Connector magazine - Spring 2020

Page 1


18 Building Blocks of

Calibration Systems

22 Steel Work Offers Major Role for Mini Cranes

36 2020 Convention Preview

EXPAND ENGAGEMENT to improve your


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c ntents


FEATURES Management


Building Blocks of Calibration Systems When developing an effective calibration program, it is important to understand the terms, best practices, and frequencies needed. By Lee Pielaet

In the Field


Steel Work offers Major Role for Mini-Cranes Equipment selection should include job parameters, setup, and certification requirements By Lucy Perry

Special Focus


Convention Preview Prime networking in a relaxed atmosphere. Don't miss SEAA's 48th Annual Convention and Trade Show. ONLINE HIGHLIGHTS Q New Training Requirements for Aerial Equipment Operators Q Online Crane Operator Certification Directory Launched Q What to Expect from OSHA in 2020

28 Cover Story Expand Engagement to Improve your Employee Pipeline Tips to rejuvenate workforce development in 2020 By Lucy Perry On the cover: Williams Steel Erection Co., Inc. of Manassas, Va., was a SEAA Project of the Year winner for its work on the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project. During the job, their team members worked on the same crews for each structure type that was erected. Read more about it in Connector Fall 2019 issue at

DEPARTMENTS 10 Perspective 12 Association News 14 Product Focus 40 Business Operations 42 Topping Out

Check out our latest social media feeds. See photos from 2019 Education Fundraiser Golf Tournament.


Connector received Superstar Award from Construction Marketing Association. The Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) is dedicated to advancing the common interests and needs of all engaged in building with steel. The Association’s objectives in achieving this goal include the promotion of safety, education and training programs for steel erector trades, development and promotion of standards and cooperation with others in activities which impact the commercial construction business.





Membership in Steel Erectors Association of America provides Safety, Education, and Productivity benefits for its members. As a trade association representing Steel Erectors, Fabricators, General Contractors, and Vendors, businesses with complementary interests gain invaluable opportunities to learn from each other.

SEAA is the only national trade association representing the interests of steel erectors, fabricators, and related service providers. Connector reaches both small and large contractors working in union and open labor markets.

Your Industry No other national association represents the unique interests of all steel erectors and fabricators. Members are experts in construction of commercial buildings, arenas, bridges, and highway structures. Members enhoy opportunities to network with other industry professionals at the Anuual Covention, golf tournaments, member events and training classes.

Improve Safety and Productivity Members have access to custom Ironworker Craft Training Curriculum. Studies show 24% of businesses experience lower productivity due to the lack of skilled ironworkers and welders. A better trained workforce delivers lower accidents rates, higher productivity, and increased profits.

Accredited Credentials at Reduced Cost SEAA’s NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) sponsorship means that member companies can provide industry-recognized credentials to your employees with the benefit of SEAA adminstrative support and at a lower cost to members than going direct through NCCER.

Competitive Advantage SEAA’s U.S. Department of Labor-approved Ironworker Apprenticeship Program allows members to create formal training that meets standards recognized by Federal and State governments. Pariticipation allows merit shop contractors to utilize government approved apprenticeship rates on Davis Bacon Wage Projects.

Influence Industry Standards SEAA strategic partnerships with industry groups provide member companies with industry representation with American Institute of Steel Construction, Steel Joist Institute, Steel Deck Institute, National Institute of Steel Detailing, and others.

Steel Erectors Association of America Piedmont Leaf Lofts 401 E. 4th Street, #204 Winston-Salem, NC 27101-4171 336-294-8880 OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE STAFF David Schulz, President Josh Cilley, Immediate Past President Carrie Sopuch-Gulajan, VP, Associate Representative Geoff Kress, VP, Industry Representative Greg Phillips, Treasurer Chris Legnon, Secretary and Media Committee Chairman Tom Underhill, Executive Director PUBLISHING PARTNER Chris Harrison, Publisher Phone 660-287-7660 Tracy Bennett, Managing Editor Phone 816-536-7903 Eileen Kwiatkowski, Art Director MEDIA ADVISORY COMMITTEE Chris Legnon, Fabricators, Cooper Steel Jim Simonson, Fabricators, Steel Service David Deem, Erectors, Deem Structural Services Glen Pisani, Erectors, MAS Building & Bridge Ben Wein, Erectors, SSW Erectors Bryan McClure, Safety, Trivent Safety Consulting Connector™ is published quarterly by the Steel Erectors Association of America, 401 E. 4th Street, #204, Winston-Salem, NC 27101-4171

Join by calling the SEAA office 336-294-8880 or visit Discover why a SEAA Membership is a good investment for your business.


Copyright 2020 by the Steel Erectors Association of America. No material may be reprinted without permission from the Executive Director. While the information and recommendations contained in this publication have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable, the Steel Erectors Association of America, its affiliates, employees, contributors, writers, editors, designers, photographers, and media advisory committee, makes no guarantee as to, and assumes no responsibility for, the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations and cannot be held responsible for the outcome of any action or decision based on the information contained in this publication or claims made by advertisers. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the Publisher. Permission is only deemed valid if approval is in writing.

Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 9


By Tom Underhill

Clearing a Path to Training for Careers in Construction


oday, more than 6,000 training and assessment locations are accredited through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). More technical schools and community colleges join that group every year, and their numbers must increase if our country is to grow and advance our construction industry workforce. The path to careers in the United States in the last 50-60 years has been structured around proceeding from high Panel Discussion: school to college. But today, only about a Workforce Development is third of our jobs require a college degree. a Team Effort Construction is one of those markets. Friday, April 3, 2020 at 10:45 am That’s not to say people don’t need trainIn today’s market, successful workforce ing. But the route to get that training development must take on the roles of is often unclear to students and their recruiting, training, retaining, and often parents, and so they default to heading cross-training employees. Doing so requires off to college. that employers and industry understand the Meanwhile, industry demand for creneeds of education and vice versa. dentialed craft workers is off the charts. This panel discussion, moderated by Educators serious about meeting the Tracy Bennett, SEAA’s Managing Editor needs of the market have to shift their of Connector and marketing consultant, curriculum to programs that turn out stuincludes experts representing technical dents with the right skills. The resources education, craft training, curriculum available through NCCER accreditation development, and apprenticeship. allows community colleges and technical schools to prepare potential craft proPanelists fessionals for the career opportunities Richard Gordon, Executive Director of available in construction. CTE, and Chadwick Vail, Work-Based Learning Partnerships, Charleston County School District Tim Eldridge, President, Educational Services Unlimited, and SEAA’s Craft Training and Assessment Administrator John Garrison, Founder Ironworker Skills Institute, and former President of Garrison Steel Nick Morgan, President, Adaptive Construction Solutions

Pointing the way

Defining a structured career path through technical training, apprenticeship, project management and supervision is a must for construction to solve its workforce shortage. A key element in doing so successfully means partnering with our education system. As an NCCER accredited training sponsor, SEAA has decided to expand its relationship with technical and community colleges in order to bring NCCER accredited testing for craft professions to more students. This allows colleges to become members of SEAA, giving them access to the SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Craft Tom Underhill is the Executive Director of the Steel Erectors Association of America. Contact him at


Training program, and other NCCER craft curriculum and assessments. In April, one of the education sessions at SEAA’s 48th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Charleston, S.C., is a panel discussion that brings industry and educators together. Experts representing technical education, craft training, curriculum development, and apprenticeship will share ideas on how these two groups can work together to facilitate individuals along a career path to construction. In addition, SEAA will offer one-day complimentary registration for CTE professionals to attend, in hopes of expanding the dialog. For information, contact the SEAA office. There are few other comparable options to NCCER’s standardized construction and maintenance curricula, which also includes assessments and portable credentials. Unions offer training, but only to union members. Large corporations may have sophisticated training programs, but they train internally so they’re not out to share their programs with the industry. Technical schools and community colleges accredited by NCCER can help meet regional employer needs by preparing students for success in a variety of craft trade jobs. One of the greatest benefits of having NCCER accreditation is a technical school’s ability to offer industry-recognized credentials. Employers and jobsite owners are increasingly seeking verification of skills. Individuals who have earned NCCER credentials are listed in NCCER’s Registry System. Records are updated and maintained for craft professionals throughout their career in a secure database. As construction employers are required to make sure their employees are qualified for the work being performed, qualifications and certifications are documentation that demonstrates employee knowledge and abilities, especially when the certification is backed by an organization such as NCCER. If a young person chooses a career as a craft professional, enrolling in an NCCER-accredited community college or technical school is the best route available toward credentialing right now. Students who complete this level of training know what is required to be successful for a long career in a craft trade, and are better prepared for these jobs. Simply put, the level of sophistication and broad reach that NCCER accreditation offers a local educational institution is unmatched. NCCER accreditation raises educational institutions to a higher standard of instruction which improves the quality of the craft trade workforce locally, regionally, and nationally.

Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 11


■ SEAA Joins ConExpo-Con/Agg EVENTS & ACTIVITIES ConExpo-Con/Agg March 10-14 Las Vegas, NV Visit SEAA at Booth GL31201

SEAA 2nd Quarter Board Meeting Mar. 31, 2020 Embassy Suites Hilton Charleston Airport Charleston, S.C.

SEAA 48th Convention & Trade Show April 1-3, 2020 Embassy Suites Hilton Charleston Airport Charleston, S.C.

NASCC: The Steel Conference

Supporting Organizations


EAA joins other leading industry associations in supporting 2020 ConExpo-Con/Agg, to be held March 10-14 in Las Vegas, Nev. “Special focuses on Workforce Solutions, Tech Experience, and Safety make this more than just an equipment show. It aligns closely with SEAA’s own initiatives for steel erection contractors,” said Tom Underhill, Executive Director of SEAA. SEAA will share information about its SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Craft Training Program and US DOL approved apprenticeship standards. Visit SEAA in the Las Vegas Convention Center Grand Lobby, Booth GL31201.

■ Construction Careers Pathways Conference

■ Safety & Training Awards

SEAA sponsored the Construction Careers Pathways Conference, an NCCER initiative that took place in December 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. The conference aims to provide successful career paths to America’s youth through construction industry and education partnerships. This year’s conference covered a range of topics, including programs for every stage of learning, recruitment strategies, and becoming an industry of choice. One popular panel discussion featured Young Craft Professionals who shared why they chose construction.

The SEAA Safety and Education Committee has developed two new awards to recognize SEAA Erector Member Companies who excel in these areas. The Inaugural Safety Excellence Award and Craft Training Recognition Award winners will be announced at SEAA's 48th Annual Convention in April.

Explores Industry and Education Partnerships

April 22-24, 2020 Georgia World Congress Center Atlanta, Ga. aisc/org/nascc


to Recognize Erector Members

■ Arizona, Pennsylvania Erectors Complete SEAA/NCCER

Training Unit Orientation

Two companies have joined the network of SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Training Units and Assessment Sites. They are S&H Steel, Gilbert, Ariz., and L&L Construction Inc., Quakertown, Pa. SEAA is an NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor, which affords member companies access to nationally recognized credentials, with the benefit of reduced administrative costs. S&H Steel is AISC Certified in both steel fabrication and steel erection. The company sought out the SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Craft Training Program in order provide their employees with consistent, standardized training. Employers often use the program to identify gaps in knowledge so that they can develop training prescriptions to make sure each employee has the right skills. An added benefit for employees is that credentials are portable. “The SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Training Program will provide us with the resources to create universal training and assessments. It will help get our employees speaking the same language on job sites,” said Rob Rigsby, Director of Strategic Development at S&H Steel. When workers share the same terms, methods and best practices this common understanding leads to safer more productive work. L&L Construction, an AISC-certified structural steel erection company serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and Massachusetts, is in the process of implementing the SEAA craft training program as well as registering their program as a registered apprenticeship for Ironworkers. In addition, they operate a crane rental division. “This brings our network of SEAA/NCCER training units to 26, with more than 90 instructors and performance evaluators nationwide,” said Tom Underhill, Executive Director. Learn more at


Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 13


■ 3D Lift Plan Helps Steel Erector Demonstrate

Staircase Placement

Rockford, Ill.-based Area Erectors used 3D Lift Plan to visualize the tricky placement of an ornamental staircase inside a building. “In this scenario, the miscellaneous metals scope was delayed in fabrication so we had to come up with a creative way to set the stair,” said Brent Genseke, project manager. After considering and eliminating several other options for the construction of Kishwaukee Health & Wellness Center, the only plan that remained was to scope the crane boom through a window opening. The challenge became finding a crane with necessary capacity and reach to work in the confined space and deliver precise load handling. “Using 3D Lift Plan in conjunction with erection drawings and actual field measurements, gave me the tool to see if the Grove TMS500E-2 could handle the job,” said Genseke.

■ Portable Wire Feeder for Fabrication


ESAB, Annapolis Junction, Md., now offers Robust Feed Pro portable wire feed system for structural steel erection and fabrication applications. The Robust Feed Pro accepts wire spools up to 12 in., measures 23.4 x 9.8 x 16.9 in. and weighs 37 lbs. A completely sealed, double-wall design has special impact zones made from a more flexible material to absorb more impact energy. All controls, power and gas connections are protected inside the case with a dediESAB Robust Feed Pro cated service cover providing access to the electronics. A heat kit inside the units wards off condensation and keeps the wire dry, while a cooling fan manages heat in operating conditions up to 130 degrees F without the need for cooling vents.


■ Ultra Low Profile Mag Drill from Hougen The HMD130 Ultra Low Profile Magnetic Drill, offered by Hougen, Swartz Creek, Mich., is a small compact unit for making holes in confined spaces and for use in general steel fabrication. The HMD130 is small enough to fit in places even hand held electric drills cannot go. It is lightweight Hougen HMD130 yet powerful enough to drill up to Ultra Low Profile Magnetic Drill holes through 1” thick material. The HMD130 uses RotaLoc Plus™ annular cutters which does not require tools to change sizes.

■ Miller Lifting Company’s new

Heavy-Duty Eye Hooks

Miller LIfting Company Grade 80 Alloy Steel Hooks

Miller Lifting Company, Charlton, Mass., has added three new heavy-duty eye hooks in 40, 50, and 63 metric ton models. The Grade 80 alloy steel hooks feature enlarged eyes for use with more sling types and safety latches installed.

Are You Redi?

REDICOR SIMPLIFIES AND ACCELERATES THE CONSTRUCTION OF REINFORCED CONCRETE CORES. Conventional cast-in-place, pre-cast and masonry methods of constructing reinforced concrete shear cores often require long and expensive Pre-engineered load- schedules bearing structural before connections enable structural framing to begin framing can immediately. begin.

Now there’s a better way. RediCor is a pre-fabricated, ready-to-set modular steel form system that simplifies and accelerates concrete core construction. Our load-bearing modules are ready to set once on-site, and structural framing can be installed simultaneously – saving time, energy and money. Are you Redi? VISIT US AT REDICOR.COM FOR THE REDICOR STORY.



Powerful Partnerships. Powerful Results.

Exhibitor Spotlight: See these exhibitors at SEAA’s 48th Annual Convention & Trade Show ■ Magni to Demo 3-in-1 Telehandler Magni America LLC., Roselle N.J., will demonstrate the RTH 8.25 SH telescopic handler, a multi-purpose machine providing telehandler, rough-terrain crane, and access platform capabilities all in one. It features a maximum lift height of 81 feet and a lifting capacity of 17,600 lbs. The telehandler rotates 360-degrees continuously significantly reducing or eliminating the need to reposition the machine. In comparison to conventional crawler cranes and forklifts, steel erectors that use Magni Telehandlers have seen up to 30% improvement in efficiency.

