Ralph Drury, formerly with Bloomsdale Excavating Co. Inc., passed away on March 16, 2017. He served on the AGC of Missouri Board of Directors for 18 years in addition to serving on the AGC of St. Louis Board of Directors from 1986 through 1991.
Ralph was an Airman First Class in the U.S. Air Force, Executive Vice President of Bloomsdale Excavating Co. Inc., Past Grand Knight of K of C 1048, Past Commander of Legion Post 554, 18 Year Director of Associated General Contractors of Missouri, 20 Year Board Member of Mid-East Construction Association, 22 Year Trustee with Associated General Contractors – Eastern District Laborers Training, 30+ Year Alderman City of Bloomsdale, and General Partner of Pointe Basse Development.
Ralph lived life to the fullest with his loving wife Lucille, their children and spouses. He was blessed with 13 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. He lived a very full 85 years. Ralph was a consummate provider, loving husband, father, grandfather, a walking sunshine of truth and humor and was known as “Giant Papa” to his great grandchildren. He has helped shape numerous lives and because of him we hope to continue his GIANT Legacy. Ralph had a tremendous work ethic and was a very generous and loving man that many looked up to.
Construction Group Recognized for Inclusion and Talent Attraction
The Associated General Contractors of Missouri was recognized with the Arcus Award for Inclusion and Talent Attraction at the 4th Annual Arcus Awards event on Feb. 23. The Academy Awards-style program, sponsored by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and presented by RubinBrown LLP, honored the achievements of companies and organizations that inspire a greater St. Louis. Over 850 executives, entrepreneurs and civic leaders attended the dinner program at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.
The AGC of Missouri (AGCMO) was one of two organizations recognized for innovative inclusion initiatives in the awards category, sponsored by Express Scripts. AGCMO was the first of 92 chapters of AGC of America to hire a Vice President of Inclusion and to create an inclusion department. In collaboration with its members and other industry partners, AGCMO also developed a number of initiatives including operating the Construction Careers Center charter high school, supporting the Building Union Diversity program, being a financial contributor and board member of the Regional Union Construction Center that provides advisory boards of directors for minority and women construction firms, and investing in serving on the board of the Contractor Loan Fund, a $10.6 million private equity fund that provides financing for minority and women-owned businesses. AGCMO also established relationships with the Father’s Support Center and the Missouri’s Division of Corrections to explore apprenticeship opportunities.
The other organization recognized in this category was TheBANK of Edwardsville which opened a fully bilingual banking center inside the Fairmont City, Illinois, public library in 2015. It serves a community that is 70 percent Hispanic and where almost 40 percent of the residents live below the poverty level. Fairmont City had no other banks, forcing the residents to rely on grocery stores and check cashing stores for their financial needs.
Commenting on the award, Leonard Toenjes, CAE, president of AGCMO, said, “It is truly a great honor to be recognized for our work on diversity and workforce issues. Our members have invested a great deal of time, money and effort into inclusion and much of that work over the years is coming to fruition. Our dedicated staff also has worked tirelessly on this important issue. I especially want to thank our construction industry partners as well as all the Missouri-based companies and government agencies that also have provided tremendous leadership on inclusion. We are a stronger community because of everyone’s joint efforts.”
Front Row (left to right): Monica Bailey, McCarthy Building Companies; Steve Lewis, AGC of Missouri; Len Toenjes, AGC of Missouri; Marlene Davis, Alderwoman, City of St. Louis; Roslyn Croft, Tarlton Corporation.
Back Row (left to right): Earl Strauther, Jr., Paric Corporation; Precious Jackson, Alberici Constructors, Inc.; Steve Faust, icon Mechanical Construction & Engineering, LLC; Anthony Lancia, AGC of Missouri; Aaron Williams, Alberici Constructors, Inc.
The Associated General Contractors of Missouri is the leading voice of the construction industry in Missouri, representing over 500 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties throughout Missouri – 30 –
AGC of Missouri offices are located at:
1221 Jefferson Street 6330 Knox Industrial Drive, Ste. 200
Jefferson City, Missouri 65109 St. Louis, Missouri 63139
Schmitt, Jim, baptized into the hope of Christ’s resurrection, Monday, January 30, 2017. Loving father of Harrison, Hannah, Hayden and Graham Schmitt. Husband of Michelle Schmitt for 19 years. Brother of Cathy (Tom) Arnold. Uncle of Melissa and Mike Arnold; Wyatt, Rylee, Fynn, Dylann and Sydnee Collard; Braden Meyer. Dear great uncle of Adrianna, Samantha, Tyler, Jordan, Madison and Hunter. Our dear cousin and friend to many.
