Page 1

See Page 13 for LSU Construction Management Competition Cover Story.

Merit Shop Message

MAY 2018 Table of Contents.................................. 2 Letter From The Chair............................ 3 Events Calendar...................................... 4 Letter From The President..................... 5 Legal Article: Recent Cases Have Reduced Defenses To Payment Bond Claims.....................................................7 Legal Article: Construction Best Managment Practices........................... 8 Government Relations: ABC-LA Applauds Louisiana Senator's Confirmation of John Ring to NLRB.......................................... 9 Cover Story............................................. 13 2018 National Craft Competition Recap.....................................................14 2018 ABC National Legislative Week.......................................................16 Training Center Updates........................ 17 Lagniappe Article: Making The Most of An Incredible Opportunity.......................20-21

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2 | Merit Shop Message | May 2018

© 2017 Regions. All loans and leases subject to credit approval. I Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.

MERIT SHOP MESSAGE President David Helveston

Editor Katie Routh

MERIT SHOP MESSAGE is published quarterly by Pelican Chapter, ABC. ABC is a national nonprofit trade association of contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and associates who have joined together to advance the construction industry by aggressively supporting the merit shop philosophy and the free enterprise system. Copyright 2018. Pelican Chapter Associated Builders & Contractors 19251 Highland Road Baton Rouge, La 70809 225-752-1415 Fax 225-751-9470 Executive Committee Chair, Trey Crawford, Grady Crawford Construction Co., LLC; Chair-Elect, Donn Peterson, Group Industries; Past Chair, Andy Lopez, Cajun Industries, LLC; Secretary, Lee Mayeux, Cajun Industries, LLC; Treasurer, Ryan Girouard, Whitney Bank; Vice-Chair Education, Shawn Worsham, Jacobs, Vice-Chair Governmental Relations, Scott Couper, PALA-Interstate; Vice-Chair Membership Growth, Jeff Plauche, Boh Bros. Construction Co., LLC; Vice-Chair Member Services, Josh Rounds, Performance Contractors Inc.; Vice-Chair Outlying Area, Sarah Taylor, R.N., Gulf Coast Occupational Medicine. Board of Directors Carlos Guidry, Turner Industries Group, LLC; Conrad Bourg, Primoris Services Corporation; Donnie David, ISC Constructors, LLC; Shane Firmin, Brown & Root Industrial, Keith Coleman, Beard Construction Group, LLC; Wes Mincin, Triad Electric & Controls, Inc. Chapter Legal Counsel Murphy J. Foster, III, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP Auditor Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP


What an exciting time at the Pelican Chapter! With the 1st quarter of the year in the rear-view mirror, we have confirmed great membership retention and brought on quite a few new member companies. As a member of the Pelican Chapter of Associated Builder’s and Contractors, you are undeniably a part of one of the best ABC Chapters in the country. However, with the quality of our staff, committee involvement, volunteers, and engaged membership – I’d argue, we are the very best. While I have been an active member of ABC for many years, my eyes are continuously being opened to more and more accomplishments this organization has achieved over the years and continues to achieve on a daily basis. For instance, over the past two years, I have really gotten to see and hear the stories of success from our training centers, instructors and students. After mentioning to staff that my knowledge of the training centers was my weakness, they took me under their wing, toured me around the facility and explained the many programs and resources the training centers provide. I invite anyone who is not aware of what we do in the Baton Rouge and Southwest Training Centers to make an appointment and take a walk with Kelly Carpenter at the Baton Rouge Training Center or Kirby Bruchhaus at the Southwest Training Center or any of their staff - you will be glad you did. The Baton Rouge and Lake Charles Training Centers are training the next generation of a great skilled craft workforce. The standards that this organization has reached and the accomplishments of this chapter especially are what really sets it apart from other construction trade associations. I was glad to see many active members and staff at last month’s Touch-A-Truck, a Junior League event that we began partnering with last year. The weather was great and the generous donations of member companies either providing equipment for the kids to tour, donating their time to cook food for the many hungry parents and kids in attendance or just volunteering to help out where needed made for an awesome day! If you have sensitive ears, this was not the place for you. Sirens, loud engines and plenty of horn honking kept the kids smiling. It was loud but the only thing louder than the horns was the success and great attention it brought for the Pelican Chapter. With this being my 1st newsletter as Chair of the Pelican Chapter, I want to thank you for your loyalty and support of this organization. If you have not yet renewed, I urge you to not turn your back on such a meaningful organization. I don’t want to sound like our last President of the United States, but if your business is a success in Louisiana, ABC had a hand in helping you achieve your goals. Free Enterprise and the Merit Shop Philosophy is a reason your business is a success. We are in a real fight in our political climate and you need ABC fighting the battle so your way of life is not challenged or taxed more than it already is. A wise man once told me, “there are a lot of successful companies that ride the coat tails of this association.” That is never truer than today. I urge you to renew your membership so we can continue to fight for what is best for the state of Louisiana. It is both a privilege and an honor to serve as Chairman of the Pelican Chapter. I hold this position with great trust and I have been enjoying my time as Chairman with our new Chapter President, David Helveston. We have several new additions to the staff and it almost feels like they have been working together for years, not months. Stay tuned, we have a lot of great things coming out of the Pelican Chapter.