■ Altec Introduces 45-ton

Boom Truck

Magni America RTH 8.25 SH telescopic handler

■ Lincoln Electric Introduces

New Dual Maverick

A new multiple arc welding generator, the Dual Maverick 200/200X, has been released by Lincoln Electric, Cleveland, Ohio. The multiple arc welding generator features two welders powered by one diesel engine with dual welding outputs. This allows two or more welders to work at the same time in structural, pipeline and maintenance and repair applications.

Altec Inc., Birmingham Ala., introduces the AC45127S, a 45-ton maximum capacity boom truck with five-section full-powered 127’ main boom. The Load Moment and Area Protection (LMAP) system that provides real-time display of set-up and load-on-hook to the Dual-Entry Cab. Additional features include standard 15,000-lb line-pull piston hoist for fine metering of loads. An optional telescopic 31 to 55 ft. jib offsets at 15 and 30 degrees with full jib charts like those found on all-terrain cranes.

Altec Inc.'s C45-127S, a 45-ton maximum capacity boom truck

■ LeJeune Adds Surspider Tools to its Product Inventory LeJeune Bolt Company, Burnsville, Minn., now carries the Surspider Brand Cordless Tie Wire Tools and Tie Wire. The line includes two tool models, ZKZ-25A and ZKZ-40A. With Surspider’s line of tying tools users can expect to achieve speeds up to 3x faster than traditional methods of rebar tying. The ZKZ-25A Tie Wire Tool Kit can reach 2,000 ties on a full battery charge and the ZKZ-40A Tie Wire Tool Kit can reach 1,100 ties on a full battery charge. Surspider has also released Tie Wire that is zinc coated annealed steel providing a durable and long-lasting tie. The spool is compatible with both tools.

■ JLG Releases Hi-Capacity Boom Lifts

Lincoln Electric Dual Maverick 200/200X

New 400 Series hi-capacity boom lifts have been released by JLG Industries, Inc. McConnellsburg, Pa. Two models include 40-foot 400S and the 46-foot 460SJ. Each comes standard with a 660 lb. unrestricted capacity zone and 750- and 1,000-lb. restricted capacity zones, allowing operators to bring more tools and personnel to the work area. The new models are ANSI 92.20 compliant weight more than their standard model counterparts. This system limits operation of a machine when the platform is overloaded, automatically keeping operation within the allowable work envelope.


JLG 400 Series hi-capacity boom lift

Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 17


By Lee Pielaet

Building Blocks of Calibration Systems Key terms used in calibration


hen it comes to measurements, calibration is how we know we are doing what we say we are doing. Calibration is an important quality control measure considered as part of the AISC certification process. AISC offers various certifications steel fabricators and erectors. When developing an effective calibration program, it is important to understand the terms, review examples of best practices, and determine the frequency needed for calibration. In the 1890s, a Swedish arsenal worker named Carl Edward Johansson discovered a system to make accurate measurements. The Jo Block was born! Made from a block of steel at a constant temperature of 68° Fahrenheit gave it accuracy within two-millionths of an inch, making it possible for the interchangeability of parts, which one could call the building blocks of mass production. A complete set of block gauges would have numbered over 100,000 blocks. Johansson discovered that all measurements were possible with a combination of 81 blocks with a range from one-tenth of an inch to four inches. In 1923, Johansson moved to the U.S. and met Henry Ford. The meeting resulted Lee Pielaet is the President of Pioneer Steel Services, Inc., Missoula, Mont., which helps companies achieve, manage, and upgrade their AISC Certifications. He is an ASQ-Certified Quality Auditor, AWS Certified Welding Educator, and AWS Certified Welding Inspector. Contact him at lpielaet@

in Johansson helping standardize the Ford Motor Co. Today we don’t need Carl Edward Johansson to help us with our calibration needs, but you will want to look for an outside calibration laboratory to help develop your program. It is important that the calibration lab you select is certified to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), 17025, the leading standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. The calibration labs must meet the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and calibrations, including sampling. The certification also covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed methods.

Critical terminology Before we discuss calibration best practices, the following terms should be made clear: Calibration/Verification, Traceability, Accuracy, Tolerances, and Welding Validation. Calibration and Verification—These terms can mean the same thing. Most believe that calibration includes the determination of measurement uncertainty (MU). MU is a must for the chain of traceability to national or international standards. If the MU is not known, it is thought by many to be only verification. The bottom line is that it is up to a company to determine the terminology which works best for them.


Traceability is the ability to relate individual measurement results through an unbroken chain of calibration to a national standard, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or National Bureau of Standards (NBS). Accuracy is the extent to which the measured value of a quantity. Does the measurement agree with the accepted value of a standard, including the MU? Tolerances are the permitted amount of deviation from the exact value specified and dictated by the manufacturer, standard, code, and specifications for calibrated items. Welding Validation—calibration and verification of welding machines can be confusing and has led many to use the new term “Welding Validation.” This term is not yet standardized, and currently, the American Welding Society provides no definition that is universally accepted.

Examples for erectors, fabricators These terms will help clarify the following best practices, and the principles applied to these examples will be the same through your specific calibration system. Steel Measuring Tapes: The following passage from NIST describes how they calibrate steel measuring tapes. “Calibration of metal tapes is made with the tape under tension and supported on a horizontal flat

Twenty One Years in Business

Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 19

surface. Tapes less than or equal to 60 m in length typically include seven measurement points. The location of these measurement points must be specified and included in a calibration purchase order. The default tape calibration includes seven equally spaced points, which includes a measurement of the full length of the tape." Many companies use this default to verify the steel measuring tapes used by the quality control process against their calibrated tape — the methods daisy-chaining this verification to national or international standard. Amperage/Voltage Meters: Typically used through a maintenance program, as well as in its calibration program, many meters are bench-tested before they are sent out by the manufacturer. This test may not be a calibration, but verification traceable to a national standard. The fact that an item is new does not make it calibrated. Think of the tool quality found in your local discount tool store verses a trusted tool supplier. There are governing bodies that accept new amperage/voltage meters as calibrated for the first year, and then require them to be calibrated annually. The fabricator/erector should be cautioned to check the codes, specifications, and contract documents before determining their minimum requirements. Welding Validation is one of the Calibrations or Verifications that takes place at the Fabricator/Erector level. Welding machines must be calibrated for Amperage/Voltage

Bolt Tension Indicator (Skidmore) requires annual calibration (see RCSC Specification).

Meters. This verification is done at least annually by most fabricators, and quarterly or more frequently, if required. Welding machine manufacturers usually state the end-user cannot adjust welding machines. Calibration/ Verification or Welding Validation confirms the needs of a customer or that weld procedure specification, product, service, or system have been met. The methods of obtaining validation are many. Variables could include machine type, process type, project requirements, codes, and specifications. A calibration history In AISC 207 Chapter1.14 of must be kept for AISC the AISC Certification Standard Erector Certification. may not be clear as it pertains to welding machines. What is clear is that it is required, so don't be surprised if you must present your welding machine calibration record at your next audit. Use a calibrated handheld amp/ voltmeter to verify the welding operator is following the WPS. Also, confirm that the machine being used meets the requirements of the code and contract document. If documented, you can check that you are meeting the needs of the systems listed above. Some codes require a frequency of calibrating the test gauge and the frequency of verification.


Determining the frequency How do you decide the frequency of calibrations, verifications, or welder validations? When not covered by code, specification, or contract documents, the following considerations can help determine what best fits your business. After you purchase a calibrated item or you send a gauge to be calibrated by an outside calibration laboratory (again, many hold the ISO 17025 certification), you will receive a record of this calibration. This is a good time to review the calibration policies within your own company. A number of resources and online forums can provide direction, just use caution when applying knowledge from an unidentified or unknown source. One good resource is the National Institute of Standards and Technologies The shorter the intervals between calibrations, the more you may reduce the risk of inaccurate measurements. When determining the frequency of calibration, verification, or welding validation, consider factors that may affect measurement accuracy. Requirements of your quality program should consider how often the item is in use, environmental conditions, including humidity, temperature, vibration, and where the item is stored and used. Frequencies can be set using various options: CAU (Calibrate after use), CBU (Calibrate before use), Number of Users, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, and Years.


Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 21


At the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, a Maeda minicrane is used to hoist steel beams onto the roof of the building. If a steel erection crew chooses to hoist a mini-crane to the roof of a building to work at height, the surface must be solid, and the crane must be set up within 1% of level.

By Lucy Perry

Steel Work offers Major Role for Mini-Cranes

Equipment selection should include job parameters, setup, and certification requirements

Photo provided by Maeda USA.


f you’re considering a mini-crane for your next steel erection project, know your jobsite and how you’ll be using the crane before you call your crane provider. Determine ground bearing pressures for the crane setup location, and know the weight of the loads you’ll be handling. Figure out whether the crane will be hoisted to height, and whether it’ll be traveling through any doorways on the way up. These factors will determine the size and capacity of the crane you choose. Dan Swiggum, business development manager at ATS Specialized Training in Sun Prairie, Wis., says “because they don’t run Lucy Perry operates WordSkills Editorial Services in Kansas City, Mo. She has spent 25 years following the North American construction industry. She can be reached at

cranes on a regular basis, ironworkers need a very operator-friendly crane. That’s the minicrane.” He says his steel erection customers like mini-cranes especially for sports stadium construction sites, “where they can hoist the machines to the upper deck of a structure to work from height.” Customers choose a mini-crane for applications where a big crane would be impractical, so the first step is to assess jobsite access, says John Carpenter, sales manager for Maeda USA, Houston, Texas. “The process begins when they decide why they need a mini-crane. If they can do the job with equipment they’ve already got, of course there’s no need for a mini-crane, but nine times out of ten they actually need a smaller crane because of access issues, or work space constraints and obstructions.” He has a list of standard questions he asks customers:


• How is the mini-crane getting to the workspace? Will it be hoisted with another crane? Will it travel through single or double doors? • Are there stairs, curbs, or other obstructions to navigate? • Will the work take place inside a building or confined area? • Will it matter if the machine produces emissions? • Is propane or electric model required? “Once we help the customer determine the appropriate model, power package, and accessories, we then discuss details such as ground bearing pressure on tracks and outrigger reaction forces (commonly referred to as point loads).”

“That’s data that the structural engineers require when a crane is working on a rooftop, parking garage, or elevated deck,” he says. “We run the data for the customer’s specific defined lifts using a Maeda factory program, once they provide us with the load weight and crane configuration.” Crane mats under the mini crane’s outrigger pads are required. Sometimes shoring is required to support the work area for the crane. Some mats are for surface protection, others are for outrigger force dispersal of the crane and load, Carpenter explains. “It all depends on ground and work surface conditions. It’s the contractor’s responsibility to use proper mats, shoring, or other load dispersal methods for the particular jobsite. In the steel erection business, if they’re considering a difficult-to-access job or a tight workspace, we’ll discuss the project in detail with them, and help them determine which model of mini-crane they’ll need, depending on their load weights and lift heights.” In choosing the right crane for the job, there are myriad crane sizes, depending on the application. Jennifer Denman, of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Smiley Lifting Solutions, which is the North American dealer for Japanese Spydercrane mini-cranes, says that sometimes a non-traditional approach is the right answer. A top-down pick from another story of the building will reduce the machine size and ease installation. Mini-cranes are relatively light cranes that are able to work on elevated surfaces. In this application, “Customers will look for something that can pick more and will have longer cables,” explains Joe Wheatley, Western district sales manager for Baltimore, Md.-based JekkoUSA, exclusive U.S. distributor of Jekko mini-cranes. A larger winch on a mini-crane will offer more cable to work with, he explains. That has been very popular with Wheatley’s steel erection customers. Another consideration is line pull. “Steel erectors want the capacity at single-part line so they have faster winching to get the job done faster,” he says.

to the roof of a building, but the setup is the same as if he were working on the ground below. The surface needs to be firm, and the crane must be set up within 1% of level.” Bryan McClure owner of Trivent Safety Consultants, Denver, Colo., echoes the importance of proper setup. “You need to determine ground-bearing pressures for the crane’s outriggers and the crawler. That’s the biggest issue,” he believes. McClure suggests steel erectors make sure they’re setting the crane

up on a smooth finished concrete if possible, or utilize some kind of wood cribbing underneath the outrigger pads. “This prevents the crane from moving around while you’re operating it,” he says. “It’s best to put wood blocking under the crane, even just a thin layer.” Mike Faloney, southeast district sales manager for JekkoUSA, says the customer also needs to know the working radius, capacity, and height of the load. “Those three things

Set up for success Swiggum cautions that people sometimes take mini-cranes for granted because of their size. “Whether it’s a mini-crane or a 2,000-ton crawler crane, it’s all about the ground conditions of the surface you’re setting the crane on. An ironworker may take a mini-crane Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 23

A steel erector in the San Francisco Bay Area used two Spydercranes provided by Smiley Lifting Solutions to erect a mezzanine in an indoor hotel courtyard. Photo provided by Smiley Lifting Solutions.

determine the crane for the job. He also asks customers what size area they have to work in. “They also want to look at the footprint of the area. Some machines can be folded up to take up a smaller footprint,” explains Faloney. “It’s usually a 14’x14’ square, but that can be knocked down to 14’x7’ if the crane is half-jacked,” referring to configurations in which the crane’s outrigger is not fully extended. For most mini-cranes this is completely acceptable, provided the operator is closely abiding by the crane’s load charts for safe load lifing. Denman explains that mini-cranes have very flexible outrigger positioning, which enable operators to set up around a column or in a tight space. When doing so, it is important to carefully follow the load chart according to the outrigger positions. Swiggum adds: “There are 57 different positions some of these cranes can be configured in, and that has to match up with the quadrant you’re going to work in. It’s all laid out in the crane manual,” he explains. “You also need to know the correct outrigger position.” Make sure, as well, that you know where you’re setting the outriggers so that you’re not crushing an extension cord or any electrical equipment that energizes the crane, he says. Because of their flexibility for positioning, Denman reminds operators to utilize the remote control. She says, “Wireless remote controls can allow the operator to get in the best position available to execute their lift. Don't work in the blind!” In addition, Swiggum cautions operators to check for nearby structures and overhead powerlines to avoid booming into them. “I remind customers that it’s a small crane, but if you yank on the lever it will swing fast. I tell guys it’s no different approach than if they were operating a big lattice-boom crane—Slow and steady wins the race.”

Certification standards

Blakley Construction Services in Nashville, Tenn., regularly uses Jekko mini-cranes to replace steel components in limited working areas inside sewer or water treatment facilities. In this photo, Blakley technicians use a Jekko SPX429 to place an effluent support in a Metro Nashville wastewater processing plant. Photo provided by JekkoUSA


If a crane can lift more than 2,000 lbs., and the work you’ll be performing is categorized as ‘construction’, you must have certified crane operators to run a mini-crane. The operator must be evaluated by his or her employer or a third-party testing organization to be qualified to operate the crane, per OSHA’s Cranes & Derricks in Construction rule. “If an ironworker holds up the beam that’s lifted with that crane, that crane operator has to be certified,” says Swiggum. “Mini-cranes are considered a small hydraulic fixed-cab crane. There’s a core exam about general operational questions, but then they take a specialty exam for fixed-cab crane that’s 26 questions, and takes an hour to complete.” His organization, ATS, uses the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) to certify crane operators. Graham Brent, CEO of the NCCCO Foundation, says since there are currently no accredited crane operator certification programs developed specifically for mini-cranes, the NCCCO Foundation’s Crane Type Advisory Group (CTAG) reviewed the models available and determined that the telescopic-boom crane (non-rotating controls) type is the “most similar” available for compliance with Subpart CC of the OSHA Cranes & Derricks rule. “For NCCCO that would be the Telescopic Boom—Fixed Cab (or TSS) certification,” explains Brent. NCCER also tests mini-crane operators under the telescopic boom/crawler-mount crane category for NCCER operator

certification purposes. Depending on the type of mini-crane, one can be used on NCCER telescopic boom/crawler mount practical exams as well. “However, it is critical that the operator is able to do all of the tasks on the practical exam for the associated crane, such as check engine fluids and travel the crane,” explains Chris Wilson, senior projects manager at Alachua, Florida-based NCCER. If the steel erector is renting the mini-crane with an operator, he needs to know the operator is a certified crane operator, notes Carpenter of Maeda USA. “Most steel erectors are pretty crane-savvy because they’re around cranes and lifting equipment all the time; however, mini-cranes should be treated just like larger cranes when it comes to safety and proper operation. A smaller contractor may not have a certified crane operator, so the crane company may offer turnkey hoisting service with a qualified crane operator.” The steel industry is a big customer base for mini-cranes, he continues. Some customers will plan ahead and know that it’s the right machine for their application, but a certain percentage of calls come from people who’ve only determined the crane they have already is too big for the jobsite. “It’s often more cost-effective to mobilize a mini-crane if they don’t have to use a big crane,” he points out. “We’re finding they’ve become more mainstream as the steel industry gets more familiar with them. We’re helping steel erectors do their jobs safer, and more efficiently, often saving time and money without having to mobilize in a big expensive crane. Mini-cranes are problem-solvers for unique and difficult lifting applications.”


