News - Page 313

TUAC Releases Second Annual Labor Supply Survey

Is there a shortage of craft labor in construction or not? The Association of Union Constructors (TUAC) recently commissioned the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) to try and answer the question.


Nearly 800 contractors, labor representatives, owner-clients, and construction association representatives answered the CLRC’s survey.


Management (association representatives, construction managers, contractors/subcontractors, owner/clients) were much less positive or optimistic than union/labor representatives about the prospects for construction growth, the adequacy of the union craft labor supply, and the amount of time it takes to fill union craft jobs.


To put it another way, the union/labor contingent was the most positive about growth prospects, the least concerned about union craft labor shortages, and rated the time lapse in filling union craft jobs the shortest.


Management is less optimistic about growth in construction and maintenance work than in 2015. A plurality of management respondents still thought there would be very strong growth in 2016, but there was greater diversity in opinions about growth in work opportunities this year than last year.


There was almost an even split between those who thought there was a shortage of union craft labor (52%) and those who thought there was not. About a fourth (23 percent) of the respondents reported a shortage of at least four percent in their organization. Carpenters, plumbers/pipefitters/steamfitters and electricians exhibited the most pervasive shortage. Teamsters had the smallest percent of respondents reporting a shortage in their organization. Only three crafts—boilermakers, carpenters and iron workers—had a smaller reported shortage in 2016 than in 2015.


If one considers that a labor surplus also is a problem, then some sort of union craft labor supply issue or “problem” exists for well over half of the sample, whether it be a large or small shortage, or a surplus. Only 32 percent of respondents said their union craft labor staffing level was the right size.


The largest industry represented in the survey, commercial/institutional construction and maintenance, had the second highest growth projections and the lowest worker shortage ratings, which suggests “better” health for this industry, relatively speaking, compared to the other industries.


Results for the second largest industry in the sample, utility construction, were somewhat counterintuitive in that respondents projected low growth, but also reported the largest worker shortages.


The greatest growth was projected for three of the four corners of the United States: New England, the Southeast and the Northwest. New England and the Southeast had elevated concerns regarding staffing levels compared to other regions; thus, combined with their stronger growth expectations, those regions may be expected to have some of the strongest challenges meeting union labor craft supply needs. The Northwest region had the fewest concerns (compared to the other regions) regarding adequate staffing, so that provides some labor supply relief since good growth was also projected there. The low growth prospects for the largest region, the East North Central region, were met with lower shortage ratings as well, so labor supplies may be less stressed there than other regions.


The full report is available at TAUC_LABOR_SUPPLY_SURVEY_REPORT

Drivers’ Pension Fund Going Broke


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.

NGA West Site Preparation Project

This project will officially begin after the NGA site selection Record of Decision, expected on June 3, 2016. The scope of the City-led project, with an end date in September 2017, will be to clear the site for the NGA-led construction project. Contracts will include:

  • Demolition
  • Abatement
  • Hauling
  • Excavation
  • Other related site clearing activities

This industry forum will give you a chance to meet the project management team as well as receive information on bonding, business loans, M/WBE certification, permitting, and partnership opportunities with the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE).

In attendance will be the SLDC Contract Compliance Department, Trinal, SLATE, Business Diversity & Community Programs-Certification, Contractor Loan Fund, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership Loan Department, Community Insurance Center-Bonding, St. Louis Minority Business Council, MOKAN, Small Business Development Centers, the City Building Division and the AGC of Missouri.

Please note that the meeting is contingent on the official NGA Record of Decision announcement on June 3, 2016.

Steve Lewis, Vice President & Anthony Lancia, MBA, VP of Industry Relations

Healthworks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis Opened Saturday, May 14

Kids Museum 3Thanks to ISC Contracting and Uhlig Architecture, the St.  Louis region’s first-ever children’s museum solely dedicated to health education opened its doors on Saturday, May 14, to deliver a unique form of ‘edutainment’ designed to give children and families the passion to lead healthy lives. Debuting as HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis,  the $2.5 million facility boasts 12,000 square feet of hands-on, interactive exhibit and programming space that is accessible to those of all abilities. HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis is located at 1100 Macklind Ave, near the Saint Louis Science Center. Admission is $7 per person and free for those two-years-old and younger. Parking is free.

“We are working to infectiously contaminate children of all ages to learn, have fun and make great life choices,” said Shannon Woodcock, president and CEO of HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis. “We are working on the rapid spread of healthy life habits, and couldn’t be more excited to have opened our doors. We look forward to infecting the countless at our facility in the years to come.”

HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis is anchored by a 55-foot long, 25-foot wide, 8-foot tall human skeletal structure that serves as the first universally accessible indoor playground. This “Interactive Dude” features a leg slide; a bone balance beam; an electronic, memory-style healthy eating game that is attached to the digestive track; an all-bout poop panel that passes gas; the ability to go inside a skull and learn about the different parts of the brain and their functions; and more.

