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Workers in High Demand

This article appeared in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on May 31st

| The Journal Gazette

Construction projects are popping up across northeast Indiana like fuzzy, yellow dandelions.

While steelworkers erect the skeleton of the $100 million Ash Skyline Plaza downtown, site work is set to begin for the $27 million Cityscape Flats residential project just a few blocks away. Work also continues across town on the $16 million conference center expansion at Memorial Coliseum.

Last week, General Motors announced a project of staggering proportions: a $1.2 billion expansion and upgrade of its Allen County truck assembly plant. Parkview Health officials also last week announced they are embarking on the design stage for their $80 million cancer center. Earlier in the month, FCC (Adams) announced plans to invest $129 million to expand its Berne automatic transmission clutch factory.

Now that the dollars are committed, the only thing left to do is find the raw materials and manpower to transform these visions into reality. But that might be easier said than done.

As the economy heats up, the construction industry faces a shortage of people trained to do the specialized work that major building projects require. The number of people entering the apprenticeship pipeline and various training programs in recent years isn’t expected to be nearly enough to offset growing demand, experts say.

Two workers are retiring for every one entering the profession, according to data from NCCER. The Florida nonprofit was created in 1996 as the National Center for Construction Education and Research.

“It’s a real problem,” said Brad Benhart, associate clinical professor in Purdue Polytechnic’s building construction management department. “We’re at the threshold of a massive retirement of skilled-trades workers at all levels.”

The worker shortage is already being felt locally on projects including the Memorial Coliseum expansion. Randy Brown, general manager, has heard the project’s managers express concern during construction updates.

“They’ve been able to fill the slots,” he said, “but they’ve had to work extra hard to do so.”


For the rest of the article, please click here 

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GM Making a BIG Investment

General Motors is planning on expanding its Fort Wayne Campus with an investment of $1.2 billion. The campus, that produces full size pickup trucks, already employees 3,800 people and has plans to expand it’s manufacturing line.

The new construction will expand the assembly plant’s existing 3.3 million-square-foot campus. It is expected to total about 1.5 million square feet of new space and will include a new pre-treatment facility and expanded body shop. Additionally, the enhancements will expand the plant’s general assembly capabilities.

This will be a huge boom to the construction industry based out of Fort Wayne. Not only will there be the expansion of GM, but to accommodate that INDOT will be allocating $4.6 million for infrastructure assistance.

“The expansion of the Fort Wayne General Motors facility is a tremendous commitment because it not only cements GM’s future in the Allen County community, but it also ensures that we will continue to employ Northeast Indiana residents for years to come,” said Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters.

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BMWC Constructors, Inc. Celebrates 60 Years of Industrial – Strength Construction

Indianapolis (April 15, 2015) – BMWC Constructors, Inc. (BMWC), an award-winning leader in both industrial and commercial heavy construction services, is pleased to announce that this month marks its 60th Anniversary. Since opening its doors in Indianapolis, IN on April 15, 1955, BMWC has become one of North America’s largest and most respected industrial construction contractors (voted Engineering News Record (ENR) Magazine’s “Contractor-of-the-Year”).
Founded by Jack Baker in 1955 and originally known as Baker Mechanical (subsequently Baker, McHenry & Welch), BMWC has built its strength, reputation and expanding footprint on six Core Values along with a set of comprehensive Guiding Principles that still form the backbone of BMWC’s success today.
As the leading North American constructor in Aerospace, Chemical, Electric Power, Food & Beverage, Oil & Gas, Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology, Refining and Semiconductor, BMWC has widely been recognized by their clients as the “best industrial & commercial construction contractor” adhering to the highest safety & quality standards while specializing in the field of Lean Construction for executing their projects.
“At BMWC, our success is the result of providing the unique combination of safely executing our client’s most complex construction projects along with delivering continuously improved maintenance programs with the most innovative technology systems available anywhere in our industry” said President and CEO Brian Acton. He goes on to say “On behalf of all the BMWC hard working families of the past, present and future, we are proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to providing a growing number of opportunities to our next generation of leaders.”

About BMWC Constructors, Inc.
Founded in 1955, BMWC Constructors, Inc. (BMWC), along with its subsidiaries & affiliated companies, provides industrial and commercial heavy construction services to a wide range of ongoing client concerns throughout North America. The company offers a combination of construction services in three (3) distinct categories; Construction Management, Direct-Hire Field Construction and Fabrication Shop Services.

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Member Spotlight: Michele Howell

The Indiana Construction Roundtable has some amazing members that are making a difference in the industry as well as the organization. We are excited to feature one of those members today.

Michele Howell is the Vice President for Business Development for Aon Cornerstone Innovative Solutions. Aon is a world leader in risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Working as the VP for Business Development at Cornerstone, Michele is responsible for creating innovative three-way partnership opportunities between: minority / small business firms, private / public sector entities and Aon’s risk and human resource solution experts.

Michele has a long standing commitment to driving a cultural shift that embraces diversity and inclusion. As a member of ICR, Michele sits on the Mentor Protégé Advisory Board and works hard to make sure that minority, veteran and woman owned businesses are fostered and developed to their full potential. In her position she has brought on multiple new members this year. She is currently our leading member recruiter for 2015.

Michele’s drive and commitment to inclusiveness and diversity is amazing. The Indiana Construction Roundtable is very proud to have her and Aon as members.

