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Missouri S&T Concrete Conference to be Held May 2-3

in Associations/News

Missouri University of Science and Technology will host the annual Missouri Concrete Conference May 2-3 in the Havener Center on campus. Conference registration is $150 per person.

Conference topics include slag cement concrete; colored concrete; steel fibers in building construction; impact of air quality control on fly ash properties; timing of slab sawing; compacted concrete pavement; internal curing; field testing; factors affecting air content; zero discharge production water at plants; precast update; confirming aggregate quality; regional aggregate issues; ACR street deterioration; CPR specification update; evolution of bridge deck design; St. Louis County materials specification update; ACI adhesive anchor technician certification; and the Missouri Department of Transportation’s current research.

Certificates to document Personal Development Hours will be provided.

Organizers say the conference will be of interest to contractors, public agencies, consulting engineers, testing labs, aggregate producers, ready mix, cement and admixture suppliers, and equipment technical reps.

Additional information, including a complete listing of presentations, is available online at

For registration and sponsor information, contact Missouri S&T’s office of distance and continuing education at 573-341-6576 or

For technical information, contact Dr. David Richardson, associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T, at 573-341-4487 or

A First for Design-Build and Treatment Plant Delivery in Missouri

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This January, a first for wastewater treatment plants began operations in Liberty, Missouri.  This project is one of the first wastewater plants in Missouri utilizing Design-Build delivery, and the first Design-Build in Missouri to utilize State Revolving Funds (SRF).  SRF financing will save the City over $40 million in interest on this $74 million project when compared with conventional financing.  With Design-Build legislation enacted last summer the Liberty project paves the way for municipalities throughout Missouri to maximize their dollars utilizing the cost and schedule saving efficiencies of Design-Build with low-interest SRF financing.

The City of Liberty had outsourced treatment to a neighboring community for decades.  Facing near-term rate increases, uncertain future rates and potential treatment capacity issues, Liberty began studying alternatives, and identified that building their own facilities and discontinuing outsourcing of treatment would save the City $27 million in treatment costs over a 30-year period.  From there, Liberty worked with consultants to determine the scope, budget and user rates required for such an undertaking. The City estimated that it would take $95 million to construct the facilities, but user rates would be reduced and predicted to level out within 5 years.  With this information, in August 2013 the Citizens of Liberty voted overwhelmingly 91% in favor of the project.

To maintain promised user rates, the new facilities had to be completed and operational by first quarter 2017.  In February of 2014, request for qualifications were issued.  Three teams were shortlisted in April 2014.  Following review of conceptual designs, proposals and interviews the team of Goodwin Brothers and CMT was selected in September 2014. Construction of the new 7 MGD plant, two 10 MGD pump stations, 18,000 feet of force main, 6,000 feet of collector roadway, administration and maintenance facilities were completed by December 2016. Treatment operations began on January 3, 2017 just after the Christmas holidays.

Based on the cost and schedule savings gained through the Design-Build process, additional scope was added, including over 6,000 feet of trunk sewer. This work was completed in March 2017 with completion and close out scheduled for May 2017.

This project is a perfect example of a City looking out for the best interest of its citizens’ hard-earned dollars.  Rather than continuing the status quo, Liberty pursued different treatment options and innovative delivery methods that will positively impact the Citizens of Liberty for future generations to come.

Goodwin Brothers Construction is a three-generation family-owned business, celebrating 70 years of building this year. 

Contractors Seek Accountability in MSD’s Bidding Process

in Associations/News
MSD Executive Director, Brian Hoelscher

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) unveiled its 2018 fiscal year capital improvement and replacement program on April 17, 2017, but some contractors questioned the accountability of MSD’s bidding process.   That after the MSD board of trustees refused to follow the recommendations of its professiona l staff and inexplicably killed a $145 million contract to the lowest responsible bidder on the Deer Creek tunneling project.  When asked why he changed his vote at an April 13th MSD meeting to void the contract to low bidder Jay Dee/Frontier-Kemper (JDFK) Joint Venture,MSD Trustee Michael Yates told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “I have my reasons, and that’s all I’m saying.”