Visiting children can also take a virtual 10-minute, 4D tour through the mouth, following an apple’s trip through the digestive system in The Mouth Theatre, which includes a bubble experience. The Face Your Future exhibit gives children a glimpse into the future using age progression software that showcases what each child could look like based on life choices tied to tobacco usage, sun health and food consumption. There is also a mock medical office, dentist office, pharmacy and Farmer’s Market with tools, technology and dress-up stations to help kids transform themselves into mini-healthcare professionals or play the patient or customer. There is also an All About Me data collection station; a fully-functioning kitchen for cooking demonstrations and educational series, and an immersive play space using BeamTM (previously EyePlay) technology to host interactive floor games.

The Delta Dental Health Theatre, which was a popular fixture on Laclede’s Landing for the last 38 years, is also housed in HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis. It serves as an interactive learning center with unique, high-energy, educator-led programming designed to increase individual knowledge about the connection between personal choices and health outcomes, encourage positive health practices and turns visitors into health advocates for themselves, their families and the community. The widely-popular, world’s largest fiberglass teeth are also be on display for kids to interact with in a whole new way.

ISC Contracting was the general contractor for this landmark project. The architect was Uhlig Architecture, LLC, and the exhibit design work was completed by Qualified Services, Inc.  Cre8play is the company that designed and fabricated the “Interactive Dude.”

HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis became a reality thanks to a capital campaign that got underway in the spring of 2015 with the goal of raising $2.5 million for this project. To date, more than $1.5 million has been secured, thanks, in large part, to an $850,000 contribution by long-time supporter Delta Dental of Missouri. Other key financial supporters included members of the Delta Dental Health Theatre’s Board of Directors and staff, St. Louis Office for Developmental Disability Resources, The Smile Generation, The Little Medical School, Dana Brown Charitable Trust, Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation, theTrio Foundation of St. Louis and IKEA. This project is also made possible through a partnership with the Saint Louis Science Center and collaborations with several regional healthcare and business organizations. The building housing the new museum is owned by the Saint Louis Science Center Foundation, which has entered into a long-term lease agreement with HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis.

HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis came into existence as a result of efforts to expand The Delta Dental Health Theatre to address broader, overall health issues after Delta Dental of Missouri became a major corporate sponsor in 2004. Those plans evolved and grew more ambitious over the next several years, ultimately leading to the closure of the original theatre on Laclede’s Landing in downtown St. Louis after 38 years so it could be housed in the new, dramatically expanded museum. The Delta Dental Health Theatre was originally organized as a program under the Foundation of the Greater St. Louis Dental Society in 1977. In 2002, it was incorporated as an independent 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization.

To learn about HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis, call (314) 241-7391, visit find the organization on Facebook or follow them on Twitter using the handle @youcantoucan.

Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures Celebrates 75th Anniversary


Lawrence FMS Past

Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures is celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2916 with the following goals: provide a safe work environment for employees to master their skills, foster an environment that promotes continual improvement, and produce a quality product that meets or exceeds our customer’s expectations.


Lawrence Canvas Products Company opened their doors on May 16, 1941, manufacturing and selling tarpaulins, truck and trailer covers. In 1984, the company grew to a full service company, manufacturing and installing awnings and tents. In 1996, the name of the company changed to Lawrence Fabric Structures to better describe the wide range of fabric products that anchored the core business as they moved into a 68,000-square-foot plant in West St. Louis County.


As the company continued to grow into the 21st Century with the addition of exhibit and architectural elements, metal products became an essential part of the business. As metal components and metal awnings became a mainstay part of the business, “Metal” was added to the name, thus becoming Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures in January 2010.


On December 5, 2012, Lawrence earned ISO 9001 certification from Alliance International Registrar, LLC, for successfully implementing a management system. They re-certified onDecember 4, 2015, which is good through December 3, 2018.


As of October 21, 2015, Lawrence is employee-owned. The newly implemented employee stock ownership plan will promote continued success and customer satisfaction.


To learn more about Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. visit their website:

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


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.


HOK Trivia Night Raises More Than $13,000 For Arts & Education Council of St. Louis

HOK Trivia Night Winners

HOK hosted nearly 100 employees and guests at their 10 S. Broadway office community space for its first ever Questions & Cocktails charity event to raise donations and awareness for the Arts & Education Council of St. Louis. The trivia night included raffles, prizes and eight rounds of trivia questions. Attendees enjoyed delicious food and drink and, in combination with a week-long donation campaign, helping raise more than $13,000.

HOK partnered with multiple local product vendors to make the evening a success. Trivia round sponsors included: Brad Randazzo, Facilitec; Lynn Menzel, Teknion; Sondra Carlson, Koroseal; Larry Richie, Working Spaces/Kimball; Amanda Rieffer, Tiles of Distinction and Boardwalk Hardwood; Tiffany Auer, Tandus Centiva; Kim Caldwell, KDR; Michael Moore, Armstrong; Matthew Hutchison, Coalesse; Sue Harken-Houser, Steelcase, and Karey Brown, Knoll.

HOK has been a proud supporter of the Arts & Education Council since 1992. Each year, HOK employees work together to create unique events to raise funds for this worthy cause.

“It has been more than a pleasure for us to support a thriving arts and cultural community that we believe enriches the quality of life for all,” said Nora Akerberg, vice president and interiors practice leader, and Arts and Education Council board member. “It’s an amazing group that energizes life in many different ways for St. Louis.”

