Congratulations to the Alberici employees who recently completed the Construction Leadership Institute at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. They join 29 other Alberici employees who have completed the program since 2004.
The 2015 graduating class includes Nick Lange, Brent Richter and Caitlin Huber.
The Construction Leadership Institute is an accelerated nine-week program that gives participants opportunities to learn leadership, communication and professional skills through discussions, simulations and exercises.
Congratulations to Nick, Brent and Caitlin on successfully completing the program!
James and Spencer are continuing their time in Estimating for the Alberici Career Training (ACT) program. Click here to read about their earlier experiences in estimating.
Spencer: Snapfinger Bid
I recently worked on a re-bid for the Snapfinger Waste Water Treatment Plant. This effort included not only preparing the estimate, but also reaching out to the local small business enterprise (LSBE) groups. I went to Atlanta to build relationships with the local community and get to know the local subcontractors. Alberici conducted one full day of meetings with the LSBE companies for this process which gave me first-hand experience meeting with LSBE groups and demonstrated Alberici’s commitment to the communities in which we conduct business.
I also assisted with the Snapfinger re-bid, travelling to Alberici’s office near Atlanta so that we could better coordinate the bid effort. Though we were not ultimately the low bidder, this experience provided a better view on how Alberici is able to win and perform projects in various locations with specialized employees.
James: WUMC Campus Renewal Estimate
I have been working on the 90% CD Fit Out Estimate for the WUMC Campus Renewal Project with the project’s preconstruction team. We created this estimate using unit pricings obtained from subs. This estimate mainly focused on the finishes for both the BJC North building and the Saint Louis Children’s Hospital South Building. While working on this estimate we used information received from the architects and their dRofus programs. We categorized rooms that had similar finish types and found the average square footage of certain wall types, ceiling types, and floor types. Using this information we determined how much of a certain material would be on the building. Then using material and labor costs for each product, a final estimate value was established.
Spencer and James: Fargo Turnover Meetings
We both spent two days in turnover meetings with the Fargo Water Treatment Plant project team. It’s good experience getting to see the process of job startup such as awarding subcontracts, building a budget/schedule, and reviewing the contract. Everyone from the estimating team presented their sections and explained what costs were in a project, identified potential problem areas and told Alberici’s on-site team what they will need to keep in mind on the project. These meetings showed us how the different departments work as a team and the importance of communication to ensure project success.
The 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.
Gene Roberts, an Alberici Safety Manager with a recognized passion for safety, was the keynote speaker at the AGC of Missouri's annual Spring Safety Banquet earlier this month.
The banquet honors and recognizes individuals and organizations for leading and performing work safely. This was the second occasion where a “non-celebrity” presented the keynote address.
Gene has worked in the construction industry 34 years with experience throughout the US and Canada in heavy industrial projects, healthcare, automotive, food and beverage and energy markets.
He spoke of Safety Leadership, and talked of several key points that resonated with the audience whether they were apprentices, attending the banquet for the first time, or long-term career individuals in the construction industry. Briefly, they were:
- Listening to safety concerns
- Leading by example, experience and willingness
- Always approaching safety in a positive manner
- Recognizing responsibility for safety
- Encouraging the reporting of safety concerns and correcting problems
- Coordinating and overseeing work
- Realizing that skill levels may vary, so the buddy system and mentoring are essential
- Realizing that no one has any more responsibility for safety and making sure that safety issues are corrected than oneself
Gene also talked about the rewards of being a safety leader – not so much in terms of money, but rather knowing you can face yourself in the mirror every day and lay your head on your pillow every night knowing that you did your best and that you made a difference. He spoke about how much one's family and friends mean when you commit to working safely. He also discussed how employers, trades unions, safety personnel and project management teams have to believe in safety, train and educate the workforce, respect the workers and be consistent with our message.
Victoria Fleddermann, Director of Business Development for Alberici’s Industrial Process group, started as an intern and has worked for Alberici for her entire career. To conclude NAWIC’s annual Women in Construction week, we asked Victoria to reflect on her career and the role of women in the construction industry.
1. Can you tell us about your path to the construction industry?
I wanted a challenging career and elected to get an engineering degree. My uncle, an Alberici Vice President at the time, learned of my aspirations and gave me the chance to visit a project site, and I was hooked.
2. What do you like most about working in construction?
For 17 years, I worked in the field as a project engineer and project manager. I enjoyed involvement with Alberici’s diverse projects, including automotive plants, power plants, industrial facilities and buildings, and I enjoyed working with some great project teams. Working in the construction industry gives you the chance to be part of something much larger than yourself. Visiting projects I’ve worked on in the past, including Monsanto Chesterfield, the Scottrade Center and the St. Louis Galleria Mall, always stirs a memory.
In my current role in the Industrial Process group, I am exposed to new manufacturing processes from our large variety of clients, which I find fascinating. I also enjoy the challenge of finding opportunities that are the best fit for Alberici’s expertise and resources.
3. Tell us about a challenge you’ve faced in your career and how you approached it.
When starting a new project, you often have to establish credibility with a new team. I’ve found that seeking insight and opinions from more experienced field people before making decisions provides a basis to grow mutual respect.
4. Do you have any advice for women entering the construction industry?
We are all here to do our jobs to the best of our abilities; having a mindset that gender is a non-issue helps set the stage. Take on challenges, and get involved in professional associations such as the Associated General Contractors (AGC) or the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). Having a mentor or two to turn to for advice is also invaluable.
Safety Director Kathi Dobson has worked for Alberici since 1999 and is a proud member of the National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC). To mark NAWIC’s annual Women in Construction week, celebrated during the first week in March, we asked Kathi to reflect on her career and the role of women in the construction industry.
1. What led you to the construction industry/how did you get involved in the construction industry?
I began my career as a nurse in a hospital-based setting. Later, I moved into a manufacturing setting as an Occupational Health Nurse where I was responsible for managing injuries, claims and training. In that role, I delivered confined space, aerial lift and fork truck training, and I became familiar with behavior-based safety, OSHA regulations and construction standards. This experience prepared me to make the leap to the construction industry, and I joined Alberici as a Project Safety Coordinator.
2. What do you like most about working in construction?
Honestly, there is very little I dislike about our industry. I love being able to collaborate with our team to solve the challenges our projects present. Being able to interact with both our tradespeople and project management teams provides a great deal of satisfaction.
3. Could you describe what you do in your current role?
As a Safety Director, I spend time on multiple projects, mostly in Alberici’s Automotive and Industrial Processes divisions. I often spend only a couple of days on-site, so I have to prioritize and manage my time well. While on-site, I work with project teams to provide assistance and guidance in order to ensure a safe work environment. I’m always available to coach, counsel and educate project personnel.
4. Tell us about your work with the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).
I’ve served in multiple leadership roles for over a decade with NAWIC. I’m currently serving as the National Safety and Health Awareness Committee Chair and also chair the OSHA/NAWIC Alliance, which works to raise awareness of OSHA’s standards and initiatives.
5. Do you have any advice for women entering the construction industry?
Don’t give up. Believe in yourselves. Persevere with conviction. Dare to pursue new horizons. Seek out others who can support and guide you. Find a mentor – male or female, we all need someone who can give sound guidance as we begin our careers. Most of all, be hopeful for the day that women are so common in the industry that we are identified not as female project managers, engineers and craft-workers, but simply as project managers, engineers and craft-workers.