A Pile of News - December 2019

A Pile of News:
December 2019

A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers and suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
by Matt Bisbee, PDCA
 
Top Stories
Guess who's driving the piles? National news outlets covered the ceremony when officials in Charleston, SC broke ground on a new landmark with a high level of cultural and project significance. The International African American Museum is a $90-million, privately funded project in progress in the historical city. Local contractor Parker Marine promptly delivered the first of many piles to the jobsite where they will drive concrete and steel sheeting. The museum is scheduled to open in 2021.

An understanding of federal regulations impacting wetlands: Minnesota engineering firm Braun Intertec provides a unique resource on their blog. Review this OnDemand Webinar by Daniel DeJoode, Ph.D., who examines regulatory changes to federal environmental policy.

Precedent setting lawsuit? A group is suing a Florida city for imposing what it considers policy that forces contractors with municipal contracts to pay above minimum wage, among other cost prohibitive mandates. Read more. In other Florida regulatory news, Workers Comp rates appear to be headed down again, for the third year in a row.

There are better things they can do: It was encouraging to read this Congressman's commentary, saying a surface transportation reauthorization is the "most important work" for Congress this year; the high-ranking chairman adds "100 year-old bridges" will exacerbate transportation inefficiencies. 

Because puppies are proven click-bait:
A stated core value at Corman Kokosing is "Be a good member of the community." The Annapolis Junction, MD contractor dedicated a heartwarming Facebook post to staff member Karen Matassa-Countiss who lives by that motto. And, she appears to volunteer herself for a second 40-hour week on her expansive dog rescuing efforts. Great job, Karen!
 
Association and Chapters
The Pope, Santa and Ron Jeremy walked up to the bar at a PDCA event in California... Plan to attend the PDCA of the Pacific Coast Holiday Luncheon on December 6th at Hotel Mac in Richmond, CA. See more details and RSVP here. You are encouraged to bring a dirty joke!

Congratulations! Citadel Cadet Hunter Hutton wins the Mac Nigels Scholarship! PDCA of South Carolina Chapter recognized him at the November dinner meeting; Scott Nigels presented the plaque and $2,000. 

The PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter hosted the Engineers Conference; attendees heard seven presentations including one from Chad Held of Eustis Engineering, who gave a scientific study of driven pile set-up in soft clay.


Mark your 2020 calendars:
Coming Jan. 17, 2020, the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter will host the Annual Oyster Roast at Palmetto Pile Driving. On Feb. 7, the Northeast Florida Chapter will host an organizational luncheon. And on March 11-13, PDCA and Pile Dynamics, Inc. present DFDTA in Orlando. More details and events can be found on the PDCA Upcoming Events Page.


Avoid the malls! Shop The PDCA Store anytime for unique, logo merchandise to give at your next holiday gathering. In doing so, you are supporting the driven pile industry. Have a safe and happy season!
 
Recognitions
AET in St. Paul, MN promotes Patrick Barnhouse and Clint Grzywinski. Geo-Technology Associates, Inc. promotes Tim Fowler to associate in Frederick, MD. Golder Associates, Inc. names Dr. Jiun-Yih Chen senior geotechnical consultant in Houston, Hunter Sartain practice leader in Atlanta. Group Industries in Baton Rouge promotes Eric Fauveau to project estimator. Hardesty & Hanover announces Victor Minerva joins Rye, NY as director of planning. Infrastructure Consulting and Engineering, LLC in Columbia, SC names Jim Kupferer VP business development. GEOKON in Lebanon, NH announces Nolan Seles as regional sales engineer and Trevor Madden as sales associate. Charleston, SC-based Insight Group welcomes Nick Lacour as well as these unique, new mobile labs.

More: ECS Limited opens new Cincinnati office, names John Lindsey VP/branch manager and Mark Carlson chief engineer. McCarthy Houston welcomes new business development director Jonathan Schmaltz and general superintendent Condon Verble. PND Engineers adds accountant Sarah Boeckman, engineer Levi Overbeck in Anchorage and EIT Caitlan Richard in Seattle. Shannon & Wilson's Portland office names new staff: Christine Maher, Megan Worthington. Terracon reorganizes national leadership, elevates Bob Cords, David Lipka, Mohammed Nasim, R. Sean Williams. Minnesota's Veit & Company welcomes Stacy Finley to leadership in business development. Finally, congrats to Judy, who celebrates 45 years of keeping the trains moving at LG Barcus & Sons in Kansas City.
Dewberry news: firm named 2019 employer of the year by the Central Florida Women's Transportation Seminar and ENR Southeast Design Firm of the Year

GRL Engineers, Inc. husband and wife team Scott Webster, P.E. and Karen Webster, P.E. earn the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award for work on a North Carolina bridge; they'll be honored at a gala in D.C.

GZA
's Jay Womack  named Outstanding Citizen Volunteer of the Year by the Illinois Assn. of Park Districts!


i+iconUSA
's Mike Trettel named to Pittsburgh Magazine's 40 Under 40.


S&ME
Charleston, SC VP Melvin C. Williams receives ACEC Community Service Award and he joins the   Furman University Riley Institute 14th class of Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI)


Acquisitions: Dewberry Engineers
acquires California-based engineering firm Drake Haglan and Associates. Southern Earth Sciences Inc. acquires Quality Engineering Services. Golder & Associates opens new office in York, Maine. GeoEngineers Inc. launches Boston-based, national Construction Design Group for heavy civil contractors; Franklin Grynkewicz and Steve Spencer will lead the team.


Anniversaries: Shannon & Wilson
of Seattle is 65, Continental Construction Co. in Memphis is 50!
 
Newsmakers
Albany Times Union in NY profiles a C.D. Perry, LLC riverfront restoration project.

American Journal of Transportation
updates on a Weeks Marine dredging project in Virginia.


American Way 
(a magazine in airplane seat pockets) plugs i+iconUSA pier project in St. Pete, FL.


The Astorian
newspaper in Oregon reports on municipal contract awarded to Bergerson Construction.


Bisnow Boston
looks at a big downtown development; Haley & Aldrich was participating engineer.


Business in Edmonton's
November cover is Valard; CEO Barkley Adams and blue trucks prominent. 


CE Magazine
features the Hardesty & Hanover and Cianbro vehicle/rail bridge connecting ME and NH. 


Civil + Structural Engineer Media
talks with PND president Jim Campbell.  


Construction Executive
publishes column by McHugh VP Natalie Perdraza on recruiting strategies. 


Crain's New York Business List
includes Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants.


Deep Foundations magazine
includes photo of Foundation Constructors' Sam Follett at the ballpark.


DJC Oregon
says Christine Miller, Lauren Sherman, Megan Worthington of Shannon & Wilson, Inc. are Women of Vision 2019.


ENR Midwest Top Specialty Contractors
list both Veit & Co. in Minnesota and Aldridge Electric in Chicago.


Fox2Now St. Louis
interviews McCarthy VP Jeff Boyer on building a diverse and inclusive workforce.


Groundbreak Carolinas
reports on Balfour Beatty's Jeannie Daleure for honoring 9/11 heroes.


Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal
profiles GZA VP Mary Kay Morelli LSRP, great press if you can get it!  


New Orleans 4WWL TV
highlights the Weeks Marine scholarship program, introduces student winner. 


NJ.com
covers a ground-breaking; Linde Griffith strategically places crane for inclusion in cover photo. 


New York Yimby
writes about MRCE's geotechnical and foundation engineering work on NYC's new tallest building outside of Manhatten.