The Merit Shop Advantage

Merit Shop is a way of doing business in which companies reward employees based on performance and encourage them to reach their highest level of achievement, and in which contracts are awarded based on safety, quality, and value, regardless of labor affiliation. May 2018 | Merit Shop Message | 3











8/9 Spring Classes Begin

6 ICC #1 6-8 SWTC Build Your Future 21 Lunch & Learn 19-22 BRTC Blood Drive 22 SWTC FFA District Competition

1 BR Member Mixer

11 Officer Installation Banquet 25 BRTC Fall 2017 Graduation


1 SWTC FFA Area Competition & Jambalaya Cookoff 5-7 SWTC Blood Drive 16 BR Spring Golf Tournament 24 Touch A Truck w/ Junior League of Baton Rouge 27 BRTC Open House




12 SW Crawfish Boil

3 BR Crawfish Boil

21 BRTC Spring 2018 Graduation

17 BRTC High School Craft Competition

11 SW Golf Tournament

xx ICC #2

24 ABC of LA Legis. Day & Reception 26 SW Member Mixer

17-19 ABC of LA Fishing Rodeo

28 SWTC Spring 2018 Graduation

23-24 Last Day of Spring Classes 31 BR Member Mixer (Cancelled)




13 SW Fishing Tournament

6/7 Fall Classes Begin 9 Uncommon Leadership Kick-off

6 SW Member Mixer

xx ICC #3

xx BRTC Programs Partners Signing

25-27 ABC of LA State Convention xx Lunch & Learn

24 BR Fall Golf Tournament xx BRTC Blood Drive Day




12 BR Clay Shoot

1 CFMA/ABC Construction Forum xx BR Jambalaya & Gumbo Cook-off xx ICC #4 xx SW Lunch & Learn xx ABC Craft Competition

xx Excellence in Construction Awards

xx Lunch & Learn xx SW Clay Shoot xx BYF Week

19/20 Last Day of Fall Classes

29 BR Member Mixer

Dates to be determined are marked as “xx”| Check for updates 4 | Merit Shop Message | May 2018

From the President


I recently had the opportunity to attend ABC’s national convention in Long Beach, California. You could sense the excitement around the Merit Shop philosophy with great speakers, informative sessions, student competitions, and several networking opportunities over drinks. For me, the highlight of the trip wasn’t a high-energy speaker or the black-tie Excellence in Construction Awards gala where Pelican Chapter members took home many awards. My highlight was spending some time with a few of our students who were participating in the National Craft Competition. One young student welder particularly stands out in my mind. He was immensely proud of his trade, supremely confident in his technical abilities as a welder, and excited about his future in the construction industry. His bravado matched that of a professional NBA trash talker in his prime; he could make any weld, from any position, no matter the weather. He sheepishly admitted that he didn’t fare that well on the written exam part of the competition, but his swagger quickly returned as we discussed the hands-on welding competition and what employers really looked for in a welder. This young man only wanted to be judged on his actual welding ability, which he assured all within earshot was far superior to his peers if x-ray testing had been used. Cockiness aside, this young craftsman represented the Pelican Chapter well at the National Craft Competition. He also unknowingly spoke passionately about many of the ideals that are core values of ABC: to be judged solely on your merits; to compete freely in the marketplace; to be compensated fairly for skilled work; and to develop the next generation workers in the construction industry. The belief in a system of free enterprise and open competition, one of ABC’s founding principles, will serve this confident young welder well. He was optimistic about his future in the construction industry and the way of life it would provide for him. Conversations like this one make me truly excited to fight for ABC’s core values every day. From 19-year-old welders or billiondollar general contractors, the work of ABC benefits the entire construction industry. It is an honor to serve as president of the Pelican Chapter. As members, I ask you to find ways to get involved with ABC and remain engaged.

