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Development Timeline Extended For Lake District As Developers Request Infrastructure Commitments From City Prior To Development Commitments

in Homepage Primary/Homepage Secondary/News

The development timeline for the Lake District Development Area has been extended by several months so the City of Maryland Heights can respond to developers’ requests for the City to commit to providing the site’s infrastructure systems prior to the developers making final development commitments.

“The developers told us they need the City to take the lead in having a comprehensive infrastructure and storm water management plan finalized, financed and ready for construction before they can commit to building any developments,” said Jim Krischke, City Administrator.  “So instead of one master developer managing the site infrastructure construction along with other construction, we now have six developers interested in different parts of our 1800-acre site.  We must now develop an integrated infrastructure plan that can meet the needs of all potential developers.  This is complex and will take time, but it does give us the opportunity to incorporate the many ‘green’ water management features that we have envisioned.”

The Howard Bend Levee District built the 500-year levee protecting the development area from the Missouri River, and the City now plans to partner with the Levee District in the storm water management system implementation.  Preliminary engineering plans have been developed by the Levee District to address all storm water management needs of the area.

“We need to refine these plans with the Levee District to meet the potential needs of each development proposal individually and collectively, and then provide the assurance that it will be built,” Krischke added.

A revised development timeline, along with a revised schedule of decision points and public hearings, will soon be posted on the Lake District Development Area website, at www.mplakedistrict.com.

Electrical Connection Partners with Saint Louis FC to Energize “Shop with a Cop” Fundraiser

in Associations/Homepage Secondary

Event Raises More Than $2,000 to Support St. Francois County

Elec Con OrnamentOne of the most successful law enforcement community trust-building programs received a big boost and is expanding thanks to a partnership between the Electrical Connection and Saint Louis FC.   The Electrical Connection sponsored Saint Louis FC’s “Christmas in July” fundraiser at its July 30, 2016 soccer game to raise money for the Saint Francois County “Shop with a Cop” program.  In addition, proceeds will be used to launch a “Shop with a Cop” program for the Ferguson, Mo. police department.  The event raised more than $2,000 and included a special Saint Louis FC holiday ornament for the game at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo.

The pre-game ceremonies spotlighted “Shop with a Cop” and the Electrical Connection’s support in a video.  The St. Francois County “Shop with a Cop” program was launched more than 23 years ago and has gradually grown to become one of the largest in the nation, serving up to 500 children annually. The program raises money so law enforcement can take disadvantaged children December holiday shopping to get gifts they would not otherwise receive.

In 1993, Danny Miller, owner of Farmington, Mo.-based Total Electric, introduced the Electrical Connection to the St. Francois County “Shop with a Cop” program.  Since then, the Electrical Connection has donated a total of more than $54,000 to support the program.  The Electrical Connection is a labor-management partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

“The Electrical Connection and IBEW/NECA have been steadfast supporters of ‘Shop with a Cop,’” said St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock.  “We are delighted they are expanding that support through their partnership with Saint Louis FC.”

The fundraiser also support plans for a Ferguson “Shop with a Cop” program.  “’Shop with a Cop’ has been extraordinarily successful in building trust in the communities that police serve,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.  “We strongly support law enforcement and wanted to leverage our Saint Louis FC partnership to help efforts to build stronger communities.  ‘Shop with a Cop’ is just a natural fit for building trust with police in Ferguson, Mo.”

“Ferguson had some success with building a bond with the community in its ‘Cops and Kids’ program in 2014,” said Ferguson Police Chief Delrish Moss.  “We strongly appreciate the Electrical Connection’s partnerhship with St. Louis FC to help us energize our community engagement with ‘Shop with a Cop’ this December.”

In 2015, the Electrical Connection helped sponsor the return of outdoor professional soccer to St. Louis with Saint Louis FC.  “We have been impressed from the very beginning by the level of commitment that the Electrical Connection demonstrates to our community and their support of the ‘shop with a cop’ program is just one example of their generosity,” said Kevin Wygant, Saint Louis FC director of corporate partnerships.  “Saint Louis FC appreciates the opportunity to leverage our loyal fan base to help expand the program to the city of Ferguson in 2016.”

Donations to “Shop with a Cop” at the gate earned Saint Louis FC fans the special holiday ornament.  Donations are also possible online at www.saintlouisfc.com.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information visit www.electricalconnection.org.

IMPACT Strategies Awarded Contract to Build Hofbrauhaus St. Louis-Belleville

in Featured/Homepage Secondary

 IMPACT Strategies will soon begin construction of the Hofbräuhaus, the cornerstone of a new $50 million mixed-use development across from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL.