On-Site
construction magazine features Saskatchewan's largest-ever highway project on which two PDCA engineering firms contributed; Golder as geotech lead and a supporting team from EXP.


The Weather Channel
discusses sustainable building with Elizabeth Heider of Skanska USA.


It's like a PDCA Bar Association!
 Crain's Chicago Business lists Dan Rosenberg of McHugh as a notable General Counsel; The Dallas Morning News list says Munsch Hardt is Top Place to Work; Florida Trend says Jimerson Birr is a Best Place to Work.
 
Shaping Our Communities
Balfour Beatty: Jeff Leahy in Raleigh raised $13,770 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Executive Challenge. The Atlanta team raises $82,000 for Make a Wish Georgia at annual golf tourney.

Cape Romain Contractors
in SC recognized for 20 consecutive years of giving to the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center in Mount Pleasant.


ECS Mid-Atlantic
sponsored the Children's National Hospital Race for Every Child run/walk in Washington, D.C.; it funds hospital programs, medical developments and services.


GeoEngineers
is sponsoring Downtown on the Go's Light Up Your Ride in Tacoma, WA, an annual event providing free bicycle lights to improve safety for riders during fall and winter months.


Geotechnology, Inc.
staff in St. Louis participated in trivia night for Paralyzed Veterans of America; also held an in-office bags tournament to support United Way.


Golder
's St. Louis office collected more than 1,200 food items for the Circle of Concern Food Pantry.


GTA
's John Moscati in Charlotte took on the XTreme Hike in The Iron Mountains of Virginia. Participants raised over $350,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.


Manson Construction news
: Seattle office participates in hunger relief; Beaumont office sponsored Touch a Truck at local children's museum.


MRCE News:
partnered with Grove City School of Engineering by presenting to nearly 100 students.  Also, Teresa Sandiford and Anthony DeVito guest lectured at Columbia University, delivering "Principles of Construction Techniques" for grad students.


Soil Consultants, Inc.,
in Charleston, SC sponsored Southern Soiree benefitting Blessed Sacrament School.
 
The Rest of the Story
They literally "took the show on the road": Crews from Key Constructors LLC starred in a "Facebook Live series" hosted by the Mississippi Department of Transportation. MDOT produced and Key shared regular live shots providing construction updates for area drivers to social media followers. Congrats to Key for the early completion of a major Interstate 20 improvement near Jackson.

A future archeological treasure?
Kudos to the creative, sustainable visionaries at American Engineering Testing, Inc. in St. Paul, MN. As part of a corporate office expansion, AET enlarged the parking lot, which required overhauling the stormwater system to comply with the NPDES permit. To achieve a suitable underground infiltration system and also support an above ground parking surface, they used bushels (correct unit of measurement?) of tire shreds as the aggregate. That's creative engineering!


"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery:"
It's a famous quote and apparently a Halloween '19 theme for GA PDCA members. Nearly the entire staff at C.A. Murren & Sons in Grayson, GA dressed as Jan Heck from the front office; the Facebook post is a sweet message about the valued clerk. Down the road in Atlanta, Balfour Beatty staff chose Superintendent Chuck Howard as the preferred costume.
 
If your company has news to share with the pile driving industry, please email matt@piledrivers.org. We look forward to distributing your unique stories, personnel changes, charitable efforts and recognitions. Remember to include the hashtag #PDCADriven on all of your driven pile-related social media posts se we can follow along and share.
 
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Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.

PDCA of South Carolina Awards "Mac" Nigels Scholarship

Charleston, SC (November 14, 2019): The thirteenth recipient of the coveted "Mac" Nigels Scolarship is Cadet Hunter Hutton (pictured below), a sophomore at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. The annual award is presented to a civil engineering student from The Citadel who, according to his/her professors, demonstrates strong character, integrity and grade point average. Cadet Hutton currently maintains a 4.0 GPA and receives both a commemorative plaque and a $2000 monetary gift. He was presented his award by Scott Nigels (pictured, right), son of the late McLeod "Mac" Creighton Nigels during the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter's Quarterly Dinner Meeting at the Town & Country Inn in Charleston on November 14th. Nearly 60 practitioners in the pile driving industry attened the event. "Mac" Nigels was a highly respected civil engineer in Charleston following his 1955 graduation from The Citadel; the Chapter has honered him through the scholarship program every year since 2007.



In other business at the Dinner Meeting, Dr. Steven C. Jaume from the College of Charleston presented "Getting Under the Surface of the Charleston Peninsula to Predict Earthquake Ground Motion." Chapter members were updated on planning for the Annual Oyster Roast which will take place January 17th at Palmetto Pile Driving. Additionally, they received updates concerning the biennial PDCA of SC Driven Pile Technical Seminar to be held in March; it is that event which helps make the "Mac" Nigels Scholarship available each year.

###

A Pile of News - November 2019

                               
 
Don't eat the worm! - Going out on top -         Spider-Man lives in Pittsburgh, he's a CEO
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: With cleaner waters come new marine construction considerations. As detailed in a recent story from The New York Times, "shipworms" are to blame for millions of dollars in damage to NYC piers. We contacted Eric Lincoln of American Pole and Timber in Houston who noted of the evolving environment, "Conventional methods in timber piling don't have the longevity." He strongly encourages builders to use preventative and mitigation products on the market that very effectively combat damage. A comprehensive description of various of marine borers is in this blog post

A Job Well Done. Reigning PDCA Committee Chair of the Year Pollyanna Cunningham from International Construction Equipment (ICE) in Charlotte brought unmatched levels of passion and enthusiasm to her voluntary role as PDCA Communications Committee Chair. Her accomplishments include increasing the frequency of PileDriver Magazine to six times a year (up from four), modernizing PileDrivers.org and launching the new PDCA App. Thanks to the inspiration and infrastructure she leaves us, the publishing team will continue to deliver your communications while awaiting the appointment of a new chair to bring in new ideas and contacts. We sincerely thank Pollyanna for her monumental efforts. 

Could the Village People have Existed Without It? As we highlight in each edition of APON, several entities in the pile driving industry celebrate significant birthdays in 2019. However, one common denominator in all construction also reaches a notable milestone this year; that important and integral piece of safety equipment, the hard hat came into the world 100 years ago. As his company celebrates a century in business, Herlihy Mid-Continent Co. in Chicago, president Doug Schultz circulates a fascinating history of the iconic safety essential in "The Evolution of the Hard Hat."
 
Events and News from PDCA and the Chapters 
PDCA members by now have received notice that the PDCA Board of Directors unanimously approved an organizational dues increase. This measure was passed to 1) Achieve PDCA dues parity with similar industry organizations; 2) Ensure adequate and prudent funding for all PDCA programming; 3) Continue expanding and improving PDCA offerings. PDCA sent all active member written notice of the overdue adjustment to the membership dues in October; the document provided greater detail including descriptive graphics highlighting the necessary, organizational reappointment of finances. Thank you for your continued support of PDCA.\

For the non-members considering PDCA (and you should), you have exactly two months to take advantage of the Introductory Rate, currently offered through the New Member Campaign.

DICEP kicks off Tuesday at the Westin Downtown Cleveland; registration will be available at the door.

The Northeast Florida Chapter of PDCA has launched! The news came during The PDCA Florida Georgia Blitz; and event held in Jacksonville, FL in advance of the highly anticipated college football game. A former Gator football player was even in attendee at the October 30th event!

PDCA Chapter events this month: PDCA of the Northeast hosts a Meet and Greet on 11/13 at Iberia Restaurant in Newark, NJ; quarterly dinner meetings take place for PDCA of the Gulf Coast (Messina's in Kenner, LA) and PDCA of South Carolina  (Town & Country Inn) in Charleston, SC; both are 11/14.

