The ACT Experience–Quality

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Spencer, a project engineer in the Alberici Career Training (ACT) program, has completed his time in estimating and is now finishing Quality training. Here’s what he had to say about his experience:

 

Quality training started off with a trip to the Edgewater project in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Upon my arrival I worked with our quality staff learning how they inspect welds on the job. I was able to see from start to finish how a weld was completed in the field, inspected for quality and tracked in the project to measure progress. While touring the warehouse I was shown how tracking tools and parts helps everyone on the project better perform their jobs by giving them what they need and when they need it. By working more efficiently, the project creates the environment of better quality and safety.

 

The next week took me to the Meldahl Hydroelectric plant, where I was able to get a closer look at pipe welding and what goes into signoff of finished lines. Much of the work on the site is performed in a relatively small area compared to other sites. This made coordination and quality signoff even more important so that workflow could proceed as scheduled. While touring the site, I was able to see the turbine blades that will be over 100 feet below river elevation. The training program has given me the opportunity to walk sites like this that few people get to work on, and I look forward to seeing more Alberici projects like this in the future.

The ACT Experience–Estimating Part 2

ACT_4cJames 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.

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.