Abdul-Ghani Mekkaoul

At the fiscal 2018 capital improvement and replacement program Jay Dee Contractors, Inc. Project Manager Abdul-Ghani Mekkaoul sought answers to why MSD trustees refused to follow the recommendation of its staff which had thoroughly vetted and approved JDFK’s low bid.  After the meeting, Mekkauol noted that the JDFK bid met every standard of MSD’s request for proposal, including pricing, schedule, diversity and would have used a St. Louis union workforce.  The meeting attracted reporters from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Business Journal and KMOV-TV, which sought answers to how wisely MSD is spending money on its massive $4.7 billion Project Clear.

Tnemec Expands R&D Facility and Upgrades Capabilities

in Companies/News

Tnemec Company Inc., a leading manufacturer of protective coatings and linings, opened the doors of its new research and development (R&D) facility on March 30, 2017. This expansion of the company’s current manufacturing plant in North Kansas City, Missouri, includes an upgrade that doubles the size of its previous R&D laboratory and office space while making notable improvements to its testing and ventilation equipment.

“Tnemec Company has always been dedicated to researching and developing innovative technologies to protect our customers in corrosive environments,” explained Remi Briand, Vice President – R&D for Tnemec. “This expansion and renovation represents the next phase of this commitment.”

Among the upgrades, a new chemical immersion room allows Tnemec’s R&D team to conduct more expansive performance testing, including in-house autoclave tests and severe wastewater analysis testing (S.W.A.T.). Several updated fume hoods were also installed to handle tougher testing protocols.

Other improvements include a controlled spray booth for panel preparation, new contact angle devices for nanochemistry, an updated chamber capable of handling temperatures ranging from -94°F (-70°C) to 356°F (180°C) and a new state-of-the-art ventilation system to ensure safety for all personnel and the surrounding environment. The building also received high-performance Tnemec coatings systems on the walls and floors.

“The scope of this project also included updating our shipping and traffic offices and renovating the building’s break room,” noted Briand. “This expansion improves our capabilities and the working conditions for our current employees, while also adding additional room for added personnel in the future.”

The new R&D facility further helps Tnemec Company stay focused on delivering high-performance coatings to customers in the ever-changing coatings industry, according to Briand. This expansion comes after several other changes in the company, including the introduction of Chase Bean as President, various product introductions and an effort to increase the domestic sales force.

“We look forward to the future of research and development for Tnemec and the positive effect it will have on our clients,” added Briand.

Established in 1921, Tnemec manufactures more than 120 architectural and industrial coating products at facilities in Kansas City and Baltimore. Headquartered in Kansas City, Tnemec operates distribution facilities in Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Seattle and Compton, Calif.

HOK and RDG Complete Lauritzen Outpatient Center in Omaha

in Companies/News

New 170,000-sq.-ft. facility incorporates smart design and new technology to optimize the patient experience at Nebraska Medicine.

A new one-stop shop for comprehensive outpatient services has begun serving patients at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha.

HOK’s St. Louis practice teamed with Omaha-based RDG Planning & Design to design the $71 million Lauritzen Outpatient Center, which consolidates Nebraska Medicine – Nebraska Medical Center’s outpatient services in a 170,000-sq.-ft. medical building with a below-ground parking garage.

HOK, which led the overall programming for the Lauritzen Outpatient Center, guided the medical planning and layout of the clinical spaces. RDG provided architectural, interior design and medical documentation.

As part of the planning process, the two firms gathered input from 150 medical and administrative personnel at Nebraska Medicine’s outpatient facilities in Omaha. During a planning workshop, clinical teams created mock-up exam and operating rooms and studied patient flows. The design team used this information to guide planning discussions and develop a final building layout that breaks down departmental silos and creates adjacencies that enable clinicians to provide the best possible patient care.

“Our team made every decision through a filter of creating the optimal experience for Nebraska Medicine patients,” said Kerry Cheung, AIA, senior medical planner at HOK. “For example, we located the orthopedic clinic, rehab therapies and radiology department together to increase collaboration among clinicians and to create a one-stop-shop for patients. Exam rooms are intuitively arranged in pods according to specialties.”

“It was an incredibly thoughtful process to unify Nebraska Medicine personnel, designers and the building team in a single vision devoted to creating the best patient experience,” added Nate Gieselman, RDG architect and project manager. “This also streamlined the planning process, which normally would have taken four years but only took two-and-a half years.”