May 2018 | Merit Shop Message | 5


with purpose

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It goes without saying that contracts are essential in the construction industry. They govern the relationships between all parties involved on a project, including the owner, the general contractor, subcontractors, and suppliers. In resolving disputes, courts often state the principal that a contract defines the respective rights and obligations of the parties and is the law between them. As such, if the terms of a contract are clear, the contract should be enforced as written. In the past several years, however, a general contractor’s ability to protect itself through the terms of its contracts have been diminished by courts permitting recovery against a surety furnishing a payment bond notwithstanding the general contractor’s contractual defenses which would otherwise prevent recovery. Of course, in those instances where a surety is held liable on a payment bond claim, the general contractor is ultimately responsible for the amount by way of its general indemnity agreement with the surety. In 2011, the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal decided the case of Glencoe Educ. Found., Inc. v. Clerk of Court & Recorder of Mortgages for Par. of St. Mary, 20101872 (La. App. 1 Cir. 5/6/11), 65 So. 3d 225, wherein the Court held that a surety on a public works project was not permitted to rely upon contractual “pay-if-paid” clauses in the defense of payment bond claims asserted by subcontractors. In essence, the Court reasoned that the “pay-if-paid” clauses in the subcontracts could not shield the surety from liability since the payment bond was a statutory bond intended for the benefit of the claimants. The practical effect of the decision is that the general contractor must ultimately be responsible for the subcontractors’ claims by way of its general indemnity agreement despite having a contractual “payif-paid” defense to the claims. Recently, in January 2018, the holding of Glencoe was extended by the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal. In Bear Indus., Inc. v. Hanover Ins. Co., 2017-0301 (La. App. 1 Cir. 1/4/18), -- So. 3d. --, a supplier to a subcontractor

filed a lawsuit alleging that it was owed additional amounts for materials furnished in connection with the construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The lawsuit named as a defendant the surety which furnished a payment bond on behalf of the general contractor for the project. The trial resulted in a judgment rendered in favor of the supplier and against the surety. On appeal, the general contractor and surety argued that the trial court erred by ruling in favor of the supplier due to the supplier’s failure to comply with a notice requirement contained in a joint check agreement executed by the general contractor, subcontractor, and supplier. That agreement required that the supplier notify the general contractor in the event there was a failure on the part of the subcontractor to make payment within 60 days of the date of an invoice. Importantly, the agreement further stated that the failure of the supplier to provide such notice shall constitute a waiver of any lien rights or rights to collection against the general contractor. The Court of Appeal affirmed the ruling of the trial court. Specifically, the Court held that the reasoning of Glencoe also applied to claims brought against a payment bond under the Private Works Act, not just to claims against a Public Works Act payment bond as was the case in Glencoe. The Court then extended the Glencoe reasoning beyond the application of a contractual “payif-paid” clause, holding that the surety was not entitled to rely upon the contractual 60 day notice provision as a defense to the payment bond claim. Thus, despite the general contractor having a contractual agreement stating that it would not be liable to the supplier in the absence of the required notice, the general contractor’s surety was still liable; meaning that the general contractor will ultimately be responsible to the surety for the amount.

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May 2018 | Merit Shop Message | 7


CONSTRUCTION BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES The construction of large and small infrastructure and capital projects has increased significantly over the past several years. Roads and bridges are being constructed or expanded, and many industrial facilities, especially in the Gulf South, are breaking ground to build large complexes or expand existing ones. Obviously, this activity will expose sediments within the construction area and may, during rainfall events, create storm water runoff laden with those sediments. These pollutants can cause problems in nearby streams, lakes and bayous.

Best management practices applicable to construction activities, including clearing, grading and excavation, have been established over the years. The practices apply to construction in areas over five acres and, in some cases, areas less than five acres. Although they have been in place for several years, it is best to review these practices from time to time to ensure compliance with existing rules and minimize any impact to the environment surrounding the construction site. Several best management practices have been established for construction activities. These include erosion and sediment controls, soil stabilization and other pollution prevention measures. Erosion and sediment controls must be designed, installed and maintained in order to minimize the discharge of pollutants. At a minimum, these controls should address the volume and velocity of storm water runoff, minimize the amount of soil exposed during construction activity and minimize the disturbance of steep slopes. One common method of sediment control is the installation of silt fences, sometimes in conjunction with hay bales, to maintain sediments within the construction area. As an added level of protection, turbidity barriers or booms can be used in nearby waterways. These controls may also include maintaining natural buffers or a vegetated area around the construction area and directing storm water to flow through or over these natural buffers. The vegetation acts as a natural barrier to reduce the amount of pollutants flowing into nearby waterways.