Don't forget to visit The PDCA Store as you begin your holiday shopping.


Around the industry: Pile Dynamics (PDI) hosts State of Practice: A Deep Foundations Seminar in Miami on 11/11 and New Orleans on 11/15; each worth 6.5 Professional Development Hours.
 
People, Partnerships and Prizes
Ron Brylski named new VP of Boh Bros. Construction, following 28 years in its piling and marine dept. Former Idaho division manager Mark Elder promoted to VP at Sunroc. American SpiralWeld names Scott Murphy AVP Finance. Samuli Salmela appointed president and CEO for MotoCut LtdNucor announced retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Nadja Y. West joins its Board of Directors. Pittsburgh-based L.B. Foster changes: Sara Rolli is the new managing director of quality, Steve Spragale is general manager of fabricated bridge products, Greg Goad, vice president of piling, assumes responsibility for steel construction business. NOLA's Eustis Engineering names Bryan Connelly director special inspections. Group Industries promotes Eric Fauveau to project estimator. Russell Hulse joins McCarthy as business development manager. 

Another job well done...after 30 years as a crane operator, the last 11 as manager at Hoffman Equipment in NJ, Gary Hopf has retired.   
American Cast Iron Pipe Company in Birmingham recognizes engineer Lindsay Hamner on her completion of Upward, an intensive women's leadership development program.

APC Construction of Harvey, LA was named to the prestigious LSU100. President Keith Porta is a graduate of the LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business, which releases the list annually.   

Cajun Industries accepted an Award of Merit from the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance; company chairman Lane Grigsby earned induction into its inaugural Workforce Development Hall of Fame

Canal Barge Company Steersman Matthew Cole received a Meritorious Public Service Award from the U.S. Coast Guard for his role in a rescue operation of a pleasure vessel last year.

Hoffman Equipment president Tim Watters earns recognition from New Jersey UTCA.  

Mason Construction benefits coordinator Heather Kugler named to Southeast Texas Young Professionals Organization "40 Under 40".

Significant company birthdays (40 years+) include THREE that are well over the century mark; beginning in 1864 in Ann Arbor, MI, McCarthy celebrates 155 continuous years in business. Iconic New Orleans contractor Boh Bros. and New Jersey giant Linde-Griffith both reach 110 years of operation. Other notables: Lawrence Construction in Colorado turns 95. Beaumont, TX-based Mason Construction celebrates 80 years. PKF in Newtown, PA turns 5-0. International Construction Equipment (ICE) in Matthews, NC reaches 45 years. Trinity Products of O'Fallon, MO is 40. Also, a special congrats to Matt Scerbak, manager at Associated Pile & Fitting, who reaches 40 years with the NJ company.


New Orleans-based Canal Barge Company has acquired five Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel (PBSG) towboats and offered employment to their 80 professional mariners. 

Condolences: Aldridge Electric mourns the loss of a dear friend and impeccable safety trainer, Steve (last name withheld), who will be greatly missed by the thousands whose lives he touched. Additionally, Deep South Construction & Salvage celebrates the life of "Mamma Cat," Ms. Cathy Violet Huff Madere, who had co-owned and operated the family business and its parent company Madere and Sons Towing.
 
Newsmakers
Construction Dive quotes VP Bevan Mace of Balfour Beatty and Director Naomi Whitesel at McCarthy on "TVD - target value design, delivery."

Construction Equipment Guide
profiles the Feiler family; all crane operators from All Crane, got that?


Piling Canada magazine
introduces the new VP at ECA Canada, Ray Kemppainen. 


Jersey Shore Online
credits George Harms Construction for the improved highway on Cedar Bonnet Island.


Jacksonville Daily Record
writes about a hurricane restoration project awarded to Hal Jones Contractor.


Defense Media Network
published a sponsored article about L.B. Foster and the USACE. 


STRXUR
profiles McCarthy project director Ileana Holguin in "Blazing a Trail to Diversity."


FloridaPolitics.com
features a brief about PileDriver magazine and PDCA in a story about a past conference presenter.


The National Center for Employee Ownership
is out with an article about America's largest, majority employee-owned companies; PDCA members Terracon, Cianbro and McCarthy all make the list.


Duluthian Magazine
features a cover story on Veit & Company; and Veit VP Steve Hosier graces the cover of Construction & Demolition Magazine.
 
Shaping Our Communities
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month during October, several companies contributed to efforts to call attention to the beatable affliction that victimizes millions of women and men each year. American Piledriving Equipment (APE) offers its social media network some sound advice and a fitting meme. Group Industries president Shane Kirkpatrick wore pink attire all month in support of the #RealMenWearPink campaign; www.shanegoespink.com chronicled his fundraising efforts. Ocean City, MD is home to the Poor Girls Open, an annual fishing tournament that benefits the American Cancer Society. The pink ladies from Rev Drill Sales and Rentals participated in this year's event; they were winners for playing, but unfortunately lost to the Hookers in the Best Dressed Contest.

Cajun Industries awards Southeastern Louisiana University student Ethan Duckworth the David Abrusley Memorial Scholarship. It was established in 2009 to honor their late, memorable employee.

Edgen Murray's Colorado team gave back to the community by hosting a customer appreciation BBQ

Junttan is cosponsoring two biathlon competitors who are training for the 2020 Youth Olympic Games

Koppers' Pittsburgh office saw 22 employees, including CEO Leroy Ball, rappel Spiderman-style down 21 stories of their building facade; the effort raised nearly $50K for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

McCarthy SVP Nate Kowallis served as Principal for a Day at the Dallas Environmental Science Academy

Patriot Construction and Industrial contributes to a coastal protection project in Louisiana; also they participated in the Ush One See, Inc. 5K/10K race in Lafayette to raise awareness for Usher's Syndrome

S&B Drilling strives to be good stewards of their hometown. Company owner John Lisle is a Cub Master for a Williston, ND Scout group and led his Scouts in the annual community clean-up.  

Sealevel Construction fielded a team in the 3rd Annual Upside Downs Golf Classic in Mathews, LA. It supports the provision of resources, awareness and advocacy for children with Down syndrome.

 
 
Fun Facts from the Field
(the Travel & Tourism Edition)
In modern business, it's important to diversify your service line. Several PDCA member companies appear to be dabbling in travel and tourism, as evidenced by their social media. You might remember back in October when APE released this collateral piece listing Chicago attractions in advance of DFI's Annual Conference.

Holes Inc. in Houston hosted a company fishing and poker event; a morale booster indeed!

Key Constructors in Madison, MS promotes a theme park that lets kids play with heavy machinery.

Link-Belt Cranes in Lexington, KY knows the Derby happens only once a year, so they've commissioned a co-branded deck of L-B/Bicycle Playing Cards for your "casino nights" to help pass the time.
 
If your company has news to share with the pile driving industry, please email matt@piledrivers.org. We look forward to distributing your unique stories, personnel changes, charitable efforts and recognitions. Remember to include the hashtag #PDCADriven on all of your driven pile-related social media posts se we can follow along and share.
 
PileDrivers.org  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  PDCA DICEP



 

New Chapter launched at The PDCA Florida Georgia Blitz

PDCA Announces Northeast Florida Chapter Formation

Jacksonville, FL (10/31/2019):  The new Northeast Florida Chapter of the Pile Driving Contractors Association is planning its first formal meeting scheduled for February 7th, 2020. The event will be a luncheon (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) at the Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park hotel (4812 Deer Lake Drive West); and in addition to discussion about the new Chapter formation, it will include a business-oriented program designed to benefit practitioners in the deep foundations industry. Pile driving contractors, geotechnical and structural engineers, and equipment suppliers and manufactures are encouraged to attend. This luncheon will require a nominal registration cost to attendees for the lunch.