The design features an abundance of natural light with fritted windows and sunscreens that moderate heat load while brightening waiting areas and public spaces on all four floors. A prominent central stairway is bathed in light, promoting health and well-being. Clear wayfinding and a highly efficient layout help reduce wait times and provide easy access to ambulatory services.

The first floor unites related services including the orthopedic clinic, radiology department and an outpatient pharmacy. It also features a rehabilitation gym for the center’s sports medicine practice.

The second floor houses the Fritch Surgery Center, which comprises 10 operating rooms and 40 pre- and post-operation rooms. The surgery center waiting area includes private consultation rooms for doctors and families. Work is underway to create a skywalk connecting the second floor to Nebraska Medicine’s Truhlsen Eye Institute next door.

Specialized clinics occupying the third floor of the building include services for Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Audiology, Allergy, General Surgery Clinic, Trauma Clinic, Plastics Clinic, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Facial Prosthetics and Urology Surgery. The fourth floor houses orthopedics faculty and research and telemedicine staff.

“There are so many talented healthcare professionals under one roof at the Lauritzen Outpatient Center,” said Jared Long, ENT clinic manager. “It has been fun to watch the teams grow into the new space and lean on each other to create the optimal patient experience. Care coordination has been streamlined. For example, a patient arrives in the General Surgery Clinic for a consult, but really needs to see an ENT specialist. When appropriate, nurses and providers have partnered together across specialties—located on the same floor—to work these patients into the schedule, preventing them from having to return a different day.”

The team designed the center to facilitate ease of registration with self-check-in kiosks and online registration, which will be implemented in the future. The plan also allows for personal check-ins with outpatient healthcare staff.

“We struck a balance between the efficiency of online check-ins and providing a more personal touch,” said Cheung. “This idea borrows from today’s airport experience, where you can check in online or at the ticket counter.”

The Lauritzen Outpatient Center is named for the family of Bruce Lauritzen, chairman of First National of Nebraska and the lead financial donor for the project. The surgery center’s name acknowledges a capital gift from Dr. Charles Fritch and his wife, Judy.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.

TROCO Custom Fabricators Creates Stylistic Roofing Structure for St. Louis Restaurant

in Companies/Homepage Primary/News

Installation in Schneithorst’s Restaurant & Bar Enhances Rooftop Experience for Customers

Schneithorst’s Restaurant & Bar, a landmark in the St. Louis restaurant scene for nearly a century, replaced its deteriorating heavy timber rooftop structure with a European-inspired steel and glass structure. Constructed by TROCO Custom Fabricators<>, a premiere custom fabricator in the Midwest, the new rooftop structure consists of steel canopies with laminated glass roof panels that will allow customers to enjoy a unique outdoor dining experience, even during inclement weather.

TROCO collaborated with Mainline Group Architecture, Inc. throughout the design and fabrication process in order to create a European train shed theme with stylized detailing. Special attention was given to the intricate hop and barley metal work at the column capitals. Silhouettes which were cut using a waterjet, then layered and hand-formed to create the design elements. TROCO supplied and installed the laminated glass roof panels that provide shading, and applied a highly durable epoxy paint for the exterior matte finish. TROCO also led the coordination to provide cutouts in the structure for routing all the power, lighting and audio/visual requirements.

“It was a privilege to work on such a unique project for a popular restaurant that has been serving the St. Louis community for nearly a century,” said Tim Trotter, president of TROCO Custom Fabricators. “The new rooftop structure is built to offer customers the experience of a European-inspired beer garden, and will stand the test of Midwestern weather for decades to come.”

The roofing structure was assembled on-site and installed in July 2016. Schneithorst’s rooftop beer garden will open for the 2017 season in late-Spring. For more information, visit

TROCO Custom Fabricators is a premier metal fabrication company specializing in Architectural and Structural Metal Fabrication. Established in 2002, TROCO is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. to service the construction industry, both regionally and nationally. 