The Arts and Education Council (A&E), is the St. Louis region’s United Arts Fund providing financial, technical and educational support for arts organizations.

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

KWAME Completes Work On $1.1 Million Maryville University Athletic Center Expansion


Maryville 1The $1.1 million expansion of Maryville University’s John E. and Adaline Simon Athletic Center was completed recently with Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) as construction project manager. ACI Boland provided architectural design.

The student fitness center was expanded to 3,100 square feet, with a new workout room and state-of-the art exercise equipment. The 4,260-square-foot athletic staff offices also were relocated within the athletic center and completely renovated. The offices feature a high-tech conference room for video viewing.

Kwame took steps to ensure the safety of students and staff during construction, which took place on an active campus.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top 15 pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services.

D&D Technologies Safety Pledge Challenge


Pledge To Promote Simple Steps Save Lives For May National Drowning Safety Month & Win the Ultimate Pool Safety Gate Hardware Set.

May is National Drowning Safety Month, and a reminder that pool owners must protect their loved ones from accidental drownings.D&D Technologies is supporting the cause by challenging everyone to take D&D’s Simple Steps Save Lives Pledge, take a photo of the pledge with the pledge taker, and post it on your Facebook page with two hashtags #ITookThePledge & #WaterSafetyMonth. The person with the most posts wins the ultimate pool safety gate hardware set; a MagnaLatch® ALERT and two TruClose® hinges, retail value of $240.
“We are on a mission to save lives,” says Jim Paterson, VP of Sales and Marketing, North & South America, D&D Technologies. “In the U.S., drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between ages 1-4 and the second leading cause for those between the ages of 5-14.  All the innovation, technology and passion that we put into manufacturing safety gate products are done with one intention in mind: protect children, protect loved ones.”
D&D Technologies Director of Marketing, Jackie Barrera, shares that “the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia recently released statistics showing that over the last 13 years in Australia, a large number of the drowning deaths in children aged 0-4 years were caused by a faulty pool gate or a gate being propped open. Although the U.S. currently does not collect such data, it clearly shows the importance of having a gate latch and self-closing hinges that properly work on a fence safeguarding a body of water.” 

MagnaLatch ALERT and TruClose self-closing hinges work together to ensure the gate closes and latches properly.  If the gate is opened or not securely latched, the ALERT will sound an alarm to notify adults of the vulnerable access point.
D&D revolutionized the world by the invention of the world’s first magnetic gate latch. David Doyle, founding father of D&D Technologies discovered neodymium magnets never lose power. He engineered and patented the world’s first magnetic safety latch. Since then, MagnaLatch® has become the number one child and pet safety pool gate latch in the world. Combined with TruClose®self-closing hinges, made out of engineering polymer, D&D offers one of the most reliable solutions for pool and spa gates.
Remember, drowning is preventable.  Take time to get involved during May National Water Safety Month. Join the movement. Takethe pledge and post on your Facebook. Enter to win at


THE PLEDGE: Every child deserves to be protected. I pledge to spread the message that Simple Steps Save Lives to my family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. I will let people know that adding as many proven water safety steps as possible is the best way to assure a safe and fun experience at pools and spas, because you can never know which one might save a child’s life — until it does. —


D&D Technologies is the recognized leader in safety and premium grade gate hardware manufacturing, including MagnaLatch®* magnetic pool and safety gate latches, TruClose® adjustable, self-closing gate hinges, SureClose®*commercial grade hydraulic closer & hinge, and LokkLatch® gate latches.

Electrical Connection Sponsors 2nd Second Season of St. Louis Football Club


Soccer PlayerSaint Louis Football Club (Saint Louis FC) has kicked off its second season at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo. and the Electrical Connection is again a key sponsor. Many of the fans will be wearing Saint Louis FC jerseys emblazoned with the Electrical Connection logo. Through its web site,, the Electrical Connection will be offering a free jersey giveaway at every home game. 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).

“We are excited to again be partnering with the Electrical Connection this year after it helped Saint Louis FC bring outdoor professional soccer back to St. Louis last year,” said Kevin Wygant, director of corporate partnerships, Saint Louis FC. “We all know that St. Louis has a unique passion for soccer and it really shows in the Electrical Connection’s sponsorship and all of our corporate and civic support.”

This year, Saint Louis FC is planning a “going green game” presented by the Electrical Connection to raise awareness of energy conservation and a cleaner environment. Saint Louis FC is playing 16 home games in the newly refurbished World Wide Technology Soccer Park. The park features a Biergarten, Corner Flag Hospitality Patios, a Fan Zone, space for tailgate parties, a Craft Beer Corner, and great food options. For game tickets, visit

“Our Saint Louis FC partnership is a great way to connect with our customers, many of whom grew up playing soccer and are now passing their passion for the game along to their children and grandchildren,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “Our NECA contractors and IBEW electricians have built and serviced their schools, churches and neighborhoods and are proud to be energizing the sport St. Louis families love so much.”

Saint Louis FC plays in 29-team United Soccer League (USL).

1 311 312 313 314 315 318