The $10 million Hofbräuhaus restaurant, designed by PURE Architecture Studio of Effingham, will feature an outdoor beer garden, authentic German cuisine, and beer to be brewed onsite in a self-contained brew house. The Bavarian-style restaurant is based on the original, 400-year-old  Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany. Hofbräuhaus St. Louis will be only the eighth Hofbräuhaus restaurant location in the United States, and the largest Hofbräuhaus in the Americas.

IMPACT Strategies expects to begin foundation and steel work within the coming weeks and has a target completion date of June 2016.

 Future components of the development will include a 30,000-square-foot convention center and multiple hotels and restaurants. The developers are the Keller Family of Effingham, IL.

Boilermakers Seek Skilled Welders For Unique Work Opportunities

in Featured/Homepage Secondary

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers announced  its Construction Division has an increasing need for experienced welders nationwide due to expanded project opportunities. The union is seeking skilled professionals interested in life-enhancing work experiences.

Headquartered in Kansas City, KS, and with 49 construction lodges across the United States, the Boilermaker organization plays an integral part in supporting America’s industrial infrastructure. More than 30,000 skilled construction Boilermakers – men and women – engage in building, repairing and
maintaining the nation’s power generation sector, oil refining, pulp and paper mills, steel mills and aluminum plants. The field offers a rewarding way of
life and unique opportunities for individuals that wish to improve their futures.

“Being a Boilermaker is difficult, but very rewarding work,” explained Roger Erickson, Administrator for MOST, the training and safety arm of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. “We’re incredibly proud that safety is the top priority on our work sites, and while we are looking for experienced welders, we will work with each recruit to meet our qualifications and complete our required safety training courses.”

Through MOST, members receive extensive on-going safety, leadership and skills training that contribute to the organization’s highly productive and efficient workforce.

Union workers as a whole make higher wages and enjoy more benefits, such as health insurance and retirement programs, than their nonunion counterparts. According to the AFL-CIO, on average, union workers’ wages are 27 percent higher and unionized workers are 60 percent more likely to have employer-provided pensions.

Retired Boilermaker Peggy Welborn (Local 69, Little Rock, Ark.) says the opportunities and benefits can be life-changing. “(As a Boilermaker,) you’re going to be dirty and tired, but the rewards are worth it. I made a good life for my son, and after 34 years I still loved my job. Not many people can say that.”

In addition to the tangible benefits, being a union Boilermaker offers camaraderie and a sense of belonging. Jonathan Nevedal, a Boilermaker graduate apprentice and the 2015 National Apprenticeship Competition winner (Local 169, Detroit, Mich.), says with the assistance of veteran’s program Helmets to Hardhats he found the right path to do something that has a familiar
feel to it. “I’m happy to be a union member. The brotherhood of the military is very similar to being a union member, especially with the Boilermakers.”

Experienced welders interested in becoming a Boilermaker should visit https://www.most-bds.org/tw_program for more information and to register.

US Labor Department Proposes Rule To Help Employers, Sponsors Grow, Diversify Their Apprenticeship Programs

in Featured/Homepage Secondary

Rule would update Equal Employment Opportunity regulations for first time since 1978

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration announced on Thursday a proposed rule to update existing Equal Employment  Opportunity regulations for registered apprenticeship programs. The proposed rule would serve to ensure equal opportunity for all Americans to take part in these apprenticeship programs regardless of race, sex, color, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, or sexual orientation.

In a statement announcing the proposed rule change, the Department of Labor said, “Modernizing and streamlining the rules — which have not been updated since 1978 — will make it easier for employers and program sponsors to effectively grow and diversify their apprenticeship programs.”

The DOL said the proposed rule would amend existing regulations by: 

·         Extending protections against discrimination to include a broader swath of America’s workforce, including protections based on disability, age (40 or older), sexual orientation, and genetic information

·         Simplifying and clarifying the affirmative steps employers and sponsors must take to ensure equal opportunity in apprenticeship 

·         Providing new apprenticeship programs with more time to develop initial affirmative action programs, as well as providing all apprenticeship programs that meet their responsibilities under the rule with additional
flexibility in how often they must update their plans

·         Simplifying and clearly defining the process for analyzing the talent available in the labor market to establish clear and achievable goals for diversity in apprenticeship

·         Clarifying the outreach, recruitment, and retention activities expected of employers by specifying four specific and common-sense required activities, such as advertising openings and partnering with educational
institutions to recruit diverse talent

·         Creating a more flexible framework for the Office of Apprenticeship and States to provide technical assistance and work with apprenticeship programs that are not meeting their affirmative action
responsibilities to bring them back into compliance 

“Since President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address, when he challenged employers and educators to double the number of apprenticeships by 2019, the U.S. has had the largest growth in apprenticeships
in nearly a decade,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “As we continue to make substantial progress in expanding apprenticeships in America, we also need to make sure that those opportunities are available to women, communities of color, those with disabilities, and other underserved populations who have struggled to navigate or access this critical onramp to the skills superhighway.”

