A group of retired business managers and retired International Reps, along with MOST representatives, front row, will form a training cadre for Boilermaker Code instruction. Joining the trainers, back row, are MOST trustees.
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Group braves powerful storm, marks 30th year of alliance
DESPITE RECORD-BREAKING rain and flooding that hammered the Carolinas in early October, the majority of those who signed up for the 30th National Tripartite Conference successfully navigated their way to the Embassy Suites Hotel at Myrtle Beach, S.C., without major incident.
The overall turnout was excellent, and the union, owners and contractors gathered to celebrate three decades of progress and to continue the important work of addressing industry issues and advancing vital MOST programs.
In his opening address, International President Newton B. Jones said the entire construction industry has benefited from the groundbreaking achievements spearheaded by the Boilermakers and their partner contractors and owners through the years.
He discussed the major challenges the alliance has tackled, describing how key programs like Common Arc, Substance Abuse Testing, OSHA 10, OSHA 30 and others have achieved incredible efficiencies and major safety improvements. He said new programs also hold great promise, citing the MOST Boilermaker Delivery System and the Boilermaker Code.
Jones said that with the formation of the tripartite alliance there has been a paradigm shift away from the old adversarial relationships that got in the way of progress.
“We have built a legacy of how to do business the right way,” he said.
Groups caucus to identify challenges, offer solutions
THE FIRST ORDER of business at the conference was to split into union, owner and contractor caucuses to identify issues of importance to each body.
Among the topics addressed were implementation of the Boilermaker Code program, human performance initiatives to enhance safety, optimizing the use of tube welders, drug testing, fitness for duty, updating Common Arc welding certifications, outage scheduling, recruitment, and apprentice and helper ratios.
Later in the week, all three groups gathered to review the issues and discuss potential solutions.
Conference gives special attention to Boilermaker Code
THE BOILERMAKER CODE was a key topic during the conference. IP Jones, in speaking about the tripartite alliance’s 30 years of progress, pointed out the importance of adopting the Code to elevate the attitude and behavior of all members to the highest level possible. He said achieving union-wide acceptance of the Code would strengthen the union’s competitiveness and secure more work for current and future generations.
Jones introduced Dale “Skipper” Branscum, Director of Construction Division Services, who provided a presentation on a training program to teach the Code. The full-day program includes an introductory film and 10 modules that stress the values inherent in the Code. Branscum also showed a short video of the train-the-trainer program recently held in Kansas City, Mo., as well as the initial training sessions conducted at four local lodges.
At the conclusion of his presentation, Branscum called to the stage retired business managers and retired International reps who have accepted an invitation by IP Jones to provide Boilermaker Code training across the country. Joining this group were MOST representatives who will also provide training.
Nordquist highlights Woodbridge project successes
TYLER NORDQUIST, KIEWIT Power Constructors project manager for the Woodbridge Energy Center in New Jersey, presented an overview of the new $845 million, 725 MW combined cycle natural gas fired power plant.
He emphasized that coordination and communication between Kiewit and the Boilermakers were essential for success, as the project had an extremely tight deadline of just 28 months.
“These jobs are large, and they’re built on momentum and morale,” Nordquist said.” The Boilermakers and Jim [Local 28 BM-ST James Chew] and his team were absolutely just a big part of this. We knocked it out of the park.”
The project included setting 20 80-foot-tall modules in five days. At Kiewit’s request, Boilermakers received prequalification on RMD, a purgeless weld process that sped up the welding work.
“We received the best welding rates that we’ve had in 10 years,” he said. “We’re on schedule to finish a month early.”
“We have built a legacy of how to do business the right way.”
— IP Newton B. Jones
IP Jones announces change of guard
MOST WILL HAVE a new administrator beginning early next year. IP Jones formally announced the retirement of Roger Erickson, set for February 2016, and the succession to that position of Skipper Branscum.
Erickson was met with a standing ovation as Jones congratulated him on his years of service with MOST, stating, “I think everybody here respects the job you’ve done; I know I do. Thank you for the heart and energy you’ve put into your role.”
Branscum spoke briefly about his new position. He thanked Jones and the MOST board for their confidence in him.
“Roger and Bill Palmisano before him have set the standards high [for the MOST administrator job],” he said, “and I’m excited and a little overwhelmed at the tasks before me. I’m going to work very hard to live up to those standards.”
Jones said it would be tough to lose such a valuable member of the Boilermaker staff, but noted, “There’s no doubt in my mind that Skipper Branscum is going to be an excellent, excellent MOST administrator.”
Marketing committee reports on recruitment campaign
THREE MEMBERS OF the MOST Marketing Committee, IVP Dave Haggerty, IVP J. Tom Baca, and Chris Martin of Atlas Marketing, provided updates on the committee’s efforts. Also serving on the committee are Chairman Brad Bradford, Roger Erickson and Mike McParlan.
Martin walked through the redesign of the primary MOST website. The site has a new look, is more mobile friendly, and presents information in a more accessible way, he said.
Haggerty described a new MOST microsite promoting the Boilermaker Code, a marketing presentation for business managers to use when meeting with owners and contractors, and customized marketing reports for business managers.
Baca explained the committee’s efforts to support the recruitment of experienced Boilermaker welders. The effort includes using advertising outlets and locations on job boards, social media and digital advertising campaigns.
Baca added that the marketing effort would include an outreach to the Hispanic community.
IT reports on MBDS recruitment feature
IT DIRECTOR CURT Smith and Software Engineer/Architect Ed Jasinski demonstrated the new recruitment function being built into the MOST Boilermaker Delivery System (MBDS).
The mobile-friendly function allows potential recruits to go to a web-based landing page where they can enter information about their skills, experience, phone number and address.
Once a recruit has saved the form, that information is automatically sent via email to MOST Mobilization & Training Representative Jay Brophy for prompt follow up. Reports can be generated to track recruiting leads and to show the origin of the leads, whether they are from a third party website, Twitter, Facebook, the Boilermakers website, local unions, or other sources. Although the recruitment function is still being refined, nearly 500 leads have already been recorded.