RIGGING HARDWARE Since there are currently no accredited crane operator certification programs specifically for mini-cranes, both NCCCO and NCCER have determined that the telescopic-boom crane (non-rotating controls) type is the “most similar” available for certification compliance with Subpart CC of the OSHA Cranes & Derricks rule. Photo provided by NCCCO Foundation.



(877) 331-3280 RIGGINGWAREHOUSE.COM Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 25

Steel Masters finds efficient alternative for lifting beams, columns, and trusses SEAA member Steel Masters LP was featured in Construction Equipment Guide, August 2019 issue, showcasing their use of mini cranes on structural steel construction project. The following article is excerpted with permission from Construction Equipment Guide. Steel Masters LP, Houston, chose two Maeda MC305 mini-cranes over larger, more conventional options to complete its part of a project to renovate Texas Medical Center in downtown Houston. The job called for steel beam erection and lifting columns and trusses on the multi-floor addition to be built above the existing parking garage of the towers. Seeking alternatives to the high cost and traffic disruption that accompany tower cranes, Steel Masters sought out Inman Texas Company, the Texas dealer of Maeda mini-cranes. “The Maeda MC305 provided the answer for us,” said Mark Melton, equipment manager of Steel Masters. “It was light enough to place directly on the parking garage deck but could achieve our lifting requirements of up to 6,500 pounds. Compared to the alternative, which was bringing in a tower crane, they proved to be much less expensive as well.” Steel Masters leased two MC305s from Inman Texas and lifted both to the parking garage deck with a large mobile crane, which was then removed from the job site — quickly and easily with no traffic disruption whatsoever.

Key features of the MC305 are 47 ft. lift height; 6,560 lb. capacity; 360 degree swing; and 51 in. width to fit through standard double doors.

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The MC305’s ability to maneuver in a confined workspace also was an important consideration, as was fuel economy, according to Melton. “Maeda’s mini-crane is powered by a very efficient Yanmar diesel engine, so the fuel savings was great,” he said. “We could work all day on a tank of diesel.” The minimal overall weight of the MC305 also allowed Steel Master to move safely and efficiently across the top of the garage as work progressed, and the zero turning radius of the mini-crane proved adept working in the tight working conditions, according to Melton. The crane has multiple outrigger length settings that can be easily extended or retracted. The load charts are programmed into the OEM Load Moment System which is integrated with the outrigger interlock safety system and sensors.The remote control with digital display and load weight readout is standard on all MC models. “Maeda mini cranes are equipped with all of the safety systems that larger mobile cranes are equipped with, just in a scaled down, small package,” said John Carpenter, Inman Texas sales manager.

APRIL 14 - 17*, 2020 Sheraton Grand Chicago

10,515 CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THIS PREMIERE CONSTRUCTION EVENT. SHOULDN’T YOU? Owners will witness first-hand the incredible developments in SAFETY and technology. Contractors and ironworkers understand that the conference is attended by the best minds in the construction industry and geared toward their success and continued growth.

MORE ATTENDEES THAN EVER ARE EXPECTED. THESE ARE A FEW REASONS WHY: • Discover how TECHNOLOGY is advancing our workforce • Find out how IMPACT is helping break through to owners in new regions • See what the FUTURE of construction technology looks like

HERE IS A SAMPLE OF THE BREAKOUTS CREATED FOR YOUR SUCCESS: • Tech Comes to Rebar • Business Managers and Politics in an Election Year • Communicate Clearly: Crisis Communication • Why Does Diversity Pay? • Metal Buildings of the Future! • Safety Pre-Qualifications for Industrial Opportunities • The BlueBeam Revolution • How Do I Know My Tech Vendor is Good?


To register visit the Events Tab on the IMPACT website (WWW.IMPACT-NET.ORG) Or scan the QR code.


Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 27


Veterans in the ACS program get in-the-field experience practicing on a tower structure.

By Lucy Perry


to improve your

EMPLOYEE PIPELINE Tips to rejuvenate workforce development in 2020


here’s a lot more to recruiting and retaining a strong talent pool than participating in a job fair or posting an ad to a job board. Although those are both essential activities, here’s a deeper dive to attract young people entering the market, retraining workers, and holding on to the ones you’ve got. Successful workforce development programs are like any other organizational initiative that depends on engagement, believes Katrina Kersch, COO of NCCER. “They need to be continually reinvented and refreshed. In fact, established programs should be annually evaluated for effectiveness,” she says. Among the areas Kersch suggests employers should look are how your marketing and communications plans supports your efforts, whether employees are recognized and rewarded, and if frontline supervisors are committed to promoting development opportunities. Good technical skills curriculum is only component to a thriving program. “Long-term success is determined by the supporting framework,” she says.

Build partnerships with schools

Girls Can is an annual construction camp that introduces skilled trades to 8th to 10th grade female students. These students learn about welding at the camp held at Shelby County (Ala.) Career Technical Educational Center. Photo Credit: Ivana Hrynkiw

Lucy Perry operates WordSkills Editorial Services in Kansas City, Missouri. She can be reached at 28 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

According to data from the Associated General Contractors, its members are playing a more active role with schools to interest young people in construction. “There are fewer people getting exposed to construction careers and the pursuit of them these days,” says Brian Turmail, vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives. “Steel erection requires a lot more skills than other types of labor, so it’s particularly important for firms to realize they’re going to have to do a lot more to train and prepare workers.” Facing this issue head-on, contractors are getting knee-deep into academics, he says. “They’re not just showing up for career fairs, but helping organize them at construction sites or training facilities. They’re lending materials and allowing staff to come in and provide high-level

instruction in a classroom setting.” It takes innovation to attract an expanding pool of workers, he continues. “Companies are realizing recruiting isn’t just putting an ad in the paper or showing up for career day. You’ve got to get involved with the schools, and educate and train.” Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) guides a collaborative network of communities to advance student, community, and workforce success through education and workforce solutions. Ford NGL's primary solution is development of high school career academies using the Ford NGL framework. Cheryl Carrier, executive director, says employers are eager to engage at the secondary level in meaningful ways with local school districts and secondary-level students. “Ford NGL helps employers get connected with school districts so they can attach to teachers and students in career academies.” In these academies, “students work on authentic projects with employers for three years. They better understand the field, they get to work with employers to understand the skills, attitudes, and mindsets they need to be successful in that career field. It helps them prepare themselves for the next stage, whether they go into the workforce with certifications or go on to college.” Even if your steel erection company is not in a location where Ford NGL academies exist (see map at, employers can learn from this model. Seek to become a strategic business partner with your local school district or community college. According to a recent survey by the Association for Career and Technical Education of more than 900 career and tech education leaders, industry relationships are a top priority for 98 percent of them. Yet, more than half of them feel they need a better understanding of how to structure, develop and grow effective partnerships. Among the biggest challenges for both educators and industry is lack of time to establish these relationships. The other obstacle is that employers report safety and liability concerns in engaging students under the age of 18 in work-based learning. Ford NGL suggests considering your engagement with educators and students on a continuum. Low intensity activities include being classroom speakers, participating in industry advisory councils or offering curriculum review. Mid-level career prep includes

job shadowing or teacher externships. The most involved activities for student career application are internships, apprenticeships, or challenge-based projects. Visit fordnglu. com/ppme-webinar-sign-up/ to learn more and access resources to develop powerful employer/education partnerships. Employers that allow students to engage in summer internships or job-shadow experiences, or pay for certifications, “are building their own talent development pipeline,” says Carrier. Meanwhile, Carrier reminds employers to not forget about teachers. “Teachers don’t always know what exactly is involved in the world of construction work and craft trades,” she says, suggesting that industry bring teachers to a jobsite, to spend time understanding the skills needed and how to

use geometry, algebra, and science on the job. That arms teachers to go back and have conversations with students about the potential for careers in the construction field, says Carrier.

