation is also on track to meet the goal of 14.7 percent minority workers.

“The riverfront is a place where everyone is welcome, and it was important that the construction of the project reflect that, too,” said Carey Bundy, Project Manager for Great Rivers Greenway.

 

Design-Build Coming to Missouri’s Local Public Agencies

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The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build, celebrated the passage of H 2376 through the Missouri General Assembly. The bill enables any local political subdivision to use design-build project delivery at their discretion. The bill also ensures that community development block grants are properly allocated to water and wastewater projects that are delivered using design-build. This legislation had a long road to victory spanning a decade, and is significant in light of the strong demand for design-build authority from public owners.

 

The DBIA played a key role in crafting the legislation, providing supporting testimony, and working with Representative Lincoln Hough and Senator Jay Wasson to get this legislation passed. Governor Jay Nixon has indicated he will sign the legislation.

 

“This legislation affirms Missouri’s commitment to finding better ways to deliver construction projects for the taxpayers, and is encouraging for the future of design-build in the Midwest,” said G. William Quatman, who currently serves as chairman of the National DBIA Board of Directors. Quatman is a Missouri resident who serves as general counsel for Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co.  He has helped to write the legislation in various forms, and testify for it, since 2007.

 

“There is a great demand for design-build on local civil, architectural and water projects in Missouri, and I applaud the members of the Missouri General Assembly for embracing this comprehensive procurement reform. I am extremely grateful for all the hard work done at both the regional and national level to see this legislation through.”

 

“With this bill coming so close last session, it is especially gratifying to see it win such large majorities this year,” said Brian Johanning, former president of DBIA’s Mid-America Region, who led the legislative effort on this bill. “This bill really shows what is possible when a united front takes on a necessary reform. In the true spirit of integrated design-build project delivery,were able to build a coalition with industry stakeholders and utilize every resource in DBIA’s arsenal to see this one through.”

 

According to Lisa Washington, DBIA’s executive director and CEO, “Among the many bills we’ve worked on this session, this is by far one of most important. As a comprehensive reform, this bill allows all local agencies to not only use design-build, but to properly execute it. This legislation is an opportunity to promote Design-Build Done Right and to bolster other legislation in the region. We are very excited about this win.”

National Roofing Contractors Association Launches Online Career Center

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The roofing industry is in immediate need of hardworking, highly skilled talent to fill positions in all sectors of the industry. To help meet this need, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has launched its online NRCA Career Center.

 

The NRCA Career Center is a comprehensive roofing industry-specific resource that will enable all industry sectors, including roofing contractors, distributors, manufacturers, consultants and designers, to find the ideal candidates to fill open positions at all skill levels.

 

Similar to the entire construction industry, the roofing industry has been experiencing a severe labor shortage. The NRCA Career Center was developed in part to address this issue, as well as spread the word to job seekers about the many rewarding opportunities available in the roofing industry.

 

“For many years, there has been a great need for workers in the roofing industry,” says William Good, NRCA’s CEO. “The NRCA Career Center will help make workers more aware of the many opportunities that exist in our industry and how rewarding a career in roofing can be.”

The NRCA Career Center consists of two job banks that provide a dual strategy for finding talent. The NRCA Job Bank allows potential candidates to view available industry jobs as well as upload resumes for review by prospective employers.

 

NRCA also has partnered with Hard Hat Hub, a premier career resource for the construction industry. Job candidates can create a personal profile for employers to view.

 

Roofing industry wage information as well as training resources also are provided.

For more information about the NRCA Career Center visitwww.nrca.net/careers.

 

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