The Northeast Florida Chapter initiative was introduced in Jacksonville during an October 30th social event hosted by PDCA for organization members and prospective members from throughout Florida and Georgia. Named The Florida-Georgia Blitz, It was held during Jacksonville's Florida-Georgia Week that precedes the annual rivalry college football game. Attendees were provided heavy hors d'oeuvres and an open bar at no cost, thanks to event sponsors CZM Foundation Equipment, Bridgestone HosePower, Nucor Skyline and USI Insurance. A notable attendee from USI was former Florida Gator inside linebacker Jason Wozniak who played under famed-coach Steve Spurrier in the early 1990's. Following an hour of social and networking time, the 45 people in attendance heard a brief program explaining the efforts toward local Chapter organization; this was welcome news to many in the local pile driving industry who were at the event.

If you are a Member of PDCA in the Northeast Florida region, or if you are a practitioner in deep foundation construction in this area, you are encouraged to Save the Date of February 7th, 2020 and plan to attend the inaugural meeting. Please contact PDCA at (904) 215-4771 or by email at info@piledrivers.org if you would like to join the mailing list for information about The PDCA Northeast Florida Chapter. PDCA looks forward to supporting its newest Northeast Florida Chapter.









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Posted in Chapter News.

Capacity Attendance at Gulf Coast Chapter's Engineers Conference

More than 110 practitioners in the deep foundations industry gathered in Prairieville, Louisiana on October 24th for a comprehensive, day-long professional development event designed to educate attendees on some of the newest and best practices for driven pile installations. The PDCA of the Gulf Coast organized the event, chaired by contractor member Michael Kelly, which the Chapter offers to educate professionals in the region every other year on the driven pile. All participants who completed the seminar were awarded 7 Professional Development Hours.

The 2019 PDCA Engineers Conference was co-sponsored by PDCA of the Gulf Coast and Nucor Skyline and consisted of seven different presentations. PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter President Travis Schonacher from Sealevel Construction opened and closed the program. The following agenda is a list of each presentation and session sponsor in the order they were provided to attendees:

Breakfast - Sponsored by PDCA

Vibration Monitoring Protocol per Purple Book by Joubert Harris, MS - LADOTD
Sponsored by Southern Earth Sciences

Experimental Study of Driven Pile Set-Up in Soft Clays by Chad Held, P.E. - Eustis Engineering
Sponsored by GRL Engineers

Efficient Structural Design of Precast Concrete Piles by John C. Ryan, Ph.D., PE - Ryan Structural Engineers, LLC
Sponsored by American Piledriving Equipment

Advanced Measurements/Pile Layout by Joey Coco, PE MBA - Forte & Tablada, Inc.
Sponsored by Sealevel Construction, Inc.

Lunch - Sponsored by LB Foster Company

Steel Coating and Application to Steel Piles by Marty Hall - Yellow Creek Coating Services
Sponsored by PDCA

Preserving Wood Pilings by Tim Carey - Lonza Group AG
Sponsored by Desoto Treated Materials

LAPELS Professionalism and Ethics by William Hyatt - LAPELS Board Investigator
Sponsored by Mississippi River Equipment

PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter thanks all attendees for participating in this highly successful event. The next gathering of the Chapter will be November 14th when it hosts its Fourth Quarter Dinner Meeting at Messina's in Kenner, LA.


Posted in Chapter News.

A Pile of News - October 2019

 

A Pile of News October 2019

A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers and suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
by Matt Bisbee, PDCA
 
Does it Mean New Air Quality Regulations? -                  A "U"nique Career Trajectory - Bra Art in the Bayou
Tired of this dirty ol' city? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reclassified seven major American metros from "Moderate" to "Serious" for declining air quality; this could have permitting ramifications for industrial plants and equipment in the foreseeable future. Among the affected regions; Chicago, Greater Connecticut, D-FW and Houston, Nevada County and San Diego, CA, and New York. See this Regulatory Update published by TRC Companies Inc.; it includes a link to the formal EPA action.

Look Who We Know, Part II: A ribbon-cutting ceremony concluded Corman Kokosing's two-year rehabilitation of the Conococheague Aqueduct in Williamsport, MD. Attendees included Governor Larry Hogan, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Representative David Trone, and Mayor Bill Green. Elsewhere; Congressman Fred Keller toured Glen O. Hawbaker Inc.'s Pleasant Gap, PA facility. The Houston offices of Fugro hosted Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reappointed  Palmer Clarkson, CEO of Bridgestone HosePower to a state board. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined the team from Hardesty & Hanover at the opening ceremonies for the Kosciuszko Bridge in New York City.

Editor's Note: The previous entries were grouped together because it's important that companies recognize relationships with elected officials can be useful when government imposes regulations. PileDriver magazine, coming to your mailbox and inbox later this month, will feature an article about governmental affairs.

From Pile Lines to Linebackers: While a student-athlete at Tulane University, Blake Baker did part-time work for his cousin Robert Baker at Baker Pile Driving in Covington, LA. After graduation, he became a full-time project foreman. But his heart was in football; following one year on the job, he returned to the gridiron as a high school coach. Then, it was a meteoric rise in the ranks through college football. Today, just 10 years after leaving the pile driving industry, 36-year-old Blake is the defensive coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes, an elite and storied program in its own right. Many congratulations and well wishes to Blake!
 
PDCA, other Industry Events
You're invited! The PDCA New Member Campaign goes on location; The PDCA Florida-Georgia Blitz  is scheduled for October 30 in Jacksonville, FL, three days before the rivalry football game. The event is open to all in the pile driving industry; it's designed to grow and strengthen the organization in the Southeast... and have a little fun in the spirit of college football. 

PDCA's Design and Installation of Cost-Efficient Piles (DICEP) Conference is November 5-6 in Cleveland; registration and sponsorships can be completed online.

The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter hosts the "Engineers Conference"  on October 24.

DFI hosts its 44th Annual Conference in Chicago, October 15-18.

ASCE is holding a Deep Foundations Seminar October 24-25 in Minneapolis.

The PDCA Store features educational materials and association merchandise for sale online. There's a Steel Sheet Pile Installation Guide, a Best Management Practices Guide, commemorative coasters, a gym bag, various clothing items and more. Shop now for the holidays!
 
Acquisitions, Elevations, Transitions, Elevations
and Recognitions...
Personnel moves: Dewberry names Bo Temple vice chair of its Board of Directors and Larry Melton Jr. gets a seat; Jason Estes promoted to manager in Daphne, AL. ECS Mid-Atlantic promotes Teresa Levisay, Keith Nelson, Alexis Herr and William Pratt; ECS Florida hires Will Vaughn and Bill Otey, it promotes Victor Faltas and David Moore. Dane Pehrman joins Haley & Aldrich as principal consultant in Burlington, MA. Terracon names Russell Clark national manager of construction consulting services. McCarthy announces Manasi Pitkar as the new preconstruction director in Southern California. Women of SteelSarah Honeyman and Dawn Johnson Keiffer join Meever USA in the southeast.