Apprenticeships provide a clear career path forward through new skills, higher wages and opportunities for advancement. According to the DOL, apprentices who complete their programs earn an average starting yearly salary of more than $50,000, and during their careers they will earn $300,000 more, on average, than their non-apprentice peers.

International studies suggest that for every $1 invested in apprenticeship, employers get $1.47 back in benefits. Employers with apprenticeship programs are mostly happy with them. The DOL stated that 97 percent of businesses with apprenticeship programs would recommend apprenticeship to other companies. 

Modernizing and streamlining the rules — which have not been updated since 1978 — is supposed to make it easier for employers and program sponsors to effectively grow and diversify their apprenticeship programs. 

The public will have until Jan. 5, 2016, to provide comments on the proposed rule. Comments can be submitted electronically athttp://www.regulations.gov. Additional information about the proposed rule is available at www.doleta.gov/oa/eeo.

Construction Awards Celebrate Building Better Together

in Featured/Homepage Secondary

The St. Louis Construction Cooperative on Thursday
honored businesses and individuals for building the union construction industry
in St. Louis around “the principle that, working together, we can achieve
greatness.”

The St. Louis Construction Cooperative, formerly
known as PRIDE of St. Louis, Inc., is the nation’s oldest, and first, voluntary
labor-management organization in construction.

On Thursday, the members of the cooperative honored
Richard Kellet, Otis Williams, Thomas Heeger, and Monsanto for their
contributions to the construction industry.

The St. Louis Building & Construction Trades
Council picked Richard “Dick” Kellet to receive the Dick Mantia Labor Award.
Kellet, a retired business agent from Pipefitters & Plumbers Local 562, was
honored in part for his leadership of the North County Labor Club after his
retirement, including his work preaching the value of unions to elected
officials.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers
chose Otis Williams for the Joe Rinke Owner Award. Williams is the executive
director of the St. Louis Development Corporation, which is the economic
development agency for St. Louis city. He was recognized, in part, for the
uptick in construction work in the city.

In an aside on the increase in construction activity
in the area, Robert Hunt, a business agent with Ironworkers Local 396, said the
local added 50 apprentices this year, compared to none in the previous six, and
half of them are already working.

The Council of Construction Employers tapped Thomas
Heeger for the Al Fleischer Management Award. Heeger, the retired, former owner
of Acme Erectors and Acme Constructors, was honored as a “straight talker” who
gave generously of his time to many industry organizations, including the AGC,
the Erectors and Riggers Association, the Council of Construction Employers,
the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers, IMPACT, apprenticeship
committees, and PRIDE.

The Industry Impact Award went to Monsanto, which is
in the midst of a $400 million expansion of its Chesterfield site. Robert
Conte, manager of construction and project controls at Monsanto, described the
project as “unique in size for Monsanto in St. Louis,” and hinted that there
could be additional construction work coming to the campus in the not-too-distant
future.

Building Innovation at Washington University in St. Louis

in Homepage Secondary

From the interior to the exterior, Hillman Hall, the
new expansion of the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis,
features innovations produced from a deep re-thinking of how best to conduct
education and research at a university. Edward Lawlor, dean of the Brown
School, credits the building innovations to the involvement of both contractors
and the academic community in the design from the absolute beginning.

“A lot of great ideas came out that I don’t think we
would have had dealing just with architects,” he said. “In the end, we got a
better building, and probably cheaper.”

The three-floor, 105,000-square-foot building is a
groundbreaking facility for Washington University in several ways:

  • it is the first to use raised access floors in
    classrooms and research space,
  • it is the first to use demountable partitions,
  • it is the first with interior gardens,
  • it is the first to incorporate glass curtain wall
    into a Collegiate Gothic design, and
  • it is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and
    Environmental Design) Platinum building on campus.

 

Read the full story in from our article in the
May-June 2015 issue of St. Louis Construction News & Review Magazine.