Do you know an outstanding member or company that deserves to be spotlighted in our newsletter? Email Association Manager, Ali Zuidervliet at Ali@IndianaConstruction.org, and let us know about them.

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Kent Burget Retires From SMG

After 24 years with Safety Management Group, Burget moves to advisory position

Editor’s note: The Indiana Construction Roundtable would like to thank Kent for many years in leadership on the Board of Directors and many other committees. His dedication to the future of the construction industry has made Indiana a better place. Thank you, Kent!

Kent Burget, President of Safety Management Group of Indiana, Inc., announced his plan to transition to a part-time advisory role effective at the end of this year. Beginning January, 2015, Vice President of Services Randy Gieseking will assume the role of president of the firm as Burget continues to serve the company in an advisory capacity and maintain a Board of Director position.

“I’m pleased and privileged to have been in a business that serves others to help them go home safely each day,” says Burget. “I can’t think of a better profession.”

Burget was one of Safety Management Group’s first employees as the company was formed at Herke Insurance Center (presently Pillar Group Risk Management) in February, 1990. The company grew steadily in size and territory, spinning off from Pillar Group beginning in 2002. Today the Indianapolis-based firm employs over 120 safety professionals delivering services to clients throughout the United States and beyond.

Safety Management Group has enjoyed prosperity and has been fortunate to assist some of Indianapolis’ largest owners in safely completing their construction with pharmaceutical and healthcare clients, as well as municipal projects such as the Banker’s Life Fieldhouse and the New Indianapolis Airport.

“Safety Management Group’s commitments to Associates, Customers, and the Community will continue,” says Burget. “These commitments have led the company through a challenging economy to return to success.”

Burget has been an enthusiastic presence in numerous organizations and associations in the Greater Indianapolis area including the Association of Building Contractors (ABC), Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis (BAGI), the Metro Indianapolis Coalition of Construction Safety (MICCS), the Greater Lafayette Council of MICCS (GLC of MICCS), the Indiana Constructors Roundtable (ICR), the Indiana Subcontractor Association (ISA) and the Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association (INLA), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and subsequently volunteers time to assist these organizations by participating in the organizations’ board of directors and safety committees.

Burget has received the Association of General Contractor of Indiana (AGCI) Excellence in Team Building Award for Safety and The Metro Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety, Inc. (MICCS) recognized Burget by presenting him with their Safety Leader Award and their Board of Directors Award. He was also recognized in 2005 as a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

“Kent has been a great mentor, business partner and friend over the past 16 years,” says Gieseking.  “I am certain if we took a quick survey of our associates, clients and the many community associations that Kent supports, the resounding response would be that Kent is a true friend to so many people.  His desire to improve our company for the benefit or our associates, provide unmatched service for our clients and utilization of our resources, whether that be volunteerism, materials, or monetary donations to make a difference in the communities that we work easily defines Kent and the torch we will carry on.  His day to day presence will be missed, however his involvement as an advisor to our leadership team will continue to benefit Safety Management Group for many years to come.”

“I can’t believe 24 years and almost half of my life has passed,” says Burget. “I am eternally thankful to all the Associates of Safety Management Group for sharing their lives with me.  I’m humbled by the thought that others felt the need to help me make Safety Management Group a success and subsequently provide a great profession and livelihood for so many.”

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Mentor Protégé Quarterly Meetings

New Format Brings Businesses Together to Problem Solve & Grow
The ICR Mentor Protégé program is kicking off a quarterly meeting series that will connect groups of business owners to solve problems together. The new format will be facilitated group discussions, involving smaller peer groups that will be assigned for the year. Each group consist of 5 – 7 participants and a facilitator. By establishing a smaller group format, we hope to build stronger relationships within the program, and provide additional mentoring outside of your regular partnership meetings.

Mentor Protégé Chair, Melissa Brown, President of Relocation Strategies, Inc and graduate of the Mentor Protégé Program, believes that this program will take businesses to the next level. “The new format will allow our members to have greater access to knowledge sharing, to help grow their business. If you are not currently in a mentor protégé partnership and want to participate, we welcome you to attend”

This is an incredibly exciting new program. Participants will not only network and work together to solve their problems, but they will also gain the tools it takes to take their business to the next level.

If you are interested in being part of these quarterly meetings email Association Manager, Ali Zuidervliet, at ali@indianaconstruction.org or give her a call at 317-686-2669.

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Construction Jobs Boom in Terre Haute

City Sees 2nd Highest Gain in Construction Jobs in the US

On December 21st, the IBJ published an Associated Press article titled Indiana City posts nation’s second biggest construction job gain. The article is about how Terre Haute, in western Indiana, saw a 24% increase in construction jobs between October 2013 and October 2014. The federal employment data, which is tracked by The Associated General Contractors of America, ranks Terre Haute second in the nation at creating new construction jobs which is among the largest percentage gains in all Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

This is an amazing accomplishment for the city when you take in consideration the terrible winter weather we had last year that stalled a lot of outdoor work. Construction companies in the area, since the winter, have spent their time playing catch-up. Some of the big projects in Terre Haute and Vigo County are ongoing work on Indiana  641 bypass, student housing construction and a new track and field complex on Indiana State University’s campus, and various retail store projects.

For the original story, go here

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