More personnel news: Jim Bossange returns to GZA as senior project manager in Boston. EXP in Towsen, MD makes three new hires: David Amlalo, John Boling and Trudy Edwards. Eustis Engineering opens Houston office, names Joshua Miles new branch manager; Bryan Connelly joins the New Orleans firm. S&B Drilling names Steven Simard as new North Dakota district manager, Traver Melby joins business development. S&ME names Bill Forte senior project manager in Nashville. Skanska USA promotes Dennis Yung to executive VP and GM over Houston and Dallas.

Member recognitions: San Diego Business Journal recognizes Balfour Beatty's Luda Safransky and Kyle Frandsen in 40 Under 40, Luda listed as 2019 Outstanding Women in Construction and Design; their colleagues celebrate notable anniversaries with the company 40 years for Steve Jordan, while Donnie Luster and Frank Ortiz reach 30 years. Tolunay-Wong's VP Jaideep Chatterjee in Houston earns Board Certification as a geotechnical engineer. Matt Coaker, VP at Southern Earth Sciences named 40 Under 40 in Alabama Construction. John J. Peirce of Peirce Engineering named 2019 Delaware Valley Engineer of the Year. Eustis Engineering's Robert Elkins in New Orleans retires after 42 years. 


Your vote counts: The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge has simplified travel across the Mississippi River in St. Louis (while honoring a legend); the Massman Construction project is up for a People's Choice Award from AASHTA. VOTE HERE to support the Kansas City contractor. 

Someone tell Al Roker we have a new centenarian! Weeks Marine of Cranford, NJ reaches the rare milestone for 100 years of continuous operation. They've impacted millions of lives through their foundation work in one of America's most heavily populated regions. Here's to the next 100! Other birthdays include: 75 years for Texas Gulf Construction Co. in Galveston, TX; 55 years for GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies in Cambridge, MA; and 40 years for DeWitt Construction in Vancouver, WA.
 
Newsmakers
Balfour Beatty named a top workplace by Orlando Sentinel and Puget Sound Business Journal

CD Perry featured in Albany Business Review in a story about a seawall project.

Cianbro subsidiary A/Z to build the Coast Guard Museum in New London, CT; more in The Day newspaper.

CZM Foundation Equipment broke ground on its new Georgia HQ; watch coverage on WJCL-TV 22 Savannah.

Dewberry is Best of Biz 2019 for engineering according to South Jersey Biz Magazine.

GZA Environmental featured in the Baraboo News Republic for zoo filtration project. 

Mason Construction pictured in the Beaumont Business Journal accepting a safety award.

McCarthy hires homeless veterans; Los Angeles NBC-TV covers the story.

Mueser Rutledge Engineers and Trevcon in The Tribeca Trib on Pier construction in NYC, great photos!

PND Engineers make Green & Gold News in story about retaining local talent from University of Alaska.

Shannon & Wilson consults on seismic upgrade for a Seattle landmark; coverage in PRISM.

Shimmick Construction contributes to safety enhancements on Golden Gate Bridge, read it in Construction Dive.

Skanska on Fortune Magazine list of companies that make social, environmental impacts.

For those who question the validity of a YouTube channel as a legitimate news source, be advised that the Myrtle Beach and Things YouTube Channel has 7,500 subscribers and it sells ads. Here, they provide coverage of crews from Cape Romain Contractors building the beach community's new Springmaid Pier.
 
Shaping Our Communities
Balfour Beatty's annual Portland Golf Tourney raised $10K for the city's Artists Repertory Theater; their Atlanta office prepared and served a meal for area homeless. 

Cajun Industries
and Group Deep Foundations appreciate fine art. Bra Art exists as a creative expresson, who knew? Apparently the cultured, crawfish connoisseurs in Big Raggedy did; both companies generously sponsored BUST Breast Cancer: Bra Art Fundraiser in Baton Rouge. 


EXP sponsored the Forest Preserve Foundation Conservation Cup; the Chicagoland golf event supports efforts to restore and manage natural habitats and wildlife and featured two retired Bears players. 

Geo-Technology Associates donated time and expertise to install new dugouts at the Fallston, MD ballpark where their late founder John Wirth spent years coaching youth. The new John Wirth Field honors the contributions he made before his untimely death in 2017 from a rare form of cancer.

Geotechnology, Inc. in St. Louis is a Pledge Partner in the MoDOT Buckle Up Phone Down campaign to make Missouri roads safer. The Cardinals MLB Playoff berth will definitely increase traffic in the region! 

GZA is sponsoring this month's Kirwin/Murray Tour de Falmouth cycling event in Massachusetts to combat homelessness; also, several employees ran in the Cigna Elliot Road Race to support New Hampshire's Elliot Regional Cancer Center.

Haley & Aldrich presented $48,000 to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital; it was money raised during their sold-out 9th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Hardesty & Hanover joined a South Florida social service to provide hurricane relief to the Bahamas. 

Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering in Columbia, SC made a generous gift to the Harvest Hope Food Bank, supporting its initiative to feed underprivileged school children in the area. 

Linde-Griffith sponsored a major golf event that raised over $505,000 for two New Jersey hospitals. 

McCarthy supported the WellStar Foundation Golf Classic in Atlanta, which raised more than $228,000 for advancements in emergency and trauma services.

Terracon hosts an annual golf tournament on October 14th; 100 percent of the profits support Louisiana's Child Advocacy Services
 
Some Casing Pipe and a Snake Dog IPA While You Wait...
Rev Drill Sales & Rentals of Frederick, MD sells great equipment, but their proximity to adult beverages might be the biggest reason to shop there. See how they use social media to co-brand with craft beer; after all, everyone knows that pile drivers deserve a cold one!

Atlas Tube in Chicago mimicked the multiple choice test in a recent promotional post on their social media. (We always did prefer multiple choice over the dreaded essay question, right?) Anyway, the factoids one learns from this particular question are kinda interesting, especially to sports buffs. 

Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants in Mountainville, NY advertises job opportunities all over the country; growth is good! We couldn't help but wonder how often they have openings in the home office for "letter holders?" This Facebook cover photo depicts several employees dutifully performing their job (except for the woman on the far right who seems vertically challenged by her assignment).

That's it for now, we hope you have a great October and Happy Halloween. Keep posting your company news online and don't forget to include #PDCADriven in your social media for your chance to become a random winner of PDCA merchandise!
 
If your company has news to share with the pile driving industry, please email matt@piledrivers.org. We look forward to distributing your unique stories, personnel changes, charitable efforts and recognitions. Remember to include the hashtag #PDCADriven on all of your driven pile-related social media posts se we can follow along and share.
 
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A Pile of News - September 2019

A Pile of News September 2019

A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers and suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
by Matt Bisbee, PDCA
 
Look who we know - Cyber-bullied in Beaumont - True Patriot to deploy - #GruberStrong
Heavy hitters meet heavy machinery: Politicians like hitting the hard hat circuit; here's a look at recent VIP visits to PDCA members. Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed three bills at Cianbro's 40,000-panel solar generation project. Nucor's Darlington, SC steel mill marked 50 years of operation with an onsite celebration; Gov. Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, Sen. Hugh Leatherman and Reps. Jay Lucas and Robert Williams attended. Hawaii Gov. David Ige was at the groundbreaking for a big development involving the Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company. State Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr. addressed staff at Hoffman Equipment in Piscataway, NJ. French President Emmanuel Macron greeted the team in the Liebherr booth at a Paris exhibition. 

History lesson: The late Missouri Congressman Champ Clark served as U.S. Speaker of the House 100 years ago. This summer, Kansas City's Massman Construction completed the new Champ Clark Bridge (ahead of schedule) connecting Louisiana, MO to Illinois via U.S. 54 over the Mighty Mississippi. Henry Massman spoke at the ceremony where Louisiana Mayor Marvin Brown cut the ribbon.