Stabilizing disturbed soils should be initiated

8 | Merit Shop Message | May 2018

immediately whenever clearing, grading, excavating or other earth-disturbing activities on any portion of the construction site have permanently ceased or will be suspended for over 14 days. The compaction of soil minimizes the amount of sediment that can be picked up and carried during a rainfall event. There are also a few commonsense pollution prevention measures that can be taken. For example, directing any wash water from equipment and vehicle washing or wheel-wash water to a sediment basin will allow the heavier sediments to drop out of the water prior to discharge. Additionally, covering building materials, trash, landscape materials, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, detergents and other materials will ensure that these materials, or sediments attached to them, will not flow from them during a rainfall event. There are several types of discharges from construction activities that are prohibited — for example, the discharge of wastewater from the washout of concrete, unless managed by an appropriate control, and any discharge of wastewater from the washout and cleanout of paint, oils, curing compounds and other construction materials. Obviously, the discharge of fuels, oils, soaps or solvents used in vehicle and equipment maintenance and washing is not allowed. In short, employing best management practices at construction sites will minimize the discharge of pollutants to nearby waterways. Not only will you be in compliance, but you will help preserve the natural beauty and integrity of our waterways. John B. King is a partner with Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson LLP in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His practice relates mainly to environmental regulatory permitting and compliance. Prior to joining the firm in 2003, he served as chief attorney for enforcement for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.


ABC-LA APPLAUDS LOUISIANA SENATOR’S CONFIRMATION OF JOHN RING TO NLRB On April 11, 2018, the U.S. Senate voted 50-48 to confirm John Ring to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Mr. Ring's confirmation brings the NLRB back to five members: three Republicans and two Democrats. ABC sent a letter to the Senate in support of Mr. Ring, who served as a partner at Morgan Lewis. As a member of the NLRB, Mr. Ring will have an opportunity to ensure the the board remains true to its mission of enforcing the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in a manner that is fair to workers, unions and employers alike. In addition, the board will be restored to the five members that are needed to ensure that the NLRA is interpreted in a manner that is efficient, balanced, and without favor to political party. “We applaud Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy for their votes to confirm Mr. Ring’s to the NLRB and are looking forward to the stability and predictablily of a full 5 member board,” said John Walters, Vice President of Governmental Relations of Associated Builders and Contractors of Louisiana, Inc.

November 6, 2018. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested. Republicans have the most to lose in this election and Democrats are laser focused on seats in swing districts and swing states to regain control of the either or both houses. While neither of Louisiana’s U.S. Senate seats are up for grabs in 2018, all 6 of our U.S. House of Representatives seats are up for election. ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE? The last day to register to vote in the November 6th primary election is October 9, 2018. The last day to register to vote for the December 8th general election is November 7 ,2018. Don’t forget to let your voice be heard this year! REGISTER ONLINE OnlineVoterRegistration.aspx

2018 Federal Elections The 2018 federal elections will be held on Tuesday,

May 2018 | Merit Shop Message | 9

Government Relations Continued REGISTER IN PERSON

2018 Louisiana Legislative Session

Apply in person at any registrar of voters’ office, and you can also register in person at any of the following locations:

The 2018 Louisiana Legislative Session began at noon on Monday, March 12, and adjourns no later than 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 4th. This session is general in nature; however, no measure levying or authorizing a new state tax, increasing an existing state tax or legislating with regard to state tax exemptions, exclusions, deductions or credits shall be introduced or enacted. The 2018 Legislative Session will be carried out over 65 work days within an 80 day period.

Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (must be at least 16 years old to register to vote);

Louisiana Department of Social Services;

WIC offices;

Food stamp offices;

Medicaid offices;

Offices serving persons with disabilities such as the Deaf Action Centers and Independent Living Offices; or

Armed forces recruitment offices.

This election is a great chance for you, as an ABC Member, to “GET INTO POLITICS OR GET OUT OF BUSINESS.”

10 | Merit Shop Message | May 2018

Members representing ABC of Louisiana met on March 7, 2018, to read and sort through prefiled legislation. With specific positions on a large number of bills, it has been a very active 2018 Legislative Session. As usual, we have bills that we support, strongly support, oppose and strongly oppose. We are monitoring all bills filed and working to make sure any bills that seek to strengthen our beliefs in the merit shop philosophy, free enterprise and open competition are supported. Likewise, any legislation that weakens the above or threatens Louisiana’s business climate are being met with staunch opposition.

A B C O F LO U I S I A N A 2 0 1 8 S TAT E C O N V E N T I O N




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May 2018 | Merit Shop Message | 11