 

Habitat For Humanity Saint Louis Wins 2015 EPA Indoor Airplus Leader Award

in Homepage Secondary

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has
announced that Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL) is a winner of their
2015 Indoor airPLUS Leader Award.

Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis was sited as a
champion of Indoor airPLUS in the St. Louis market with100% of its homes in
2014 Indoor airPLUS qualified. HFHSL is recognized for its efforts to promote
safer, healthier and more comfortable indoor environments.

The EPA created Indoor airPLUS to help builders meet
the growing consumer preference for homes with improved indoor air quality.
Indoor airPLUS builds on the foundation of EPA’s ENERGY STAR requirements for
new homes and provides additional construction specifications to provide
comprehensive indoor air quality protections in new homes.

Kyle Hunsburger, Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis’
Director of Construction said, “we are pleased that our efforts in building
energy efficient houses have been recognized by the Environmental Protection
Agency. It is an honor to receive the 2015 Indoor airPLUS Leader Award. We have
been building to LEED standards for many years and our goal is always to
provide the healthiest and most energy efficient houses for our homebuyers.”

Construction specifications include the careful
selection and installation of moisture control systems; heating, ventilating,
and air-conditioning systems; combustion-venting systems; radon resistant
construction; and low-emitting building materials.

A builder must first design a home to earn the
ENERGY STAR label — the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. The
result is a home that is significantly more energy efficient than a home built
to minimum code, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To earn the Indoor
airPLUS label, the builder then adds additional home design and construction
features to help protect qualified homes from moisture and mold, pests,
combustion gases, and other airborne pollutants. Before the home officially
earns the Indoor airPLUS label, it is inspected by an independent third-party
to ensure compliance with EPA’s rigorous guidelines and specifications.

Habitat for Humanity
Saint Louis
is a not-for-profit, ecumenical housing ministry working in partnership
with individuals and communities of all faiths to improve housing conditions and
provide safe, decent and affordable housing in St. Louis City and County. With
more than 355 homes already built, HFHSL is one of the leading housing
developers in St. Louis. HFHSL regularly ranks among the top Habitat for
Humanity affiliates in the country. HFHSL sponsors, volunteers, and partner
families work side-by-side to build or rehab homes ensuring that every
deserving family in St. Louis has a decent place to live. Currently, HFHSL is
building five houses in The Tiffany Neighborhood. The houses are being built to
LEED Certified Platinum standards.

In addition to a down payment and a mortgage, each HFHSL homebuyer
invests 350 sweat-equity volunteer hours into building or rehabbing a home and
attending life skills classes. Habitat homeowners are teachers, healthcare
providers and returning college students determined to achieve homeownership
and create a legacy for their families. Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis:  Building Homes, Building Hope, Building St. Louis.
For more information, visit: http://www.habitatstl.org.

St. Louis Wins Coveted Grant to Elevate the Existing Plant Science Ecosystem

in Homepage Secondary

$500,000 grant will support expanded innovation hub in
Creve Coeu
r

The U.S. Commerce Department, Economic Development Administration has
awarded St. Louis Economic Development Partnership a $500,000 grant to develop
a comprehensive master plan for an expanded innovation hub in Creve Coeur that
will strengthen opportunities for regional economic growth and globalization in
bioscience research and commercialization, support entrepreneurship and
collaborative innovation, create high paying jobs, enhance workforce
opportunity at a range of levels, increase opportunities for investors in the
region, and accelerate product time to market.

“St. Louis is known around the world for plant
science. This strength is attracting new companies and new researchers to the
area”, said St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. “This grant will allow us
to explore the full potential of plant science in St. Louis, by planning out a
physical hub that is concentrated on agricultural technology. It will be a
magnet for new ideas and scientific breakthroughs.”

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic
Development Jay Williams today announced that St. Louis Economic Development
Partnership is among the recipients of the Regional Innovation Strategies
Program Science and Research Park Development Grants.

“Supporting innovators and entrepreneurs at every
stage is crucial to ensuring America remains competitive in the global
economy,” said Assistant Secretary Williams. “The Regional Innovation
Strategies Program lays the groundwork from which centers of research and
innovation can take root and thrive in cities across the country. I look
forward to seeing what innovative opportunities come from Regional Innovation
Strategies’ funding.”

The
$500,000 grant was extremely competitive. 70 regions were vying for the funding.
St. Louis was one of 12 to win grants. The Science and Research Park
Development Grants program provides funding for feasibility and planning for
the construction of new or expanded science or research parks, or the
renovation of existing facilities.