You lock your front door, right? Protecting your data is just as important as securing your office. Too often, we hear about data breaches at major companies. Cyberattacks can happen to anyone; Mason Construction in Beaumont, TX was a victim over the summer. Scammers posed as Mason employees, then solicited money and offered jobs to their social media users. This created needless headaches for the contractor. Consult an IT professional today to secure your data, a PSA from PDCA.

Not just a name, it's a culture: The entire PDCA community joins Patriot Construction and Industrial in Duson, LA in sending prayers to Civil Estimator Paul Glakler, an Army National Guard helicopter pilot, as he deploys for active duty this month.

To all our friends and colleagues at Goettle, we are thinking of you. #GruberStrong
 
Events and News from PDCA and the Chapters
Welcome CDG, LLC of Alexandria, LA, the first company to join PDCA in the New Member Drive; Sam Gassiot enrolled online within 30 minutes of the campaign launch. Invite your friends to PDCA

Sept. 6, PDCA of the Northeast Chapter holds its annual Membership Drive.  

Sept. 11-13, PDCA hosts Deep Foundation Dynamic Testing and Analysis (DFDTA) in Cleveland.

Nov. 4-6, PDCA offers the 20th Annual Design and Installation of Cost-Efficient Piles (DICEP) Conference, also in Cleveland. Visit us online for further details and registration.

Everyone says it's better to live in the present, but PDCA wants you to think about the future! We have already confirmed dates and locations for the 2020 annual conference and the 2020 DICEP program. With all that preparation, we better see you there!


It's time for weekend tailgates; deer season and cooler weather are close behind. Get your stainless steel cup, camo hat, quarter-zip pullover and more PDCA logo merchandise at The PDCA Store.

The PDCA of South Carolina Chapter held their 3rd Quarter Dinner Meeting on August 6.

The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter hosted its Quarterly Dinner Meeting on August 22, also, they announced the "PDCA Engineers Conference" coming up October 24.

 
 
Acquisitions, Transitions, Elevations and Recognitions...
An entry-level project engineer in 2000 is the next CEO for McCarthy Holdings, congrats Raymond Sedey on his elevation; other moves at the company, Colleen Martindale named estimating director for the Heavy Civil, Marine and Industrial Business Unit, Corey Lewis rejoins that team and Chris Kelly promoted to project director. McHugh Construction transitions Ryan Keane to VP Nashville. Meredith Keyes is the new CFO at S&ME Inc. Junttan names Demis Petridi Russia sales manager. Ronnie Browning promoted to dir. supply chain management at American Cast Iron Pipe Company in South Carolina. Bruce Riegel, PE named Hardesty & Hanover West Trenton, NJ office manager. GZA Environmental appoints Benjamin Alter co-chair of its Environmental Site Investigation technical practice.

Katie Spear of i+iconUSA receives MCA Internal Communications Merit Award from Pittsburgh SMPS.

Kiewit's female professionals in Kansas City won the Corporate Hero STEMMy Award from Central Exchange in celebration of women in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine. 

Manson Construction Co. snags two notable recognitions; winners of the 2018 AEU Safety Award and the ASBPA Award for Nation's Best Restored Beaches

Tom Abkemeier, VP at Shannon & Wilson, earns induction to Missouri S&T Academy of Civil Engineers

Myrrh Caplan of Skanska receives Volunteer Leadership Award-Member of the Year from the U.S. Green Business Council Capital Region. 

Is there room for cake? Several PDCA members celebrate significant birthdays this year, most notably Blakeslee Arpaia Chapman, Inc. in Branford, CT which marks an unrivaled 175 years in business! Also, Cianbro of Pittsfield, ME reaches 70 years in business; Spark Contractors of Dorothy, NJ celebrates 60 years; the pride of Irondale, AL Morris Shea turns the big 5-0; Sun Pile Foundations, Inc. of Frankford, DE is 45; and PND Engineers in Anchorage, AK celebrates 40 years (commemorative PND birthday art).
 
Newsmakers
The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report features a Q&A with Group Industries VP Donn Peterson.  

The Washington Post quotes Hardesty & Hanover in coverage of Potomac River bridge repairs; WPTV-5 Ft. Lauderdale features live coverage of an historic Florida bridge reopening after the firm's rehab project. 

Nevada's largest public works project ever, "Project Neon" is chronicled in the Las Vegas Review Journal; Kiewit contributed to the feat that included 2.3 million hours worked, 29 new bridges and more. 

AZ Business Magazine names McCarthy SVP Kristine Newman to Most Influential Women in Arizona list; the New York Times quotes the company's VP Safety Kevin Maitland on hot working conditions.

Headed to Chicago for DFI in October? Consider booking VU Rooftop, one of Crain's Chicago Business best new private dining spots for 2019; it's a McHugh Construction project.

Alaska Business Magazine (article 1) published a special Environmental edition which features two stories (article 2) that extensively quote Shannon & Wilson VP Matt Hemry.

 
 
Shaping our communities
Aldridge Electric volunteers in Libertyville, IL pack 31,320 meals for Feed My Starving Children.  

Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. breaks an event record by raising more than $115,000 for several Central Pennsylvania non-profit organizations at their 28th Annual Charity Golf Outing

Geotechnology, Inc. in St. Louis raised $1,500 for the Children's Hospital during KIDstruction Week; their team in Memphis donated supplies to its local STEM partner elementary school.

GZA GeoEnvironmental
cyclists raise $33,000 to fight cancer in Pan-Mass Challenge.


Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction hosted the 6th Annual BBQ for the Homeless in Draper, UT. Their Colorado team joined The American Cancer Society to fight pediatric cancer at The Big Dig

Attention North Dakota artists S&B Drilling, LLC says the deadline is September 10 if you want to submit your work for potential display at the new Williston Basin International Airport.

Simpson & Brown contributed to the transformation of Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ into a 98% solar powered facility, a remarkable renewable energy effort. 

Skanska supports STEM; they hosted Girls Inc. of Lynn EUREKA! STEM at a Massachusetts seaside development. Also, they participated in Nashville's Play Like a Girl STEM Field Day.

Veit &Company in Rogers, MN conducted mock interviews for the Minnesota Trades Academy during an event designed to familiarize students with careers in construction trades.
 
Fun Facts from the Field (or are they from the
marketing office?)
Because we appreciate creative marketing, we are compelled to pass along some not-ready-for-prime-time nuggets uncovered while compiling this month's A Pile of News. Example: AET Inc. in St. Paul, MN gives AETees at golf outings. Maybe you'll win an obscure trivia contest after reading this final section. 

Flexicore of Texas manufactured and delivered the largest prestressed concrete piles in its 66-year history. The 24" x 135' piles were made in Houston and delivered to Galveston. That's a load of pile! (Sorry guys, we used the 'bigger in Texas' cliché for Lodge Lumber last month.)

Marketers are hawkish about branding efforts and "owning" a color is paramount. New Jersey-based RPI Construction Equipment is calling dibs on blue! They've already started painting the equipment; to the other "blue" wannabe's, be advised to find a different color. (Nice photobomb, MKT Manufacturing!).

According to Valard Construction, it is the 5th largest purchaser of Ford trucks in Canada. They paint them blue. (We will monitor relations between RPI and Valard for any branding color struggles.)

Finally, R.L. Wadsworth has paved more than 4,000,000 square yards of concrete in the past five years. They believe this could pave every NFL football field in America 20 times. Let's hope they don't though, football head injuries are a serious concern. With that, hope your team has a great season!
 