12 | Merit Shop Message | May 2018

Cover Story: Congratulations LSU Construction Management Team LSU PLACES 3RD AT NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT COMPETITION A team of LSU students placed third in the nation, LSU’s highest finish ever, at ABC’s annual Construction Management Competition (CMC) held in March in Long Beach, California. The participating students, who are all currently enrolled in LSU’s Construction Management program, were: Steven Baye (Captain), Brandon Brignac, Jaelyn Leblanc, Briggs Campo, David Morris, Meredith Blevins, Madeline Ingram, Lauren Foster, Benjamin Babineux, John Davis, Kayla Stafford, Courtney Tilly, and Phillip Breeden. Teams of students from colleges and universities nationwide put their construction project leadership skills to the test during the competition. Teams were assigned to manage the completion of the same mock project over two days. The teams’ projects were graded on their excellence in estimating, project management, safety, quality control and overall presentation. The LSU team was sponsored by the Pelican Chapter’s Young Professionals committee, which held a held a fundraising event to cover the travel costs and worked extensively with the students in preparation for the competition. Lance Arvel with Group Industries served as the Pelican Chapter’s member liaison to the LSU team. “We are so proud of the LSU team. They put tremendous effort into this competition, and it paid off,” said Lance Arvel. “These results show that LSU and the industry partners at Pelican Chapter are doing a great job preparing these student for this competition, and more importantly, for careers in the industry.” The project for this year’s CMC was focused on the modernization of the Will Rogers Middle School Campus, including upgrades and improvements to buildings on the campus and exterior sites. The project contained abatement, demolition, roofing, finishes, specialties, related MEPF and building systems, earthwork, site utilities, hardscape and exterior improvements. In addition, the campus had to remain open and accessible during construction, so coordination with the end user and the public was part of this project’s scope. “ABC is impressed by the outstanding work of these future construction industry leaders. The Construction Management Competition is the hallmark competition that promotes careers in construction management,” said 2018 ABC National Chair George R. Nash Jr., director of preconstruction at Branch & Associates in Herndon, Va. “In addition to providing a significant learning opportunity, the competition fosters an environment that brings out the best in each team, encourages dialogue among the students and fosters team spirit as students rise to meet this challenge.”

CLOCKWORK EXECUTION Like a fine timepiece, Cajun Industries’ turnkey resources work together to deliver the ultimate in engineering, procurement, and construction performance. Fostered by our newest addition, Cajun Engineering Solutions, LLC, we are committed in our quest to deliver integrated solutions to our customers. And that’s a promise we keep time after time.

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May 2018 | Merit Shop Message | 13

2018 NATIONAL CRAFT CHAMPIONSHIP The Pelican Chapter was well represented at the 31st annual National Craft Championships (NCC) held March 20 – 22 at the of ABC Convention 2018 in Long Beach, California. Three current Pelican students were medal winners. 1st – Logan Stephenson – Instrumentation – Triad Electric & Controls, Lake Charles area 3rd – Richard Milstead – Instrumentation – ISC Constructors, LLC 2nd – Brandon Schilder – Millwright – Zachry Industrial The National Craft Championships featured a field of craft professionals from around the country competing for top honors in 15 competitions representing 12 crafts, including a team competition with journey-level craft professionals from five different crafts working to complete a joint project. Competitors first took an intense, two-hour written exam and then competed in daylong hands-on practical performance test. Eight students were selected to represent the Pelican Chapter by winning or placing at in the local competition. In addition to the national medal winners, the following students competed for national honors in Long Beach Electrical: James Landry – Triad Pipefitting: Devon James – Excel Welding: Gage Brooks – Turner, Andy Landry – Performance “The dedication to top-notch construction, quality craftsmanship and world-class safety exhibited by this year’s champions is truly impressive,” said 2018 ABC National Chair George R. Nash Jr., director of preconstruction at Branch & Associates, Herndon, Va. “With the workforce shortage facing the construction industry, each of this year’s competitors will play an important role in the future of merit shop construction and our member companies are fortunate to employ such skilled craftsmen and women.” NCC is a part of ABC’s effort to raise the profile of careers in construction and highlight the $1.1 billion that ABC member companies spend annually on workforce development. The competition was developed in 1987 to help celebrate and recognize craft training in construction careers. Each year the competition draws some of the nation’s most talented craft professionals and highlights the important role that craft skills training plays in the construction industry. The National Craft Championships Committee, which is composed of leading merit shop construction firms, plans all year for the two-day competition. Pelican Chapter’s Training Coordinator, Ricky Delafield served as the Load Master on the committee.

14 | Merit Shop Message | May 2018

May 2018 | Merit Shop Message | 15



One Powerful Message June 24-28, 2018 Washington, D.C.

Using our collective voice to send one powerful message to Congress about ABC’s impact, from Main Street to the nation’s capital.

Monday, June 25

Tuesday, June 26

Tuesday, June 26

Wednesday, June 27

Thursday, June 28

Each year, ABC members come together to send one powerful message to Congress. ABC members educate lawmakers about the issues that affect their businesses and showcase the opportunity and diversity that ABC members contribute to our industry and the economy, from Main Street to the nation’s capital. Join us during ABC Legislative Week 2018 to ensure our representatives know what ABC stands for and that our collective voice—more than 21,000 strong—is heard.



