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Company's Midwest East Division continues to set milestones within construction industry

Union, Illinois (Aug. 31, 2017) – Nationwide utility contractor INTREN continues to exceed industry standards in construction safety by breaking a two-year incident-free record by its Midwest East Division (MWE), which serves utilities in Ohio and the surrounding states.

The company refuses to cut corners on safety and remains focused on its well thought-out, proactive approach to training and reporting. "It starts at the top", states Brian Carlin, Midwest East Division Account Manager. "INTREN has a strong, committed leadership who continue to encourage an engaged and empowered team."

The responsibility for improvements is both organizational and personal, infused with a strong flavor of servant leadership in being a brother's keeper. Dennis Bednarski, INTREN's Regional Vice President-Midwest echoes Carlin's statement: "Our safety efforts are aligned with our strategic plan. Because we have an established foundation for safety, we continue to improve and encourage active engagement of teams across all departments and offices throughout the company."

Due to the complex and demanding environment, systems have been designed to protect against human error through daily onsite briefings. These briefings review customer deliverables and expectations and always include a thorough review of safety protocol. The results have enabled INTREN to successfully meet the demands of the industry with an exceptional level of service and performance that aids in decreasing interruptions and lowering overall costs for their customers.

The MWE Division Civil Department employees delivered over 75,500 man-hours to achieve this remarkable accomplishment seldom seen in the utility construction industry.

Moving into 2018, the company continues to partner with its customers keeping pace with advancing challenges and industry technologies as they follow their motto to "OutPerform. Everyday."

 

INTREN encourages people to make a free call at least 2 business days before digging to know what’s below

Union, Illinois (Aug. 11, 2017) – With Aug. 11 almost here, INTREN hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.

“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Matthew Turk Executive Vice President of Business Development and Operations for INTREN, “It really is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area.”

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

Visit www.call811.com or http://www.illinois1call.com/ for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

Torrential rainfall and high winds during the night of Tuesday, July 12th caused havoc to more than 11,000 homeowners who woke up without power on Wednesday. INTREN was more than willing and ready to respond to the call to assist the Midwest’s major utility companies in helping to restore power to their customers. In the Northwest Chicago area, INTREN dispatched over 38 crews who worked diligently and safely to replace electric poles ripped down by the storm in several rural locations and townships.

An Intren worker oversees a convoy of Intren trucksTwo Intren workers fix an electric wire on a liftAn Intren worker oversees a power line being lifted into position

A shovel goes into the ground.This April marks the tenth annual National Safe Digging Month, reminding residents to always call 811 before any digging project. National Safe Digging Month is formally recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and has traditionally earned the support from nearly every state governor across the country.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to the local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after a call to 811.

“As April marks the traditional start of digging season, we are using this month to strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging,” said INTREN Executive VP of Operations and Business Development Matthew Turk. “By calling 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.” 

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

INTREN encourages area residents to visit www.call811.com for more information about digging safely.

Construct ProgramAs a founding construction industry member of ComEd’s CONSTRUCT program, which kicks-off its 5th year this week, we at INTREN are excited to be part of the team of the 31 construction industry companies, three local utilities and seven social service agencies in the Chicagoland area.  This year marks the largest class to date – 90 participants will go through a 9-week job training program that provides the training and skills needed to compete for entry-level jobs in the construction-related industry.  Visit INTREN’s YouTube page to see more on CONSTRUCT or read more about CONSTRUCT in ComEd’s recent press release.

Tim Ayers, INTREN’s Director of Safety and Quality, was this year's Keynote Speaker at the 50th Annual Conference for the New England Chapter International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) in Burlington, Vermont.  The Chapter reached out to Tim for his presentation on teamwork and leadership, and received a riveting parallel between the Apollo 13 mission and their own work place challenges.

Tim’s presentation focused on his analysis of the Apollo 13 mission and how the challenges the crew experienced were recognized and dealt with using human performance tools, good planning and procedure adherence.

 

One clear take away from the Apollo mission was the teamwork and clear concise communication between mission control and the astronauts. Tim’s presentation paralleled this to how our workforce can interface and ensure total success of our mission using these same tools.

 

While Tim originally developed his presentation for the electric distribution field, ISA identified that his depiction easily transferred to their own workforce.

 

Attendees came out with the understanding of how this approach led to hazard reduction and risk reduction through teamwork and were energized to work together for the success of their own missions.

 

The New England Chapter's mission statement is to promote professional arboriculture, research and awareness of the benefits of trees in New England.

 

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) promotes the professional practice of arboriculture and fosters a greater worldwide awareness of the benefits of trees.

For more information on INTREN’s safety and quality standards, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Recently, JULIE released a new web-based Remote Ticket Entry (RTE) tool that allows excavators to enter and update dig tickets online. Because this new application is web-based, tickets can now be entered from any web-enabled device such as computers or tablets…even phones!

As one of the top five largest Illinois companies that use JULIE, INTREN generates numerous tickets. The remote ticket entry will make that process safer, faster and more efficient.