If your company has news to share with the pile driving industry, please email matt@piledrivers.org. We look forward to distributing your unique stories, personnel changes, charitable efforts and recognitions. Remember to include the hashtag #PDCADriven on all of your driven pile-related social media posts se we can follow along and share.
 
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Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.

It Pays to Be Prepared: SSA No-Match Letters, Form I-9 Compliance, And Immigration Clauses In Construction Contracts


By Tiffany Harrod, Attorney at Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr P.C., Houston, Texas

Chair-Elect, the Construction Law Section of the Houston Bar Association

             In March 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) resurrected "Employer Correction Request Notices" or "No-Match" letters used to notify employers that an employee's name and social security number combination on a filed W-2 do not match SSA records.[1]  According to the SSA, if you receive a no-match letter, you should:[2]

  1. Check your records to see if there is a discrepancy in the records submitted to SSA and notify the SSA of corrections on a Form W-2C within 60 days of receipt of the no-match letter;
  2. Instruct the employee to contact the SSA to resolve the discrepancy if the information was reported correctly, and provide the employee a reasonable amount of time to resolve the discrepancy; and
  3. Document your efforts to resolve the matter. 
Employers should carefully document their response to a No-Match letter because it is likely the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will use the information from no-match letters to perform Form I-9 audits on employers.  The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the main investigative arm of the DHS and was established to assist the DHS with its mission of ensuring that the U.S. is safe, secure, and protected against terrorism.  According to its website, ICE's mission is "to protect America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety.[3]"
In the last few years, ICE has dramatically increased Form I-9 audits of employers to deter the hiring of undocumented workers.  During an audit, ICE identifies statutory violations, assesses monetary penalties, and decides whether or not to prosecute employers for criminal violations.  A routine request in every Form I‑9 audit is for the production of any no‑match letters received by the employer with regard to current employees and previous employees.  While the SSA warns against making inferences about an employee's immigration status after the receipt of a no-match letter, many ICE offices consider an employer's receipt of no-match letters to be an indication that an employer might have questionable hiring and record-keeping practices.  An employer's failure to show specific action in response to a no‑match letter could, therefore, be considered by ICE as a significant negative factor when determining if enforcement actions, including fines and criminal prosecution, should be taken. 
The Realities: Escalating Fines, Labor Shortages & Possible Delay Damages
Regardless of politics and the availability of labor, knowingly or unknowingly hiring undocumented workers has become costly since ICE has increased fines.  Knowingly hiring undocumented workers carries fines between $539 and $4,313 per worker on a first offense.  Failing to properly complete the Form I-9 carries a fine of $216 to $2,156 per document.  Employers found to engage in a pattern or practice of hiring or recruiting undocumented workers may be penalized up to $3,000 per undocumented worker and receive six months in jail. 
In the construction industry, immigrant labor represents a significant portion of the workforce.  Statistics indicate that foreign born workers represent 30% of the construction trades.[4]  The reality for construction employers is that without an adequate visa system in place to meet labor shortages, employers in certain industries are left with little to no options when it comes to finding documented workers.  The Associated General Contractors of America has long been pushing for an overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in order to help contractors supplement their workforces with temporary workers from abroad.  Recent proposed legislation seeks to create an immigrant visa system for non-farm workers which would establish the first-ever visa program for less-skilled construction labor. 
            Current immigration law requires employers to ensure that employment eligibility documents appear to be valid, while federal law prohibits employers from requiring specific types of identification from workers.  Currently, employers are required by law to maintain for inspection original Employment Eligibility Verification Forms or I-9 Forms for all current employees.[5]  In the case of former employees, employers are required to retain all I-9 Forms for at least three years from the date of hire or one year after termination, whichever is longer.  Being unprepared for a Form I-9 audit could prove costly and interfere with existing construction contracts, resulting in costly delays.  When dealing with an I-9 audit, preparation and an experienced employment and immigration attorney are key. 
Form I-9 Compliance Program
Compliance is about making sure to follow the I-9 directions and making sure your business is not letting applicants get by with shoddy documentation, no documentation, or requiring extra proof if they suspect someone is undocumented; while at the same time, not imposing requirements above and beyond what the I-9 requires, which can result in a lawsuit by the government or an applicant.
To protect against these issues, funnel I-9 documentation and retention through one person within your organization and make sure that person is trained to properly complete I-9s.  The government finds, on average, five errors in each I-9 when it does an audit and each error can result in a fine.  Create and maintain an internal I-9 compliance policy and mandate that it be followed by all hiring supervisors to ensure consistency in handling I-9s.  Note, there was a new I-9 form issued in 2017.  Be sure it is used with all new hires.  Also, employers must mandate the re-verification of temporary employment authorizations.


Conduct an I-9 self-audit once a year.
It is wise for business owners to conduct an I-9 self-audit annually to be sure their records are in top shape for an audit. This is especially true for business owners who delegate the responsibility to complete I-9s to another employee.  A second review will usually find some errors.
In addition to examining each form to be sure it is correctly filled out, employers should check whether I-9s on former employees are properly retained, how no-match communication from the government has been handled, and whether re-verification procedures are on schedule.  If you find any errors, initiate correction procedures immediately. 
Be Prepared for a Form I-9 Audit
Audits are conducted both by ICE and, on a cursory level, by the Department of Labor.  In either case, employers are entitled to three days' notice before an I-9 audit.  If you receive notice of an audit, immediately contact your employment or immigration lawyer.  They will protect you from inadvertently making mistakes with the auditor.  Then work with your lawyer to conduct an I-9 audit immediately and correct any errors before the audit begins.
If ICE appears for a raid, immediately contact counsel and ask them to come to the site. ICE will not wait for your lawyer to arrive if they have a search warrant, so it will be necessary to examine the warrant yourself.  If you observe agents exceeding the warrant authority, ask to speak to the agent in charge and raise the issue.  If you do not stand up for your rights, you may lose the opportunity.
Construction Contracts & Immigration Issues
General contractors should always be aware of applicable provisions in their prime contracts with owners relating to liability associated with delays caused to a project for any reason.  General contractors should also be vigilant to protect against liability associated with delays resulting from disruptions caused by a lack of labor due to immigration issues caused by subcontractors and their workforce. General contractors may attempt to draft accordingly within their prime contracts to remove liability in the event of immigration issues being the sole cause of a labor impact and related delay.  Additionally, general contractors should contractually require subcontractors to accept as much of the responsibility as possible for labor immigration issues. 
In reviewing contract terms, subcontractors should make every effort to ensure immigration related delays are not a specifically enumerated breach or event of default.  Subcontractors should negotiate to have the ability to cure the impact of a diminished work force by quickly providing new labor, thus avoiding the possibility of termination or liquidated damages.  Since subcontractors typically contract with or employ the direct labor on a construction project, to the fullest extent possible they should contractually place the burden of providing accurate information of laborer citizenship status upon the actual laborers or employment agencies involved. 
 
[1] From 1993 through 2012, the SSA sent out no-match letters to employers (and third-party payroll companies) who submitted Form W-2s containing name and Social Security Number (SSN) combinations that did not match the agency's records.  The practice was stopped in 2012 due to various complaints and lawsuits from labor unions, immigrant advocates, and the business community. 

Sealevel Construction, Inc.