The Southwest Training Center is off to a great start in 2018. Accelerated Training, Afternoon/Night Classes, and Dual Enrollment Course Choice Classes all began January 8th. The Accelerated Training consist of Electrical and Welding classes. The Afternoon/Night Classes consist of Millwright, Pipefitting, Heavy Equipment, Electrical, Instrumentation, Core, and Welding. Our Course Choice Program consist of thirteen Welding classes, a level 1 Electrical class, a level 2 Electrical class, and a level 1 Pipefitting class. These classes are located at various high schools across Calcasieu, Beauregard, Cameron, Acadia, Allen, and Jeff Davis Parishes. There are currently 473 students enrolled on ABC’s campus and 218 enrolled in the Satellite Program which brings the total enrollment for SWTC to 691 for the Spring 2018 Semester. As we approach the end of the semester in June, we are excited to place graduates into the workforce while furthering education for current and future students with the Fall Semester beginning June 25th. ABC hosted a Build Your Future Event February 6th, 7th, and 8th. This Construction Career Day was organized to introduce local students who have shown interest in construction to the exciting opportunities in our industry. More than 400 high school students from SWLA toured our training facility and observed various craft demonstrations including Millwright, Heavy Equipment Operating, Pipefitting, Electrical, and Welding. Our industry experienced instructors engaged with the students to discuss each craft in detail. The students were given a glimpse of everyday life with a career in the construction industry. We were very pleased to have guest speakers join us from Turner Industries, Performance Contractors, and Triad Electric. We are also thankful for the meals provided by Performance Contractors, Triad Electric, and ISC. ABC was heavily involved with high school students with multiple competitions occurring in the months of February and March. The SWTC hosted the FFA District Competition on February 22nd and the FFA Area Competition on March 1st. Students from SWLA competed in Welding, Electrical, and Small Engine at both events. The annual Southwest Jambalaya Cook-Off was held in conjunction with the competition on March 1st. Everyone involved was very grateful to have meals provided by Excel, Turner Industries, R&R Construction, and Aptim. Many thanks to those contractors for not only providing meals but interacting with the students and making their competition even more special. ABC also hosted a welding competition amongst our 13 Satellite Welding classes on March 22nd. The top individual welders were recognized as well as the top scoring satellite locations. This was great opportunity for the students to showcase their skills obtained through the ABC/SCA Dual Enrollment Program. We are approaching the start of our Fall Accelerated Training Program on June 25th. The SWTC is offering Accelerated Training for Electrical, Pipefitting, Welding and Heavy Equipment. We are actively recruiting new students through our Satellite Classes, high school outreach, career fairs, radio ads, contractor members, The Lagniappe Magazine, and The American Press. The SWTC is in the process of creating a resource library which students will utilize for test preparation. Upgrade Training Sessions are being established to improve assessment scores. We are currently transitioning to all electronic testing. We feel these changes are essential to help improve the individuals entering and currently in the workforce. The construction industry is at an all-time high in SWLA. The Southwest Training Center will continue to improve and remain a vital asset to the industry.


ABC Training Center has had a busy first quarter. The Spring Semester Evening training started with 1,200 students in class with the largest enrollments in Electrical & Instrumentation (373) and Welding (273). The Course Choice Program began with 265 students training at the Baton Rouge (116) and Southwest (149) campuses. This program offers High School Juniors and Seniors the opportunity to earn a technical diploma while attending high school. This is a win-win program for the schools as well as industry. These high school students are exposed to the opportunities of a rewarding career in the construction industry. The training center staff is committed to improving the delivery methods of instruction and testing. Online computer based module testing through NCCER testing system was implemented this semester. This process has challenged our instructors to focus on different teaching practices. The goal is to improve the overall knowledge of the students participating in training received at ABC. In addition, it has helped the staff to work more effectively by streamlining the process of recording data automatically to the NCCER Registry as well as ABC’s student database. In April the ABC Training Center Program Partners Outreach hosted the Annual High School Craft Competition. There were 24 high schools participating from 7 parishes with 30 Carpenters, 18 electrical and 53 welders for a total of 101 high school students competing to be the best of the best. Each of the high schools demonstrated their talents but at the end of the competition the following schools walked away as winners: May 2018 | Merit Shop Message | 17

CARPENTRY TEAM 1st Place Team – French Settlement 2nd Place Team – Albany 3rd Place Team – Walker Oak

ELECTRICAL TEAM 1st Place Team – Live Oak 2nd Place Team – West Feliciana 3rd Place Team – Central

WELDING TEAM 1st Place Team – Walker 2nd Place Team – Livonia 3rd Place Team – Live

ELECTRICAL INDIVIDUAL WELDING INDIVIDUAL st 1 Place – Blake Ygiesias-Live Oak 1st Place – Byron Smith-Walker 2nd Place – Brett Chenier-Live Oak 2nd Place – Cameron Garafola-Livonia 3rd Place – Mason Stephen-Live Oak 3rd Place – Bailey Welch-Live Oak In addition, the Program Partners Group has contributed approximately $16,000 this quarter in donations consisting of consumables, equipment, training material, etc. The Louisiana State Department of Education awarded ABC the opportunity to provide training for the Ascension Parish School District. ABC will offer Level 1 Pipefitting to 15 high school students in a 7 week program during the summer. The pipefitting class is improving the notability of skilled pipefitters needed in industry. The projected start is June 4th and will run through July 12th. The students will attend class 4 days a week for 7 hours a day. The classroom atmosphere will focus on curriculum information with concentrated emphasis on hands-on skill training. This class will be advantageous to industry as well as the students. Students who complete the summer training are eligible to continue in the Fall evening classes at ABC. Funding for this class will be provided by the Course Choice program.