When the new tool was released, a focused training effort was organized by Matt Kirchman, INTREN's Project Management Office Director, ensuring all users with an RTE account received training on the new system.

"When the new RTE tool became available, we realized that we had a chance to be an industry leader by embracing new technology to help us perform our work more safely and efficiently," says Kirchman. "Not only did we target the group of employees that were using the old desktop application, but we also looked to find people that were previously phoning in tickets. Our goal was to turn them in to RTE users so that they could better provide the information required to get accurate locates on the ground."

Training wrapped up in October, and the tool is now available to all RTE account holders. For more information, visit the Remote Ticket Entry page on the Julie Illinois One-Call System website.

Through the company’s cornerstone of stewardship, INTREN looks at participation in industry associations in the same way it does charitable organizations.  INTREN has strategically placed itself as a leader by hiring and training experienced individuals in the gas distribution field and encouraging them to take on leadership roles.  Within the company’s gas division, three of its top, client-facing employees have gone above and beyond to help influence decisions that will impact the gas industry for years to come.

“Our participation in organizations like the Midwest Energy Association (MEA), Distribution Contractors Association (DCA), and the American Gas Association (AGA), are crucial to INTREN’s growth in the industry and in fulfilling our clients growing needs,” said Lloyd Gillespie, INTREN’s Business Development Manager. “Encouraging INTREN employees to join and contribute to these organizations not only helps INTREN make an impact on the organization in the industry, but serves as a way to get ahead of regulations and new technologies in the industry. Our goal is to continually provide new, innovative solutions for our customers.”

Gillespie, a 40-year veteran of the gas industry who specializes in the replacement and maintenance of aging gas distribution systems, is on the Gas Advisory Committee of the MEA. This allows Gillespie to participate in key decisions that the MEA Gas is making. Participation also provides guidance relative to the MEA Gas summit training sessions held annually.

Steve Canestrini, INTREN’s Operator Qualifications Manager, is on the MEA’s Gas committee, which oversees the Operator Qualifications (OQ) throughout the industry. 

Doug Anderson, INTREN’s Gas Account Manager, is on a scholarship committee for the DCA which helps provide funds, via a scholarship, to a student who is attending a vocational or technical college. Anderson also participated on the DCA’s Directional Drilling Committee in previous years.  Anderson’s leadership position in the DCA places INTREN in a position to help shape guidelines and standards in the gas distribution industry.

“I am very proud and excited to work with such experienced gas professionals who are committed to the integrity and advancement of the industry,” said Jeff Nauman, INTREN’s Vice President of Gas Operations.  “INTREN’s success has always been built on the leadership and strength of its valued employees.”

For more information on the MEA, visit midwestenergy.org, the DCA, visit DCAweb.org, or the AGA, visit AGA.org. For more information on INTREN's Gas Division, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Vice President of Gas Operations.


Call before you dig! Thursday, August 11th (8/11), marks National 811 Day, a day to remind us to always dial 811 before digging and as the first step in the damage prevention process. One-Call organizations across the country have teamed up to recognize today as National 811 Day in order to create awareness and better publicize the law with regard to excavating. As a leader in the utility construction industry and a member of JULIE’s Illinois One Call System’s board and the Underground Contractor’s Association (UCA) board, INTREN is a proud supporter and advocate of the 811 “Call Before You Dig” campaign across the Midwest as well as the country.

It is important for homeowners and contractors alike to call 811 before digging in order to prevent unintentional accidents caused by hitting underground utility lines. According to call811.com, “digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, which can lead to service disruptions, serious injuries, and costly repairs.”  811 is a national call center, you can dial the number 811 from anywhere in the country prior to digging and your call will automatically be routed to your local call center.

Approximately 38.6 million people will dig this year without first calling 811 to have underground utility lines marked (call811.com). Consequently, the number one reason for damages to utility lines is due to not calling 811 before digging.

As a leader in the construction industry, INTREN wants everyone to remember the importance of always calling before you dig. Whether you are digging for utility work or just digging to plant some flowers, you always need to call 811 a few days ahead to ensure safe digging. 

In June, INTREN’s Matthew Turk, Executive Vice President of Operations & Business Development, and Dennis Bednarski, Midwest Regional Vice President of Operations, attended EEI’s Annual Convention in Chicago. 

Organized in 1933, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is an association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies.  Members of EEI are responsible for providing electricity for 220 million Americans and directly employing nearly 500,000 workers.  This association seeks to provide public policy leadership, strategic business intelligence, and essential conferences and forums to help strengthen the members of this industry.

One of these conferences, the EEI Annual Convention, is the electric utility industry’s premier networking event that attracts roughly 1,000 registrants.  This three-day conference focuses on cutting-edge industry news and has featured famous headliners in the past, such as former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as Warren Buffet and Condoleezza Rice.

As an associate member of EEI, INTREN jumped at the opportunity to attend this conference. Matthew Turk stated, “It was great to network with other EEI members and learn about the innovative technology and advances that have been made in the electric utility industry.”