Electrical Connection Launches Boat Dock Safety Campaign

in Associations/News

In advance of the summer boating season, the Electrical Connection is offering tips to boat dock owners to ensure their docks are electrically safe.    Recently, the mother of two children electrocuted while swimming around a boat dock at the Lake of the Ozarks said more needs to be done to avoid fatal electrical shock from unsafe boat docks.   The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

“Missouri lawmakers are currently considering boat dock safety legislation in SB 297 introduced by State Senator Jake Hummel,” said Tim Green, director of governmental affairs for IBEW/NECA.  “Members of the state assembly are rightly concerned about recent tragedies on Missouri lakes where people, including children, were electrocuted swimming near docks with electrical hazards.”

“We fully support Senator Hummel’s bill,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president of the Electrical Connection.  “But now is the time that boat dock owners need to make sure their docks – and neighboring docks – don’t have electrical issues that would endanger anyone on the dock or swimming around the dock.”

The Electrical Connection, which is the single largest source of licensed electrical contractors and skilled electricians in the State of Missouri, recommends boat dock owners consider the following:

  • A Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) should be on all dock receptacles.  A GFCI measures the current in a circuit. An imbalance of that current, such as a discharge into the water, will trip the GFCI cutting off power.
  • The GFCI should be tested at least once a month or per the manufacturer’s specifications.  The GFCI should be located somewhere along the ramp to the dock so it can be easily found and tested by local fire departments as needed.
  • The metal frame of docks should have “bonding jumpers” on them to connect all metal parts to a ground rod on the shore.  That will ensure any part of the metal dock that becomes energized because of electrical malfunction will trip the GFCI or the circuit breaker.
  • Make sure the switch to disconnect power is at the dock entrance and easily found for first responders.  You don’t want to attempt any kind of rescue from a charged dock.
  • Never use an extension cord on a dock.
  • Neighboring docks can also present a shock hazard.  Ensure your neighbor’s dockside electrical system complies with the National Electrical Code and has been inspected.
  • All electrical installations should be performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Because docks are exposed to the elements, their electrical systems should be inspected at least once a year.

More boat dock safety tips can be found at


Stakeholder Advisory Committee Begins Planning Work On Future Development Of Maryland Park Lake District

in Associations/News

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee formed in January to work with the City of Maryland Heights on the preparation of a development plan for the Maryland Park Lake District held its first public meeting on April 6 and began its planning work.  Twenty-one representatives from economic and infrastructure partners got an overview of the City’s vision for the 2,000+ acre area and discussed a wide range of transportation, wastewater and economic development planning issues.  Agencies participating in the meeting included:

  • Louis Economic Development Partnership;
  • Louis County Planning Commission;
  • Louis County Parks and Recreation Department;
  • Louis County Highway Department;
  • Major land owners including Creve Coeur Airport, Penn Gaming/Hollywood Casino, McBride Homes and Riverport Business Park;
  • Transportation agencies including Metro and East-West Gateway;
  • Howard Bend Levee District;
  • Great Rivers Greenway;
  • Public school districts including Pattonville and Parkway; and
  • Fire protection districts including Maryland Heights, Pattonville and Monarch.

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee is charged with consulting and preparing findings and recommendations for the Maryland Heights City Council, Economic Development Commission and Planning Commission regarding individual elements of the development area’s infrastructure, conceptual develop and economic development plans.

“We are seeking the advice of these highly knowledgeable people and the agencies they represent, and we will share their advice with our City’s elected and appointed officials,” said Wayne Oldroyd, Director of Community Development for the City of Maryland Heights.  “This first meeting fostered a positive atmosphere for a productive dialogue that we hope to continue until the Committee completes its important work.  We are extremely thankful and appreciative for their active participation.”

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will meeting again in May, and plans to hold additional meetings and eventually a public hearing to share their findings with the City.  The meetings are open to the public, and the public may also submit written comments to the Committee through the Maryland Park Lake District website at  This website will be updated regularly with new information from the Committee, including all meeting notices.

Awards Recognize Outstanding Best Practices in Construction

in Associations/News

Best practices in the construction industry were recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards on March 6, 2017 at the Palladium, St. Louis, MO.   The annual awards recognized successful use of Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to improve project quality, budget and schedule.  Five projects and their teams were presented Best Practices awards.

Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence

The team from MC Industrial and Burns & McDonnell were recognized for use of the Advanced Work Packaging Best Practice on the Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence.  This is one of the newest Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute.  Although new, it did not stop the team from using the best practice, along with Planning for Startup and Change Management for the construction of a 425,000 square foot manufacturing and paint facility for the Boeing Composite Center of Excellence.  As a design build delivery project, it was critical to meet a tight schedule for the expansion to provide protection from the elements for the large equipment procurement which was well underway.

Since the schedule was fast-paced for this enormous facility, numerous design packages were required, 30 in all.  Each was separately tracked and progress reported to stakeholders on a weekly basis.  The packages had to carefully coordinated between each other and monitored to integrate with adjacent and sometimes dependent building systems.  Each package had numerous review stages with the client and construction team.

The team employed a 3D model walk through and cloud based interface systems to facilitate the reviewer comments and to act on them.  The review times were drastically reduced and this provided a coordinated platform to track and archive the documentation, providing a common pool for project information.  As the project progressed, the 3D modeling was published on a recurring basis, allowing stakeholders to visualize the facility as the design progressed.

Since all trades were modeled in virtual space, clashes in the field were identified during the design phase.  This minimized costly delays and re-work in construction.  The models were passed to subcontractors as a starting point for their fabrication models and further reducing the time typically required.

Hospital Realignment at Nellis Air Force Base

KAI Design Build and United Excel Design were recognized a major realignment project for the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.  The project employed the Best Practices of “Planning for Startup” as well as “Front End Planning” and “Project Risk Assessment” for a complicated $93 million hospital renovation across 4 floors.  It involved more than 2 dozen departments in an operational hospital with an antiquated layout that was also undersized for its mission.

With a design charette as a starting point, floor plans were developed for the design build project.  This translated into the architectural, interior, structural, MEP engineering and other renovation needs.  Although the renovation encompassed 3 years, design submittals and pre-planning for the project were necessary early in the project for use by design sub-teams.

Project risks were identified for renovation of different areas of the hospital in phases while keeping occupied areas operational.  A project rating index and project risk assessments were employed throughout the project to provide sufficient scope definition and to assess risks.  This empowered decision makers to evaluate parts of the project prior to moving forward with design and construction. Mock-up rooms were built for major rooms, such as operating rooms, intensive care and labor and delivery to coordinate equipment and utility outlet locations such as power and data, medical gas and headwalls.  Sustainable design concepts were incorporated into the project which is tracking for LEED Silver Certification.

American Optometric Association Headquarters Renovation

The challenge to build new or renovate was faced by the team recruited to support the American Optometric Association (AOA).  Initial plans called  for constructing a new facility for the 44,000 member trade association with offices on Lindbergh Boulevard.  Team members including Northstar Management, Gray Design and BSI constructors, completed a pre-planning effort which indicated a cost of $14 million for a 30,000 square foot new building.  Then when they compared this option and the associated project budgets, including land acquisition and additional Owner operational costs, with an alternative option for a full gut renovation, the latter option’s lower cost of $10 million altered plans.

The design and construction team worked in close alignment to devise a plan for the renovation.  To support ongoing operations of the association’s staff during construction, the project included 2 phases in which staff relocated to one half of the building, while the other half of the building went through renovation in Phase 1.  Then staff moved to the completed half to make room for renovation of the 2nd half the building. This also enabled the team to address lessons learned from work on the Phase 1 when the project moved to Phase 2.

The team created a project organizational chart to implement a level of governance for the project.  This included representation from the Owner and the team members together with a steering committee to develop project goals & objectives, to review crucial decisions and to relay them to the Owner’s Board of Directions.  Subcommittees were formed to assist with interior finish and furniture selections and with review design of casework, café, and print copy rooms.  Town Hall meetings were conducted with the association staff to discuss the process for relocations during the construction phasing plan.

Quantifiable results included a 29% savings from the original new building concept while adding 50% more square footage and providing all new infrastructure.  Lessons learned from Phase 1 that were implemented on Phase 2 created resources for added scope as well as paving a smooth transition for Owner activities and occupancy.  The alignment best practice provided for a well informed team to make team decisions resulting in a project completed on time and 5% under the project budget.