Services: Funeral Mass at Most Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Eureka, Friday, 12:00 p.m. Interment Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Friends of Kids with Cancer or Make a Wish Foundation. Visitation at SCHRADER Funeral Home, EUREKA, Thursday 4- 8 p.m.
George Hensley, Jr., President of Hensley Construction, Inc., lost his courageous battle with cancer on Sunday, December 18.
A visitation was held on Wednesday, December 21 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Bopp Chapel, Kirkwood, MO. A memorial service will be held on December 22 at 1 pm at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 243 W. Argonne Drive, Kirkwood, MO 63122, (314) 966-8600.
The AGC of Missouri recently noted the passing of one of its past presidents and offered its condolences to the family of William R. Montgomery. Mr. Montgomery was President of the former AGC of St. Louis in 1992 and was truly dedicated to the construction industry and the AGC.
The AGC of Missouri kicked off BuildMO Week at PARIC’s 212 S. Meramec job site in Clayton on Monday. BuildMO Week celebrates the construction industry in Missouri. Additional events were held in Jefferson City and Springfield on October 11, and at the Construction Training Center in St. Louis on October 14.
Leonard Toenjes, president, AGC of Missouri, said 212 S. Meramec is a symbol of what construction means to the Missouri economy. By the time it is complete, it will have provided 250,000 hours of construction employment to area workers.
The 212 S. Meramec project is 382,666-square-foot, 26-story post-tension concrete high-rise building. When complete, it will be the largest multi-family, mixed-used building in Clayton. The $60 million tower will host retail space, a parking garage, 250 luxury apartments spread across the top 20 stories of the building, and a roof-top swimming pool.
Construction on the high-rise building began in October 2015, and completion is expected in June 2017. During BuildMO Week, workers were pouring the 17th floor of the structure. Keith Wolkoff, president of PARIC, said that as of September 30, 2016, the 212 S. Meramec project had logged a total of 92,453 hours of work by laborers, carpenters, operators, ironworkers, electricians, sheet metal workers, plumbers, pipefitters, cement masons, sprinkler fitters, glaziers, tapers and roofers.
“Three years ago, the developer challenged us and our partners to deliver a best in class, mixed-use building with great amenities and a harmony of great design and marketability,” Wolkoff said. “We are very proud of the technology and innovation we’ve applied to this project to reach that goal, including BIM 3-D modeling to remove waste and robotic layout to eliminate re-work,” he said. “We brought BASF in as a consultant to develop a specialty concrete mix not used in St. Louis before to hit the (strength requirements) with less weight. BASF has worked on the majority of the tallest concrete building designs in the world.”
212 S. Meramec is a joint venture of PARIC and McHugh. Major subcontractors on the project include CECO Concrete Construction, concrete; Murphy Company, HVAC and plumbing engineer; Kaiser Electric, electrical engineer; and Fire Tech, fire protection engineer. The developer/owner is WORP/CA Clayton, LLC. Architect is HDA Architects and Alper Audi is structural engineer. Project investors include union pension funds and others.
Toenjes noted that construction is a major driver of Missouri’s economy, employing more than 116,200 persons throughout the state, with Missouri ranking 4th in the nation in one-month employment growth between July and August 2016.
In 2015, he said, Missouri construction contributed $11 billion (3.8 percent) of the state’s GDP of $293 billion. That same year, Missouri construction wages and salaries totaled $ $6.5 billion. In 2014, construction workers’ pay in Missouri averaged $54,400, 18 percent more than all private sector employees in the state. Missouri had 13,000 construction firms in 2014, of which 92 percent had fewer than 20 employees.
While celebrating what the construction industry has accomplished, Toenjes pointed to challenges ahead. Employment has passed pre-recession figures and the industry is now facing a critical workforce shortage. “Every day we hear new reports of contractors turning down or delaying work because of the skilled worker shortage,” said Toenjes.
In the last six months, the AGC of Missouri launched a new web portal to connect contractors with unfilled jobs to people seeking work. “We never had to do that before,” he said
“When young people are contemplating a career choice, we hope they will consider construction,” he added. “Our industry can be a rewarding and challenging career choice. With new technologies, sustainable buildings, new construction methods and other innovations, we are looking to the best and brightest to join our industry. We need bodies, hands, and brains to keep building in Missouri. Come join us – there are jobs waiting!”