Sweet SLCCC Celebration: Forum Recognized for Inclusion

By on March 8, 2016

by Tom Finan, Executive Director, Construction Forum STL

The sweet smell of success mingled in the air with the aroma of chocolate Monday night at the Bissingers’ Chocolate facility on North Broadway. The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) celebrated 45 years of contributions to the industry and presented awards for inclusion advocacy and best practices.

Carol Daniels of KMOX was emcee. She told the crowd of close to 250 people that even without understanding the intricacies of what the winners did to put built structures in place, she was fascinated with the complexity of the tasks they faced and impressed with their methods of execution.

CAKEiCon Mechanical garnered a “Best Practices” award for “Planning for Modularization” on the mechanical penthouse at the BJC Kingshighway Campus Renewal South Tower project. iCon’s approach included months of planning, BIM and 3D-printed models, and shop fabrication of pump skid modules weighing close to 40,000 lbs. each.

S.M. Wilson & Co. won a “Best Practices” award in Front End Planning and Materials Management on the 385,000 square-foot Ikea store that Wilson completed last year  at the southwest intersection of Forest Park Avenue and Vandeventer Avenue. The project included 540 parking spaces in a garage one level below the store on the ground level and a loading dock. Building components within the facility include warehousing/stocking, customer self-service, product displays, a cafeteria-style restaurant, children’s play area, and administration/office areas.

Best practices are based on standards set by the Construction Industry Institute (CII). A CII Best Practice is a process or method that, when executed effectively, leads to enhanced project performance. CII Best Practices have been proven through extensive industry use and/or validation.

Ramona Tumblin-Rucker, project manager – PMO – BJC Campus Renewal was recognized as Inclusion Champion. Tumblin-Rucker, an engineer with a bachelors from S&T and two masters degrees in management, is completing her doctorate in management at Webster University. In addition to BJC, during her career she has managed projects for McCarthy, Turner Construction and Mobil Oil.

But it is for her dedication to giving back and creating an inclusive construction industry — whether through developing MBE/WBE contractor capacity or through mentoring middle school girls in Ferguson — that Tumblin-Rucker was recognized by SLCCC.

“I hope the young ladies heard something, realized something that will inspire them to pursue a career in STEM or engage them in making a difference in someone else’s life,” Tumblin-Rucker told BJC Today in an interview.  “My prayer is that every day they feel valued and loved. I hope I’ve left them with information they can use and the feeling to dream big, that they heard something that may one day change their lives or be that missing link and drive a passion to choose a positive action.”

Carr Flooring was recognized as MWDBE Contractor of the Year. The recognition noted the firm’s consistent performance and quality for some of the area’s largest owners, and Carr’s accident-free safety record.

The Building Union Diversity (BUD) program was one of two recipients recognized for Organizational Excellence in Inclusion Advocacy. The training in the BUD program includes both classroom and shop training, and participants will earn national skills certifications as they progress through the training. Participating union apprenticeship training program providers include bricklayers, carpenters, IBEW electricians, ironworkers, laborers, operating engineers, and plumbers and pipefitters.

The BUD program brings together a comprehensive network of participating joint labor-management Construction Skills training providers, SLATE, the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, and the Missouri Division of Workforce Development (DWD). Of the 32 persons who have completed the program since it was launched in October of 2014, 27 have found employment.

Construction Forum STL was recognized for Organizational Excellence in Inclusion Advocacy for, “financial empowerment of minority firms to compete in the communities they serve.”  In presenting the award Carol Daniels cited a variety of Construction Forum STL initiatives and programs, such as a “Boots on the Ground” panel discussion on the heels of Michael Brown’s death that attracted over 500 persons and the Construction Forum Education Foundation’s STEM outreach to underserved children, such as efforts at Normandy and Hazelwood high schools.

About Tom Finan