Know your audience Just as industry/academic partnerships are about more than just students, marketing to close the skills gap means reaching different audiences. Build Your Future (BYF), a recruitment initiative established by NCCER, recently published a Research & Marketing Playbook to give the construction industry tips for effectively reach parents and influencers, as well as students. “If a parent thinks that the industry is unsafe and dead end, they likely won’t support their child’s decision. In


What barriers do you face in developing business/industry partnerships? 67.73%

Lack of time to develop partner...



Partners are nervous about...


Partners lack time/ resources...

Lack of funding to support...


Limited number of employers in my...

21.44% Few industries in my commun....



Lack of time to develop partnerships Partners are nervous about safety/liability for work-based learning Partnes lack time/resources to engage Lack of funding to support partnerships Limited number of employers in my community Few industries in my community/lack of breadth across industry sectors Other (please specify)

67.73% 54.92% 48.51% 32.49% 23.31% 21.44% 11.82%

11.82% Other (please specify)

613 497 439 294 211 194 107

Credit: ACTE, 2019 Report Addressing the Workforce Shortage through Strong Partnerships

THE WORK-BASED LEARNING CONTINUUM What does strengthening your involvement with schools look like in a continuum?



Learning ABOUT the Company & Careers

Classroom Speakers


Roundtable Discussions

Industry/ Advisory Council


Curriculum Review


Learning WITH the Company

Job Shadow

Reverse Job Shadow

Worksite Tour

Teacher Team Externship


Application IN the Company

Capstone Experience

Student Student Internship Apprenticeship


©2018, Ford Motor Company Fund

Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 29

7 Ideas for 2020 Besides the ideas already posed, here are few more for steel erection contractors to implement in 2020. 1. Build out an events calendar and schedule community engagement around these events. ■ February: CTE Month ■ March: Women in Construction Week ■ September: Steel Day, Sept. 25, 2020

Ironworker Skills Institute is an evolution of a training and education partnership Garrison Steel developed. Interested students can download an application at recruitment efforts, it is also critically important to change the perceptions of a student’s ‘influencers.’ An influencer is anyone who guides a student when they are choosing their career path,” says Kersch. NCCER identified four important pieces of information for contractors to consider in their recruiting efforts:

■ October: Careers in Construction Month 2. Identify clear career pathways inside your organization, not only for entry level workers, but for the growth and retention of your middle level employees.

1. Different messages are needed to influence students versus parents when it comes to changing perceptions about construction careers.

3. Advocate for career and tech education programs, says Ford NGL's Cheryl Carrier. "These kinds of programs get students excited about career opportunities they may not have considered, and work that that contractors need to have done. (Visit to support increased funding for CTE curriculum.)

2. Playful and emotional messages—as opposed to rational messages—in social media and digital advertising increase engagement faster.

4. Support state or local skills development programs, such as SkillsUSA or ACE Mentor Program of America.

3. Pay to play is a must. Spending money on Google Ads, programmatic marketing and social media advertising is essential to see a significant difference in your efforts.

5. Connect with your local school district. Ask educators what problems they face, what projects there are working on, then match those needs with the resources you have. That might be equipment, tools or leftover building supplies, or it might be speakers or mentors.

4. Utilizing specific keywords on your website and in your content is crucial in targeting (or reaching) parents looking for careers for their children. Download the Playbook at

Expand your talent pool Students should not be a steel construction contractor’s sole focus, says Turmail of AGC. Employers must step out of their professional recruiting zone and target groups of people who they might not have considered in the past. Women, convicted felons, under-skilled workers, or military veterans are other sources. “The construction industry is only 9% female. The jobsite culture needs to become more welcoming to women who are looking for flexibility in their career—they may need flex schedules or job-sharing situations,” says Turmail. This year, AGC is launching a program called Culture of Care which encourages member construction firms to create a more welcoming environment. Placing people coming out of the criminal justice system is another untapped 30 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

6. Get familiar with The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), in particular grant funding that might be available in your state for development and implementation of career and technical education programs. Work with the state education department and the school to determine how your resources might meet their needs. ( 7. Rethink your HR department to train staff on strategic workforce planning, empowering workers as mentors or coaches, and techniques for talent acquisition. Resources at Human Capital Institute ( and Society for Human Resources Management (

opportunity. At the 2019 Construction Career Pathways Conference hosted by NCCER in December in Anaheim, Calif., panelist John Easley shared the success of training inmates in Louisiana for reentry into society. Easley currently serves as the Program Consultant for the Re-entry Craft and Technical education programs at Louisiana State Penitentiary. He was the Louisiana Community & Technical College System (LCTCS) Career & Technical Education Director until his retirement in 2009, where he also served as the LCTCS’s NCCER Sponsor Representative and is an NCCER Master Trainer. According to Louisiana DPS&C, skills training and employment readiness are major components of successful offender reentry. At the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, highly-skilled offender mentors are utilized to enhance the training development in automotive and construction training classes to assist non-skilled offenders in attaining an Industry-Based Certification (IBC) in their chosen field of training. Certifications through NCCER and the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) are offered to offenders as they complete the training program to assist the offender in attaining employment after release. Other components of the program include a partnership with a theological seminary designed to enhance social and quality-of-life skills, the ability to earn college credit in vocational-technical fields, and access to Pell Grant funding. Strategies for employers looking to hire ex-offenders can be found at reentry-and-employment/. Another sector of potentially successful long-term employees are military veterans. “They’re in serious demand,” says Turmail. “The bigger challenge with veterans is finding them to hire. Firms are realizing veterans have high career success rates and are often already working on a career path in construction. Companies are looking for better ways to recruit them.” SEAA member Adaptive Construction Solutions, Houston, Texas, has successfully tapped this segment with training, and key social and emotional supports needed by veterans. The company sponsors employer-centric apprenticeships that can be designed to meet various needs of employers and apprentices. Programs can be time-based, competency-based, or a hybrid of the two. Dan Swiggum, business development manager at ATS Specialized Training in Sun Prairie, Wis., says construction should also look to industries that have suffered job losses, where workers need retraining to find new careers. This is an issue in the coal industry, as well as in agriculture, he says. In Wisconsin, for example, some $1.5 million has been set aside to retrain people who’ve lost their farms there, says Swiggum. “The state says ‘we’ll train you to do construction’ if that’s their chosen field.”