Elanco Formulation Fill Facility

McCarthy Construction was awarded a Best Practices award for front end planning of a project for the Elanco Animal Health division of Eli Lilly and Company.  After experiencing significant damage to critical processing equipment in a prior project,  Elanco wanted to avoid a repeat.   Front End Planning was critical for construction of a new 41,000 square foot pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.  Located in Augusta, Georgia, the 3 story building houses production areas and process support spaces to create a fully automated process manufacturing environment.

A major challenge was assembling the large, critical processing equipment.  The complexity and precision necessary to mate the equipment would have been physically impossible inside the building because the building’s interior height constraint eliminated the opportunity to stack equipment.  Two pieces of the equipment were being built by different manufacturers in different countries, Germany and Switzerland.

With Front End Planning, a temporary outdoor enclosure and concrete pad were constructed for assembling the equipment so that it could be put together and tested.  With the assembly and testing completed in the temporary enclosure, the equipment was slid into the new facility in one piece.  Over $ 3/4 of a million in savings in logistics and labor were saved with this approach.

Washington University School of Medicine / BJC Health Care Mid Campus Center

Construction of the Washington University School of Medicine / BJC Mid Campus Center

called for the effective and timely integration of construction knowledge into the planning, design, construction and field operations of a project.  A team, including Clayco, KAI Design Build and Christner, employed the “Constructability” best practice for this 12 story, 517,000 square foot office building in the heart of the growing medical campus in the St. Louis Central West End.

Having design documentation ready to meet critical benchmarks, such as for civil, structural, shell, core and fit-out packages was critical to avoid delays for this project as well as future projects in the overall campus.  An overriding goal was to design a structure that could be erected quickly.  To accomplish that goal, the project team pursued a cost effective unitized curtain wall system to conform with the Owner’s construction budget.

With planning and scheduling, the joint venture team juggled demands of a rigid phased delivery schedule with the needs and desires of the Owner.  This included engaging a host of design assist subcontractors to perform constructability exercises and to source materials early in the process.  Other processes used to promote constructability included logistical plans and aerial photos to maximize lay down area and to develop hoisting plans for the tower cranes; early involvement of the curtain wall contractor to size its buck hoist dock and to accommodate large material crates; coordination meetings between the Clayco-KAI joint venture team, designer, subcontractors and Owner to maintain accessibility while minimizing impact on surrounding buildings and vehicular and pedestrian traffic; safety reviews on all sides, including 2 active roads, a substation and an overhead pedestrian link; and use of Building Information Modeling from the beginning to coordinate the trades in the ongoing architectural design.  In conjunction with “Advanced Work Packaging” efforts and “Change Management,” this project was completed on schedule in just under 20 months.

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

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

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


Awards Recognize Diversity and Inclusion in Construction

in Associations/News

Efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the construction industry were recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards on March 6, 2017 at the Palladium, St. Louis, MO.  Awards were presented to St. Louis Lambert International Airport for Organizational Excellence, to Brandt Contracting as the Minority Business Enterprise of the Year and to Sal Valadez of the Laborers Union and to Dan Lester of Clayco for Inclusion Champions.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport Wins Organizational Excellence Inclusion Award

Piloting the journey for Excellence was the Business Diversity Development team at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.  The scope of their efforts extended beyond the local and federal programs for inclusion and are designed to level the playing field for minority and women owned firms.  Contract proposals included provisions for participation in all areas, including construction, professional services, concessions and goods and services.  The 2016 annual report encapsulated their success.  For federally funded construction projects, DBE’s received 28% of over $25 million spent.  Under the local program for construction and professional services, MBE’s received 32% and WBE’s received 7% of the $45 million spent.

The Business Diversity Development program has promoted diversity and inclusion by making it easier for companies to manage contract compliance through tools such as an online portal to streamline reporting requirements and to manage their records.  They also provided an online certification process through a re-vamped web site that has seen a dramatic increase in the number of companies certified.

Lambert also partners with other organizations for inclusion.  This has included collaboration with the SLCCC, Missouri Department of Transportation, Justine Petersen, the St. Louis Development Corporation and the Missouri Regional Certification Commission, as well as their own Annual Business Diversity Forum.

Lambert has implemented diversity and inclusion with their own policies and practices including their own programs and employment and with support for active mentoring programs for women and minority owned firms..

Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award

The Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award was presented to Brandt Contracting, a specialty contracting firm that provides excavation, grading and cleaning services.  Formed in 2007, the business has grown to $3 million in annual volume.  That growth has been guided by an advisory committee through the Regional Union Construction Center and includes participation from a construction attorney, insurance industry and general contractor.

The successful growth of the company was also attributable to the company’s principal, Sedrick Brandt.  He received his B.S. in Information Systems from Maryville University, graduating cum laude.  This was while working as a full time operating engineer in the construction industry and raising a young family.  His entrepreneurial spirit led him to participate in a Small Business Administration entrepreneurial forum.  From that, he purchased a commercial cleaning franchise which he operated successfully while maintaining his full time construction job.

In 2011, Brandt Contracting completed development of the “Brandt Works Safe” policy.  This was developed with the assistance of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri and Fred Weber Inc. with the goal to promote an accident free work environment.  He has made sizeable investment in information technology to support estimating and bid proposals catapulting the firm into a technology realm comparable to much larger firms.  Brandt Contracting developed a strategic plan with prescribed milestones for growth and has since expanded their foot print to work in Joplin, Jefferson City and Byrnesville, MO.

Brandt Contracting has been certified as a minority owned business, disadvantaged owned business in both Missouri and in Illinois and was also certified as a Section 8(a) through the U. S. Small Business Administration.

Inclusion Award Presented to Dan Lester of Clayco

As a fierce advocate for minorities, a diversity and inclusion award was presented to Dan Lester of Clayco.  He has leveraged his experience as a diversity and inclusion educator with his talent as a professional speaker to work with management and field personnel in construction.  He came to the construction industry from DeSmet Jesuit High School where he served as the first African American faculty member and administrator.  At DeSmet, he trained faculty, staff, students and the DeSmet community on factors of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural awareness.  He has leveraged that experience to create viable and realistic solutions to educate the construction workforce on diversity and cultural competence.

Joining Clayco’s Concrete Strategies division in 2015, his efforts supported the company’s effort to increase their employment minority percentage from 11% up to 17%.  He has worked with the ACW Alliance team on the BJC Campus Renewal Project as the Workforce Relations Manager where he has worked with companies to help them meet contractual work force obligations to include staffing with minorities and women.  He created a curriculum that trains on integrating basic cultural competence into safety orientations and started the ACW Divergence Newsletter which highlights diversity and inclusion on the project.  That project currently enjoys 20% minority participation and 6% female participation in the field work force.

Other achievements include his work with organizations such as the Missouri Governor’s Collegiate Fellows program, Construction Forum Education Foundation, PEOPLE of Construction Board Member, FOCUS St. Louis Diversity Leadership Fellowship participant,  Job Corps, Building Union Diversity (BUD) program, Diversity Committee of the SLCCC, and the Construction Career Development Initiative.

Inclusion Award Presented to Sal Valadez of Laborers Union

A second Diversity and Inclusion Award was presented to Sal Valadez of the Laborers International Union of North America – Midwest Region as a champion for immigrants.  Born in Mexico, his father was one of the World War II railroad Braceros —Mexicans who were sent under arrangements between the U.S. and Mexico to keep the railroads running in the U.S. during the war.  They were subject to racism, unsafe working conditions and poor living arrangements.

After the family arrived from Mexico with his family, this inclusion champion grew up in Aurora, IL.  He dropped out of high school, served in the U.S. Army and subsequently earned his GED, high school diploma, Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He acquired extensive experience in the non-profit and higher education sectors prior to joining the Laborers International Union of North America.  He is currently the greater St. Louis Diversity, Outreach and Marketing Representative for the Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region.

Valadez has been someone who has helped to connect newest arrivals with resources to make them feel welcome in the region.  Among his achievements, he single handedly designed and organized events from Central and Southern Illinois to Franklin County to connect immigrants and other at risk populations with resources.  This included employment opportunities in construction as well efforts to address health, education, shelter and basic human needs.  One project has been a health fair at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church which completed its 3rd annual event last year.  The fair offered free health screens, immigration and education resources and live music.  The region’s labor unions are invited participants to help focus on establishing relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

Valadez has built working relationships with community resources such as the St. Louis Mosaic Project, Immigrant Service Provider Network,  Human Trafficking Collaborative Network, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Cambio De Colores and the Gateway Welcome Project.

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

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

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