Anchored in the region by the Donald Danforth Plant
Science Center, Monsanto and Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis is a global
plant science leader with a concentration of more than 750 plant science PhDs,
more than anywhere else in the world.

“Seventeen years ago, Dr. Danforth dreamed of creating
something special and lasting for the benefit of our region. He envisioned the
Danforth Center and its research as part of a larger regional initiative that
would create jobs and economic opportunities while advancing plant science
solutions for some of the world’s greatest challenges. These are the goals that
he and the rest of us at the Center work toward every day. This
multi-institutional grant will help the plant science research and innovation
ecosystem in St. Louis to continue on the path toward achieving them,” said Sam
Fiorello, chief operating officer, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and
president, Bio Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park.

The plan will define the desirable mix of active uses
and the density and scale of future development, including the exploration of
economic and sustainability strategies.

The Master Plan will include strategies key to
creating a thriving research community integrated into its surroundings,
including a design framework; an economic study and strategies; traffic,
pedestrian, biking circulation, and parking strategies; and sustainable
strategies.

“We are excited to embark on this master planning
project to further cultivate innovation in Creve Coeur and the St. Louis
region,” stated Creve Coeur Mayor Barry Glantz. “Through this
process, we will be able to build upon our growing technology and life science
industries, provide new jobs and create a truly unique research
community.”

For
more information about the Regional Innovation Strategies Program, including a
full list of the grant recipients, please visit:
http://www.eda.gov/oie/2014-risp-competition.htm.

College Readiness Isn’t Career Readiness

in Homepage Secondary

Ever wonder why
young people entering the workforce seem ill-prepared work? One reason could be
that schools are so focused on academic preparation for college that they skimp
on preparing students for work or a career.

A report released
earlier this week by the governing board for the National Assessment of
Educational Progress, sometimes called the Nation’s Report Card, concluded that
career readiness and college readiness require different, but overlapping, sets
of skills.

ACT, the
organization behind both the popular college entrance exam with the same name
and the WorkKeys tests, issued a white paper on Wednesday that called for a new
model of education that recognizes skills needed for success at work are
distinct from the skills needed for success in college and cannot be measured
by the academic tests states are using to rate schools and guide instruction.

State and local
education officials talk a lot about preparing students for college and
careers, but often treat the two as the same.

“There is a common
belief that readiness for college and readiness for work are identical,” said
Wayne Camara, ACT senior vice president of research. “That’s simply not the
case. ACT is defining what it means to be work ready, as differentiated from
college ready, with the goal of helping better gauge students’ overall
readiness for success after high school.”

ACT calls for a
more expansive, holistic model of college and career readiness that emphasizes
the various skill areas and competencies needed for success in college and
work. This new model would incorporate multiple domains and specific skills
associated with career clusters or occupations.

“We must be
concerned about learning readiness, not just academic readiness,” said Jon
Erickson, ACT president. “There are many different factors, cognitive and
noncognitive, that can impact an individual’s success in college and the
workplace, and we need to take them all into account when we measure student
readiness.”

The Council of
Chief State School Officers recently weighed in on the same debate with a
report called “Opportunities and Options” that identifies four types of skills
that contribute to success after high school:

  • Core academic
    skills in English, math and science
  • Cross-cutting
    capabilities such as critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving and
    information and technology skills
  • Behavioral skills
    such as dependability, working effectively with others, adapting and managing
    stress
  • Navigation skills
    needed to successfully navigate future pathways, such as self-knowledge of
    abilities, likes and dislikes, values, exploration and planning skills, and
    knowledge of majors, occupations and career opportunities.

 

Counter to the
desire for a single grade or score that measures everything, ACT argues that
even workplace readiness alone cannot be expressed with a single score. ACT’s
research points to three levels of workplace readiness that range from the more
general to the more specific:

  • Work
    readiness—possessing the core or essential level of the knowledge and skills
    that are normally required for success in typical workforce training programs
  • Career
    readiness—possessing the specific academic skills and the overall performance
    level required for readiness in jobs within a particular career cluster
  • Job
    readiness—possessing the skills and knowledge needed for success in a
    particular job within an occupation or career cluster.

 

“We still strongly
believe that all students should be educated to the same set of high standards
to prepare them for success in either college or workforce training programs,
whichever direction they choose to go,” Erickson said. “However, when we are
measuring students’ college and career readiness, we must take into account
that specific competencies for work and college can vary.”

The paper from ACT
is the second in a series of reports that examine college and career readiness
in depth. It can be viewed and downloaded on ACT’s website at:
http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/reports/unpackingreadiness.html.

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