Upcoming Committee Meetings May 2018 1 3 8 8 8 9 10 15 15 16

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM SW Safety, SW Training Center 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM BR Safety, BR Training Center 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM SW Membership Growth, SW Training Center 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM SW Programs & Events, SW Training Center 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM SW Steering, SW Training Center 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM BR Programs & Events, Chapter Administrative 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Education & Manpower, BR Training Center 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Budget & Finance, Chapter Administration 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM SLCUC Training, SW Training Center 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM BR Membership Growth, Chapter Administration

June 2018 5 7 12 12 12 13 14 19 19 20

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM SW Safety, SW Training Center 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM BR Safety, BR Training Center 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM SW Membership Growth, SW Training Center 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM SW Programs & Events, SW Training Center 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM SW Steering, SW Training Center 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM BR Programs & Events, Chapter Administration 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Education & Manpower, BR Training Center 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Budget & Finance, Chapter Administration 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM SLCUC Training, BR Training Center 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM BR Membership Growth, Chapter Administration

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Pelican Chapter

Baton Rouge Staff Office (225) 752-1415 Training Center (225) 752-0088 President David Helveston Direct of Administration Katie Routh Member Services Coordinator Katie Verbois Director of Membership Anna Zebeau Progams & Events Coordinator Lindsey Russ Director of Finance Janie Arceneaux Finance Assistant Mikah Armstrong Kathy Serwan Baton Rouge Training Center Staff Director of Education Kelly Carpenter Director of Training Center Administration Danielle Birney Workforce Development Coordinator Ricky Delafield Associate Director of Workforce Support Kacie Blanchard Training Center Administration Tiffany Buuck Southwest Training Center Staff Office (337) 882-0204 Fax (337) 882-6757 Director of Education & Training Kirby Bruchhaus Administrative Staff Christina Frederick Ivelynn Fuselier Ciera Henson Ray Harris Blaise Theard

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There’s Never Been A Better Time To Train For A High-Paying Industry Job At ABC Training Center AND ONE YOUNG MAN IS MAKING THE MOST OF THE OPPORTUNITY


he purpose and mission of the Associated Builders and Contractors Pelican Chapter’s Training Center in Westlake is simple. “We’re here to train and certify craftsmen for local industry — we are also trying to create a new workforce to meet the demands of our new projects here in Southwest Louisiana,” says Kirby Bruchhaus, Director of Education. What began years ago as a night program to enable area industrial employees to earn certifications is now a full-fledged training center. ABC offers course programs through the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research), including a Core Curriculum which is basic knowledge in Industrial Safety, Tools, Equipment, Math, Trenching, and Operation of Rigging, as well as courses in Pipefitting, Electrical, Instrumentation, Millwright, Heavy Equipment, Mobile Crane, and AWS Welding. Core is a prerequisite of all NCCER courses.

Class Schedules That Fit Your Schedule

The school offers course schedules to accommodate those who want to finish quickly and start earning a healthy paycheck as soon as possible through accelerated training. Those who are already working and want to earn certification on their off-hours can choose afternoon or night sessions. The Accelerated Training Program consists of 24 weeks, Monday-Thursday, 8 am-1pm. Afternoon classes are Monday-Thursday, 2 pm5pm, each for 20 weeks. Night classes, two nights per week, are Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday, 6 pm-9 pm, for 1-2 years, depending on the craft. Students are welcome and even encouraged to work in the field to gain experience while they’re training. You may get a job right away, and take classes at night, or work nights and come to school during the day.

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NCCER’s National Craft Competition

Changing Attitude

The ABC training center has 15 satellite classes offering Dual Enrollment to high school students through partnerships with Calcasieu, Acadia, Beauregard, Jeff Davis, Allen and Cameron Parishes. That’s an indication of the changing attitude toward skilled craft careers. “Years ago, there was resistance for students to consider craft training. Now, teachers and parents are encouraging students to pursue skilled craft training,” Bruchhaus says. “Many students simply prefer hands-on training. They and their parents see an opportunity for them to graduate from high school, get training, obtain a job, work hard, and be successful. Studens can make a good living, and perhaps support a family in the future. School requirements to graduate have greatly changed to include those wanting

Logan Stephenson - 1st Place in Instrumentation Fitting 2018 ABC Convention - Long Beach, California

to go into the workforce instead of college. Teachers are now asking us how to help students get training and obtain good jobs in the industry.” That change of heart is understandable, given the booming industrial activity in the area. “Our students may not ever have an opportunity again like we have today,” says Bruchhaus. “There are great-paying jobs out there for anyone willing to learn, be safe, stay drug free and work hard.”