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SCHEDULE T UESDAY, M A RCH 31 , 2 02 0 4:00 P -7:00 P 7:30 P - 10:00 P

SEAA Board of Directors Meeting Dinner - Board of Directors

W ED N ESDAY, A P RI L 1 , 2 02 0 7:00 A - 3:00 P 8:00 A - 6:00 P 9:00 A - 3:00 P 10:00 A -12:30 P 10:30 A - 5:30 P 3:00 P - 8:00 P 7:00 P - 9:30 P

Fishing - RedFin Fishing Charters (7:00 A pickup / 8:00 A charter) Trade Show Exhibitor Set-up Magnolia Plantation & Gardens Tour (9:00 A pickup / 3:30 P return) SEAA Registration Desk Hours Golf - Rivertown Country Club (9:00 A pickup / 3:30 P return) SEAA Registration Desk Hours Welcome Reception & Trade Show (Opening Welcome, Golf and Fishing Awards)

T HUR SDAY, A P RI L 2 , 2 02 0 7:30 A - 11:00 A 7:45 A - 9:00 A 8:00 A - 2:45 P 8:30 A - 8:50 A 9:00 A - 9:30 A 9:00 A - 9:30 A 9:40 A - 10:30 A 10:30 A - 12:00 P 12:00 P - 1:00 P 1:00 P - 2:15 P 1:15 P - 2:30 P 2:15 P - 2:45 P 2:35 P 2:45 P - 4:00 P 2:45 P - 6:00 P 3:00 P - 4:15 P 6:30 P - 7:30 P 7:30 P - 10:30 P

Trade Show: 7:00P-9:30P

Trade Show: 8:00A -2:45P

SEAA Registration Desk Hours Breakfast (Continental): Trade Show Area Trade Show Welcome and Opening Remarks Session 1: MANAGEMENT How to Become a SEAA/NCCER Training Unit & Assessment Site Tim Eldridge, SEAA's Craft Training & Assessment Site Administrator Session 1: FIELD Common Rigging Mistakes Scott Seppers, Trivent Safety Consulting Trade Show Outdoor Demonstrations Coffee Station Keynote: Getting Safety Performance to the Next Level Bob McCall Trade Show Lunch - Door Prizes Session 2: FIELD Make Your Quality System Work for You Lee Pielaet, Pioneer Steel Services Session 2: MANAGEMENT Structural Steel Field Fixes & Solutions Jim Fisher, CSD Structural Engineers Break Silent Auction (Close at 2:35 P) Session 3: MANAGEMENT Responding to Workplace Disasters Frank Kollman, Kollman & Saucier, P.A. Trade Show Exhibitor Move-Out Session 3: FIELD Project of the Year Winner Presentations Cocktail Reception - Fantail - USS Yorktown (5:30P hotel pickup / 10:30 P return) Dinner & Awards Banquet - Hanger III - USS Yorktown

F R I DAY, AP RI L 3, 202 0 7:45 A - 8:45 A 8:00 A - 12:00 P 8:45 A - 9:00 A 9:00 A - 10:30 A 10:30 A - 10:45 A 10:45 A - 12:00 P 12:00 P 12:00 P - Until

Breakfast SEAA Registration Desk Hours SEAA Business Meeting WORKSHOP: 5 Steps to Improving Your Team's Safety Performance Bob McCall Break PANEL DISCUSSION: Workforce Development is a Team Effort Moderator: Tracy Bennett Panelists: Richard Gordon, Chadwick Vail, Dan Belcher, Tim Eldridge, John Garrison, Nick Morgan Adjournment (Lunch on your own) Tours - On Your Own

SPECIAL FOCUS: Convention Preview

EXHIBITORS This year's Trade Show will feature both indoor and outdoor exhibits and will include live demonstrations.

Prime Networking in Relaxed Atmosphere Don’t miss the steel construction industry’s best kept secret

(As of 1/23/2020) AISC Altec Cranes American Institute of Steel Construction Ashley Sling, Inc. CraneTrader DACS, Inc General Equipment & Supply GWY LLC Hanes Supply, Inc. IMPACT JLG Industries, Inc. LeJeune Bolt Company Lincoln Electric M & P Specialty Insurance Magni Telescopic Handlers Mazzella Companies Miller Electric Mfg LLC NACB - North American Crane Bureau, Inc. NCCCO - National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators NCCER Nelson Stud Welding New Millennium Building Systems NISD - National Institute of Steel Detailing Nucor-Vulcraft/Verco Group Preferred Safety Products, Inc. Red-D-Arc Welderentals SDS/2 SEAA / SEAA Craft Training SEAA Connector St. Louis Screw & Bolt Steel Joist Institute Superior Cranes, Inc. Tradesmen International Trimble Solutions USA, Inc./Tekla, Inc. W.O. Grubb Steel Erection, Inc.


t’s all hands-on deck this year for the 48th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Charleston, S.C. April 13, 2020. The Convention kicks off with the popular Welcome Reception & Trade Show. Program highlights include golf at Rivertowne Country Club and fishing with RedFin Fishing Charters. Plus, you won’t want to miss a chance to join the crew for the dinner and Awards Gala on the Historic USS Yorktown. Headlining the convention will be speaker Bob McCall, President of Inspire High Performance, LLC. He will draw on more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry to address leadership, culture, expectations, and behaviors that need to be changed. McCall will follow up his inspirational opening presentation with a workshop later in the week. 5 Steps to Improving your Team’s Safety Performance will deliver battle-tested tools to help erectors improve these areas of their organization.


DON'T WAIT. Register online at

The convention will include six other sessions on management or field topics, including AISC certification, resolving field steel construction problems, and workplace disaster response plans. Plus, winners of the annual Project of the Year competition will present case studies of their structural steel erection jobs.

many variables affecting rigging scenarios. Drawing on 19 years of field experience and leadership as a general foreman and trainer for Trivent Safety Consulting, Seppers will identify some of the most common mistakes made in rigging.

How to become a SEAA/NCCER Training Unit/Assessment Site

Make Your Quality System Work for You

Tim Eldridge, SEAA’s Craft Training and Assessment Administrator, will discuss how to become a member of SEAA’s network of Craft Training providers. Participation in the program provides SEAA member companies with access to nationally recognized credentials for ironworkers. Benefits include reduced costs and administrative requirements. Because of SEAA’s affiliation with NCCER, members also have access to the dozens of other construction craft training materials, assessments, and certifications.

Continuous change to the AISC Certification program keeps Network erectors scrambling to keep up 2020 George R. Pocock Memorial Golf Tournament at Rivertowne with Quality and Safety ManCountry Club , In Shore Fishing Tournament with RedFin Charters, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens Tour agement Systems. Lee Pielaet of Pioneer Steel Services, Inc., has conducted more than 1,000 AISC audits. He’ll share his experience to help erectors achieve, manage, and upgrade Workforce Development is a Team AISC certifications. Effort This panel discussion, moderated by Structural Steel Field Fixes & Tracy Bennett, SEAA’s Managing Editor of Solutions Connector and marketing consultant, includes Problems encountered during construc- experts representing technical education, tion and erection of structural steel buildings craft training, curriculum development, and often requires field fixes. Dr. James Fisher, apprenticeship. The discussion will include Ph.D., P.E., is Vice President Emeritus for CSD trends in CTE education, practical tips for Structural Engineers. He will share case stud- establishing workforce development and how ies, common problems, and how to respond to get funding for training and apprenticewhen they occur. ships. Panelists include career and technical disaster response plans. Plus, winners of educators, craft training experts, and SEAA the annual Project of the Year competition members who have implemented successful will present case studies of their structural ironworker curriculum and career paths for steel erection jobs. high school students and military veterans.

Common Rigging Mistakes Scott Seppers, a former rigger and ironworker, warns that employers should never assume those doing rigging have all the knowledge and training to account for the

Project of the Year Presentations Don’t miss a chance to hear the inside scoop on the most complex, challenging and interesting steel erection projects completed by your peers. Ask questions of the erection management teams during Thursday’s session. Awards presented at Gala on the USS Yorktown.











By Derek McCallum

How to use Artificial Intelligence in Sales


rom self-driving cars to manufacturing robots and virtual assistants, the AI revolution is firmly underway. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, 84 percent of U.S. business executives believe it will be “necessary” to implement AI at scale within the next three years. What’s more, PwC estimates that the global AI market will grow by an astounding $70 billion in the next year alone. Businesses large and small can benefit from incorporating AI into their processes and workflows. Yet among all teams and departments, sales perhaps stand to gain the most from adopting AI technologies. Careful, considerate use of the right AI sales techniques can transform your sales team, making your salespeople dramatically more productive and profitable.