Sealevel Construction, Inc. is a heavy civil contractor that was founded in 1997 by its president, Richard Roth, in the small town of Thibodaux, La. Starting with one employee and a toolbelt, Sealevel has evolved into a premier heavy civil contractor that self-performs services including deep foundations, structural fabrication, structural concrete, earthwork and sitework development with an emphasis on projects with driven piles. Reaching its 22nd anniversary this August, Sealevel has developed a reputation for its eagerness to take on unique challenges and to perform with integrity and safety as top priorities.
With a constant reminder from its founder to "always think long-term," Sealevel has expanded its capabilities to truly self-perform all aspects of heavy civil projects. While its self-sufficiency gives Sealevel a competitive advantage, it also adds value for its customers and engineers. Driven by this vision of thinking long-term, Sealevel strives to create and maintain relationships by completing each job with client satisfaction. The company's goal is to work with integrity, innovation and safe performance. These qualities are found within the company environment and have led to its growth and success.
Sealevel has completed many pile driving jobs in the Gulf Coast region. Most notable are two flood protection projects in Larose, La. that included a total of approximately 6,000 linear feet of steel sheet pile floodwalls. Also, Sealevel recently completed a 1,000 linear foot bulkhead in Port Fourchon, La., that included sheet piles up to 77 feet long and concrete deadmen supported by battered concrete piles.
As a versatile deep foundation contractor, Sealevel has also completed many pile driving projects in the industrial market, including a project at an LNG facility where concrete piles were installed up to 110 feet long in one piece. Furthermore, Sealevel has recently concluded the Falgout Canal Flood Control Structure for the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District in South Louisiana. This job involved successful installation of steel pipe piles up to 84 inches in diameter and over 200 feet long, steel sheet piles over 80 feet long and fabricated jackets weighing 200 tons.
Sealevel's 60-acre facility complements its driven pile work with cutting and fabrication capabilities, including steel and aluminum fabrication, sand blasting, painting, CNC oxyfuel cutting, CNC plasma cutting and a variety of other services. Sealevel also operates a waterfront yard in Houma, La. that offers fabrication and repair services for the marine transportation and construction industries.
With a fleet of cranes up to 300 tons in size, over 30 excavators, air hammers, hydraulic hammers and vibratory hammers, Sealevel has invested heavily into pile driving equipment to better serve its clients and to stay true to its self-reliance.
While equipment is a necessary investment, Sealevel considers its dedicated workers to be its most important asset. There are currently 170 employees with an extensive range of skill and diversity. A handful of employees began in the early days of the company with the majority of workers from the South Louisiana area who are committed to the company's growth in this region.
Roth strives for an "open-door policy" with employees and encourages project managers and supervisors to do the same. Challenges are worked out by using a team approach and focusing on exhibiting integrity, innovation and safe performance. Everyone is important and safety has to be first.
"From a moral standpoint alone, safety really has to be number one," said operations manager Travis Schonacher.
An HSE director, HSE manager and onsite HSE representatives lead Sealevel's safety initiatives. Moreover, Sealevel has established a safety committee comprised of employees with different professional backgrounds. Together, the safety team oversees an extensive safety training program for new hires and existing employees. There is also specific training for project managers and supervisors and the development and implementation of specific site safety plans.
Schonacher is also the president of the PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter.
"One of the most important benefits of being involved in a PDCA chapter is the opportunity to interact and develop relationships with other pile driving contractors in a non-competitive atmosphere," he said. According to Schonacher, PDCA provides a wealth of information and opportunities to build relationships in order to foster success both within each company member and the industry as a whole.

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

The Hose Company

When navigating many industries with a very specific niche product, like North Carolina-based The Hose Company, doors open to new opportunities to assist customers. The Hose Company provides hose delivery service and on-site repairs 24/7, making many contractors productive even on the night shift.
"And, of course being huge race fans in Charlotte, N.C., we love helping out NASCAR teams," said Justin Robertson, certified mobile hose technician at The Hose Company.
At night service
"I remember the first 2 a.m. mobile repair call from a group in South Carolina, about 10 miles from us," said Rob Smith, The Hose Company's operations director. "These folks were building new warehouses and moving many concrete trucks to avoid traffic congestion during the daylight hours. They were also using multiple vibrating screeds for precise elevation control when suddenly production stopped dead. Think about it: it's 2 o'clock in the morning, full concrete trucks, sitting and spinning, and the precision leveling solution blows a hose."
The Hose Company Team received a quick call and were on the road moments later with supplies already stocked in their service fleet. It is incredible that a $13 part could have shut down a job until 7 a.m., but not anymore.
"Now, there is a choice." said Smith.
NASCAR support
The Hose Company received a Saturday call from Joey Logano Racing, a famous NASCAR team and driver.
"This team was building a kit car for one of the preliminary NASCAR races," said Smith. This team needed choices, without wasting time at a store as they were designing and moving fittings from custom to universal. They really needed The Hose Company inventory and experts on site to help make these adaptations. So, The Hose Company sent in a technician and his fleet vehicle, allowing the race team to walk right in and find all the parts."
Expanding since day one
The Hose Company began operations in 2013 as a supplier of hydraulic hose to the pile driving, drilling, marine construction, manufacturing and redistributing markets. This startup of six people has since grown substantially as the markets and clients have demanded industrial and sanitary hose offerings.
With growth like this, The Hose Company further expanded this year by opening a 7,000 square foot warehouse expansion and added additional loading docks to meet all the shipping demands of its hydraulic and industrial clients.
"We have added industrial and sanitary hoses to our product offering. So not only are we doing hydraulic, but [are] now offering new markets industrial hose and fittings," Smith said. "We cut our teeth on the toughest part of the construction industry, pile driving, while supporting all other construction sectors [and] added a focus on the waste management industry and material handling. Today, The Hose Company has mastered each area they have taken on and are supporting more sectors like the carwash industry, elevator companies and other OEMs that build equipment, like car crushers...."
The Hose Company started out selling B2B in the hydraulic markets. Today, they are doing much more with a fleet of retail and repair vehicles to handle on site with contractors, OEMs and more.
Educated responsiveness is a cornerstone of The Hose Company's strategy. The company's goal is to educate its customers on how best to care for and maintain hoses, but to also always be available when problematic situations occur. The Hose Company team believes their ability to help clients centers around a customer-focused inventory and superior educational resources.
"We want to speak the same language as our clients, so we offer one of the most comprehensive hose glossaries one can find online," said Luke Carpenter, hose team technician.
A manufacturer and distributor
The Hose Company manufactures Hydrauli-Flex, their brand of hydraulic hose in one-wire, two-wire, four-wire and six-wire hoses. The impressive part is The Hose Company carries and sells on a daily-basis 50-foot, 100-foot, 150-foot and 200-foot bundles of the large four-wire and six-wire hose. Many hose resellers in the market are working with The Hose Company as their supplier of this large hose.
The Hose Company is a major distributor for the products contractors know and trust from Anchor Fluid Power, Brennan Industries, Dixon Industrial, Kuriyama, Midland Metal, NovaFlex, NRP Jones, Thompkins Industries, Word Wide Fittings, ZSI and many others. The Hose Company's highly trained team can reference part numbers from all these major fitting sources to best assist clients in getting the right fitting the first time.
What's up in 2019?
In 2019, The Hose Company's big initiative was the expansion into the industrial parts hose, offering to start and service the entire job site. Customers that do pile driving will also need other hoses outside of hydraulics. They need lay flat hose, discharge hose, air flow hose and more.... When the company's repair fleet goes onto a job site, it can fix all hoses and fittings saving customers time and money.
"We really want to show our customers that we can deliver, and we deliver more more service, more advice, more help when they need it... just a lot more," said Smith.

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.