Setting An Example, Raising The Bar

One of those young people taking advantage of this unique opportunity is 22-yearold Logan Stephenson, an ABC Electrical and Instrumentation student who works with Triad Electric and Controls, a contractor in Westlake. Stephenson, the son of Guy and Shana Stephenson of Kinder, graduated from Kinder High School and enrolled at Louisiana Tech’s engineering program. “It seemed a logical choice,” says Shana, “as he had the inquisitive mind required of an engineer. He’s always been a hands-on person, and always wanted to know how everything worked — he was always taking everything apart.” Stephenson transferred to McNeese, where he realized that, despite his aptitude for the course work and the profession, engineering wasn’t for him. He’d heard a lot about the Electrical and Instrumentation field and its importance in running the refineries and plants in the area. He thought it would be perfect for him. “I’ve always enjoyed a challenge, and I knew it would be challenging,” he said. “I enjoy the troubleshooting and problem-solving instrumentation involved.” He enrolled in ABC’s Electrical and Instrumentation Program on a scholarship awarded by ABC Training Center for winning an FFA Welding Competition while attending Kinder High School, and upon completing the Electrical portion of the program, went to work for Triad Electric. Stephenson made a name for himself quickly at ABC, earning the praise and respect of his instructor, Eric Williams, who recently nominated Stephenson for NCCER’s National Craft Competition, held in March in Los Angeles. Stephenson not only held his own in stiff competition amongst craft trainees from across the nation — he won the competition in his field. “I wish I could take credit for Logan’s winning the award, but it’s all him,” says Williams. “He’s so sharp. He’s got an inquisitive mind. He will be great in maintenance at any of the plants.” “It’s been great to see Logan’s success,” says Bruchhaus. “He has set a great example for the other students here. We would like to congratulate our instructors in the electrical and instrumentation classes who helped mentor him to success. “We are also excited about Logan working for one of our member contractors, Triad Electric, who plays a big roll in our education programs and success.”

Explore The Opportunity

Interested in taking advantage of ABC’s courses for the fall semester? Accelerated Training starts June 25. Afternoon and evening classes start Aug. 6, with registration starting June 4. For more information, call 337-882-0204 or visit

Left to Right: Blaise Theard - ABC Workforce Development, Shana Stephenson - Mother, Logan Stephenson, Guy Stephenson - Father, Kirby Bruchhaus - ABC Director of Education, Eric Williams - ABC Instructor

ENROLL TODAY REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS Training Center Application High School Diploma or GED (except welding) Drivers License or State Issued ID


Core 1 Semester 1 night per week 12 weeks

Electrical Levels 1 - 4 2 nights per week 20 weeks per semester

Mobile Crane Levels 1 - 2 2 nights per week 20 weeks per semester

Instrumentation Levels 1 - 4 2 nights per week 20 weeks per semester

Heavy Equipment Levels 1 - 2 2 nights per week 20 weeks per semester

Welding 2 nights per week 20 weeks per semester

Millwright Levels 1 - 5 2 nights per week 20 weeks per semester

Level I : SMAW Plate Level II : SMAW Pipe Level III : GTAW Pipe TIG Unrestricted Level IV : GTAW Pipe Restricted CSST (Construction Site Safety Technician) - 1 semester program 2 nights per week 18 weeks per semester

Pipefitting Levels 1 - 4 2 nights per week 20 weeks per semester

ACCELERATED TRAINING COMPLETE TRAINING IN 24 WEEKS 4 Levels - Electrical, Pipefitting 3 Levels - Welding • 2 Levels - Heavy Equipment Registration: April 9, 2018 Bring your application and driver’s license

Logan and Danny Campbell, General Manager of Triad Electric & Controls

222 Walcot Road Westlake, LA Phone: (337) 882-0204 Fax: (337) 882-6757 Office Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30AM-6PM

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ABC Officer Installation Banquet

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"Touch a truck" at BREC State Fair Grounds, March 24, 2018 A Junior League event sponsored by ABC-Pelican Chapter

Thank you, ABC Members, for your participation at this wonderful event!

ABC-Pelican Chapter President, David Helveston, participates in the ribbon cutting to kick off the event 24 | Merit Shop Message | May 2018



May 2018 | Merit Shop Message | 25 BATON ROUGE / BEAUMONT / HOUSTON / LAKE CHARLES

ABC Pelican Spring Newsletter  
ABC Pelican Spring Newsletter