The ACT Experience

ACT_4cThe Alberici Career Training (ACT) program provides new project engineers with insight into Alberici’s various business functions and how they operate together as a whole. Our employees spend time in different departments including Estimating, Scheduling, Project Controls, Marketing, Legal and Safety, where they work one-on-one with key stakeholders to better understand our company.

Some of our new Project Engineers, James Beatty and Spencer Litzau, recently began the ACT program. Over the coming months, they’ll be sharing their experiences with us. First, let’s meet them:

James Beatty was born and raised in St. Louis. He attended DeSmet Jesuit High School before going to the University of Missouri – Columbia, where he studied Mechanical Engineering. He was an Engineering Intern at Alberici during the summer of 2014. He hired on full time as a Project Engineer in January after graduating from Mizzou in December 2014.

Spencer Litzau graduated from Saint Louis University with a degree in Civil Engineering and has been working at Alberici for 8 months.  He worked on the Olmsted Dam project before starting the training program. 

James and Spencer are spending the first two months of the ACT program in the estimating department. Here’s what they’ve had to say about the experience so far:

Last week we submitted the bid for the Fargo Water Treatment Plant. Getting first-hand experience with the estimating department helps us appreciate all the work that goes into winning a project before construction even begins. Working with the estimating department teaches the importance of working with a team and looking over every detail of a project. 

While working on the bid we were all assigned different specification sections. After receiving our assignments, we needed to read the specs and preform take offs for the material that pertained to each of our sections. Next we started calling subcontractors to see if they wanted to bid on the project. While doing this we created Bid Analysis Sheets to help us break down the bids. This was done so that we could have the most accurate number possible and know what subcontractors would be giving us on bid day.

Bid day provides  great practice for working under pressure to make sure a job gets done on a deadline. It was exciting, hectic and even gratifying. This experience reinforced the value of good preparation and communication.

We can already see the benefits that understanding the estimating process will have in helping us become  better project engineers out in the field. 

Happy Engineers Week!

In honor of National Engineers Week, we’d like to thank Alberici’s Professional Engineers for their hard work and dedication to the profession.


From left to right: Mike Hafling, Shannon Kruse and Travis Stryker.

8800 PEs

From left to right: Matt Grieshaber, Travis Trader, Don Oberlies and Daniel Rosemann

Alberici’s Professional Engineers who are not pictured include Gary Broccard, Mike Burke, Craig Gonet, Kerry Henning, Jim Klingensmith, Don Lauppe, Bob Niemeier and John Smith.

Fun Fact: George Washington is considered the nation’s first engineer due to his survey work. In his honor, National Engineers Week always includes his birthday, February 22nd.

National Time Management Month–February 2015


IMG_7363In celebration of National Time Management Month, pause whatever you’re doing and take a second to get to know Sara Lane, Alberici’s scheduling engineer who manages time for a living.

Sara has been working at Alberici in scheduling for over a year. Prior to Alberici, she spent four years as a Project Controls Engineer at ExxonMobil in Houston and Tokyo. In that role, she developed a growing interest in project planning and working with Primavera P6 scheduling software.  As she looked for new roles in St. Louis to relocate back to Missouri, Sara was immediately drawn to the scheduling role at Alberici where she would get exposure to projects in a wide variety of markets.

Sara’s favorite part of her job is visiting job sites and working with project teams to update the job’s progress, plan future work, and identify risks and opportunities contributing to the overall success of the project.  She also really enjoys getting to feel like part of the team and learning more about how work gets done in the field.

We asked Sara about her personal time management strategy, and she explained that a time management tip that has really stuck with her comes from Stephen Covey’s “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”. In his book, Covey says that “… scheduling a little time each day as if it were an actual appointment is the only way to ensure that you make some time for yourself…schedule one hour for reading, yoga, exercise or however you want to use the time.  How you choose to use the time is up to you. The important thing is that you schedule that time and stick to it.”

Sara puts this advice into action, which enables her do all the things she loves in her free time. She figure skates both individually and on a competitive synchronized skating team, practices yoga, shops at the farmers market and enjoys cooking. 

Anniversary Spotlight –Tom Waters

Project Manager Tom Waters is celebrating his 35th anniversary at Alberici this month. In honor of this milestone, we asked Tom to share some thoughts, experiences and advice.

Tom Waters v11.    In your time at Alberici, which project was your favorite and why?

When I was in junior high, there was news about the building of a new lock & dam in my hometown of Alton, IL.  I said to myself that I wanted to build that lock & dam someday.  Eight years later, after graduating high school and college, I was hired by J.S. Alberici Construction Co. and assigned to the lock & dam project.  It was a dream come true and everyone from my hometown could see that I worked for this huge construction company with all this brand new red and white equipment on display in the middle of the Mississippi River.  I was proud then, and I still am 35 years later.

2.    What are you most proud of in your time at Alberici and why?

I am proud to say that I have worked for one great company for 35 years.  Working for one company for your entire career is rare and reflects loyalty from both sides.

3.    What do you like most about working at Alberici?

I appreciate the dedication of the people that work at Alberici and the strong reputation that we have approaching 100 years old.

4.    How has the construction industry changed since you started?

Mainly, technology has changed.  Imagine being on a jobsite with no cell phones, no computers, no emails, no electronic documents and using real carbon paper for copies.

5.    What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting in the construction industry?

•    Safety First, there is always a safe way to perform the work
•    Remember that you always represent Alberici in your actions and your words
•    Be Humble
•    Be a Problem Solver
•    Be Honest
•    Be Fair
•    Always look for efficiencies in everything
•    Read and understand the contracts (Owner Contracts, Subcontracts and Labor Contracts)

6.    In your career, you’ve worked in many different industries, how has this diverse experience helped you?

I have always told people that I have been on many “once in a lifetime jobs” (lock & dam, car plants, St. Louis football stadium, hospitals, water treatment plant and nuclear plant).  I have been fortunate to work with a large company that is so diverse and has given me all this experience. The diversity helps keep me motivated and makes me still feel like a kid.  It is neat to drive around St. Louis and point out to friends that Alberici built that.