What is AI in sales? Artificial intelligence in sales is the use of AI and machine learning techniques to improve the performance of your sales teams. Sales techniques such as product recommendation engines and predictive lead scoring are already based on AI techniques. However, sales teams may be using these tools haphazardly, without extracting the most benefit or without being a part of a larger AI-enabled strategy. Derek McCallum is Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer for IronFocus, a data services company providing companies with insight into their marketing, sales, and customer retention strategies. He is the idea guy for difficult business situations and forms solutions based on data and facts rather than emotion or beliefs. For more information, visit 40 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

AI for sales wholeheartedly embraces the concept of using artificial intelligence and machine learning, taking your sales team to the next level. In a 2018 Salesforce survey, sales leaders predicted that sales teams’ use of AI would increase faster than any other technology, with an estimated two-year growth rate of 155 percent. The survey also found that by 2020, 54 percent of sales leaders expect to be using AI technology. This comes as no surprise when you consider that high-performing sales teams are 4.9 times more likely than underperformers to already be using AI.

4 ways to use artificial intelligence in sales Nearly everyone is in agreement that using artificial intelligence for sales is a good idea, but what does AI for sales actually look like in practice? Below, we’ll discuss four ways to integrate AI into your sales processes.

Early Bird Special Register by July 17th

1. Strike better deals Your sales professionals may be good at closing deals—but are they good at closing deals that are a winning proposition for your company? AI has the answer. By sifting through mountains of data about previous transactions and interactions, AI-enabled sales tools can find the deals and accounts that tend to perform well over time. If you’re looking to convert a stubborn prospect, AI can even suggest the best services and discounts to offer to make the deal a success.

2. Get better leads Lead prospecting is a notoriously challenging part of the sales process. According to a HubSpot survey, a plurality of salespeople—42 percent—say that prospecting is the stage with which they struggle the most. The good news is that you can use cutting-edge AI systems for lead generation and prospecting. Today’s AI-enabled sales tools can perform a wide variety of tasks, including:

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Please join us at SEAA’s 21st annual golf educational fundraiser tournament.

•  Analyzing social media platforms to discover consumer trends and interests. •  Mining data to discover connections between people and businesses and recommend new leads. •  Updating contact information by scanning emails and other messages.

3. Personalize campaigns Everyone likes to feel special, which means that personalization is one of the most important sales and marketing tactics. According to consumers, 58 percent say that a personalized experience is “very important” when making a purchase, while 52 percent say that they would be “somewhat likely” to switch brands if they weren’t happy with the level of personalization. AI sales tools can make the task of personalization and “hyper-personalization” significantly easier. Based on the profile of a customer or prospect, AI can deliver the most relevant information about your products and services and the content it believes will most likely result in a conversion. As of 2018, just 9 percent of organizations say they’ve finished developing their hyper-personalization strategy, which means that early adopters stand to benefit a great deal.

4. Automate manual activities Despite the job title, salespeople don’t actually spend the majority of their time selling. According to a survey by, 63 percent of sales representatives’ time is spent on non-revenue-generating activities. Much of this time is spent manually entering data into customer relationship management (CRM) software or handling administrative tasks. The good news is that much of this activity can be automated by AI-enabled sales tools. Consulting firm McKinsey & Company estimates that half of sales reps’ duties are candidates for automation. In so doing, salespeople can free up more time for what really matters: connecting and following up with prospects.

Mark Your Calendar! FRIDAY OCTOBER 9, 2020

Lonnie Poole Golf Course NC State University Raleigh, NC For more information or call SEAA office 336.294.8880

All proceeds from this event will fund the development of new steel erection training programs sponsored by the SEAA Safety and Education Committee.

Connector | SPRING EDITION March 2020 | 41

TOPPING OUT “Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure. This is not an option. This is a necessity.” — President Donald Trump to Congress during 2020 State of the Union address Number of unintentional overdose fatalities, construction industry, 2011-2018 70






Number of deaths

7.0 6.0

40 30




20 10



1.0 7











Change (Baseline = 2011)


2.0 1.0







Source: Fatal injury data in 2011-2017 were generated by the CPWR Data Center with restricted access to the BLS CFOI micro data, including all employment in the construction industry. The 2018 data were obtained from the BLS website: and includes fatalities in the private construction sector only. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the BLS.

The Opioid Crisis in Construction Unintentional overdose fatalities on construction jobsites have increased dramatically in recent years. A report published in 2019 by The Center for Construction Research and Training (CWPR) showed that illicit opioid use was higher in construction than other major industry sectors. Although prescribed opioid use was somewhat lower among construction workers than all industries combined, illicit opioid use was higher. These contradictory findings may be due to lower health insurance coverage rates in construction and the highly addictive nature of opioids. Download the full report, Overdose Fatalities at Worksites and Opioid Use in the Construction Industry, at

A Toast to Bob Beckner After 27 years of service on the SEAA Board of Directors, Bob Beckner, Peterson Beckner Industries, is stepping down in anticipation of his retirement later this year. "Bob is a selfless man who has given countless hours to our industry and our organization," said Josh Cilley, President, American Steel & Precast Erectors. Bob is a past President of SEAA and recipient of the William Davis Service Award, and he has served on numerous AISC committees over the years. "Bob is a true professional, a gentlemen, and friend. We thank him for his contributions to SEAA. He will be missed," added Cilley.

Meet New Members

Illicit opioid use during lifetime, by major industry, average of 2011-2014 Construction

% of workers 18.8




Gridiron Steel Inc, Dillsburg, Pa., is a structural steel erection company that specializes in the installation of structural steel, steel joist, metal decking, miscellaneous steel, railing, stairs and welding services.


Retail trade






Wholesale trade








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All industries

Maryland Iron, Inc., Glen Burnie, Md., provides construction and installation services for ornamental iron including gates, staircases and railings serving the Baltimore, Md., and the Washington, D.C., Metro Area.


Source: 2011-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Calculations by the CPWR Data Center.


Check out the Member Directory at



Project of the Year Winners Multi-Generational Workforce Technology in Construction Convention Review


Nelson Stud Welding, Elyria, Ohio, creates stud welding fasteners and equipment, split-second fastening, training, and application support to improve productivity for construction, nuclear, shipbuilding, and industrial markets. Smith Ironworks, Inc., Lyerly, Ga., provides steel fabrication and erection services. Smith Ironworks also has locations in Atlanta, Ga., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and East Kingston, N.H.

Summer Edition June 2020 Ad Deadline: May 15, 2020

Witness the beginning of something great. AISC Certification is thrilled to introduce a specialty conference for fabricators and erectors, featuring the latest insights on both the principles of quality management and specific ways improving your quality processes can—and will— boost your bottom line. Learn all about: • How to implement risk-based thinking, with Denise Robitaille of Robitaille Associates • A two-part series on how to effectively respond to nonconformances and corrective actions, with Paul Palmes of Business Standards Architects, Inc. • A two-part series on performing effective internal audits and management reviews, with Anna Petroski of Atema, Inc. • What lessons fabricators and erectors can learn from people who’ve been there, with Christian Crosby of Cianbro Corporation and Tim Duke of Williams Erection Company • How a steel erector can train its supervisors and workforce on quality, with Tim Duke of Williams Erection Company • and more!



NASCC: THE STEEL CONFERENCE Georgia World Congress Center

April 22–24, 2020

America’s premier event for fabricators, structural engineers, detailers, erectors, and architects. The Steel Conference registration includes QualityCon and five other specialty conferences.

Registration now open! Smarter. Stronger. Steel. American Institute of Steel Construction 312.670.2400 |


our common interest

“We are large enough to meet all of your insurance needs, yet small enough to appreciate your business and provide personal service.”

Supporting the Steel Erectors Association of America and Promoting a Safe Work Culture! We offer the following coverages: General Liability, Property, Auto, Umbrella, Inland Marine (Equipment), Workers’ Compensation, Professional Liability, D&O, Health and Life Insurance.

7896 Donegan Drive, Manassas, VA 20109 • (703) 257-7540 • (800) 553-8359

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