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The Annual Junior Achievement Bowl-A-Thon was a complete success! By the end of the night, INTREN and Nicor Gas raised over $10,000 for Junior Achievement of Will County, and these funds will enhance the education of 500 students that live in Will County. 

Junior Achievement (JA) is an organization that works to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. JA Chicago specifically seeks to improve youth education across Chicago by getting companies like INTREN and Nicor Gas into the inspiration business. This year, the Will County Division of JA has a goal of reaching 1,387 classrooms and 25,945 students. It is amazing that INTREN was able to reach 500 of these students in just one night!

The evening began with Lloyd Gillepsie, Business Development Manager, throwing the honorary first bowl and kicking off the night right with a strike. While the evening consisted of many more strikes and friendly competition between teams, it also consisted of pizza, prize giveaways, and a 50/50 raffle. Over $400 worth of raffle tickets were bought in a matter of a couple of hours thanks to the kindness of INTREN and Nicor Gas representatives. The winner of the raffle, James Althoff, Director of Business Development, generously decided to give all of the money back to JA.

In October 2015, INTREN donated a used fleet truck to New Life for Haiti to help with the organization’s mission of positively impacting the Marfranc community in Haiti.

New Life for Haiti is a charity aimed at making a significant difference in Marfranc, a village along the Grande Anse River.  This charity was initially started in 2006 when Fran Leeman, a pastor from the Chicago area, along with several friends decided to make a difference.  They had made various trips to Haiti for about 10 years before they decided to pinpoint one specific area and solely dedicate their time there in order to make a long term difference.  They set up their headquarter’s office in Marfranc and have been devoted to making an impact ever since.

Since New Life’s start, they have been able to build schools and help farmers with seed after terrible floods, as well as help rebuild homes after the 2010 earthquake.

New Life for Haiti’s mission statement is to “give children a chance at a future, to meet the urgent needs of families, to foster new economic opportunities, and to influence cultural thinking toward a sustainable change within the Grande Anse River Valley on the southern peninsula of Haiti.”  In order help to fulfill this mission statement, New Life created a child sponsorship program in which a child receives education, food, vitamins, clothing, books, and school supplies.

INTREN first became involved with this organization through Erin Inman of Primera Engineers, whose husband is the Chairman of the Board for New Life for Haiti. Due to Erin's involvement with New Life, INTREN became aware that this organization was in desperate need of a truck to help transport building materials, and was quick to offer a contribution. After the donated used fleet truck was inspected and fixed, INTREN delivered it to Erin in Naperville late last year, who then in turn shipped it to Haiti.

INTREN's Fleet Services team members worked hard to ensure the donated truck was in perfect shape before it was shipped to Haiti, such as testing and checking the engine, and replacing the radiator and air conditioner. Donated trucks need to be in impeccable working shape before being shipped to organizations like New Life for Haiti as the community usually doesn't have the means to fix the vehicles once they receive them.   

The INTREN truck has already made quite the difference in the Marfranc community. As can be seen in the pictures, it is somewhat of a spectacle for the local kids.

INTREN is happy to do our part in giving back to communities around the world. Jim Bishop, Director of Fleet Services, stated that "It feels great to serve an additional purpose; it's rewarding and humbling to be a part of it." 

On Tuesday, June 21st, three of INTREN’s new summer interns had the privilege of attending the National Latino Education Institute’s (NLEI) 44th Annual Dinner with INTREN executives and guests. Loretta Rosenmayer, CEO and founder of INTREN, is a longtime advocate of NLEI and their efforts to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged youth.

INTREN’s interns had never been to an event like this before and had no idea what to expect. Although they knew that NLEI seeks to enhance the quality of life for Latinos by providing education and employment opportunities, it was not until they actually experienced this event did the interns realize how much of an impact this organization truly makes and the role that INTREN plays in this impact.

The event consisted of a silent auction followed by a dinner with keynote speakers. The program was hosted by CBS 2 Chicago News’s Roseanne Tellez who did a great job at keeping the crowd entertained. The night was full of entertainment, but also full of powerful stories from NLEI alumni.

“For me it helped to see firsthand what a difference NLEI makes in the community,” said Samantha Reis, Marketing Intern. “The speaker that really stood out to me was Nancy Rociles. She told us about her struggles making it in America with limited educational and career opportunities. Hearing how she overcame domestic violence and came to NLEI for support truly opened my eyes to the impact that NLEI can offer each individual. Through the help of NLEI, this single mother now has the proper training and education to advance her career and make her mark on the world.”

The last keynote speaker, Dimas Trujillo, talked about how the CONSTRUCT Program changed his life and how NLEI and INTREN gave him opportunities that he never thought were possible. The CONSTRUCT Program gives participants the opportunity to develop skills for entry-level positions in the construction industry. Since graduating the CONSTRUCT Program, he is now working with INTREN and wants to continue to grow his professional career.

In reference to the silent auction, Dimas joked at the end of his speech, “I promise one day I’ll be outbidding some of you.”

Seeing firsthand how INTREN, along with all of the other supporters, impacts NLEI and all that NLEI does for its communities, was a very rewarding experience for all of the interns at the 44th Annual Dinner.   

On Tuesday, June 7th, three dedicated INTREN employees went out of their way to help an elderly gentleman in need in downtown Tulsa. While on their lunch break, Tulsa crew members Russell Politte, Jason Hunt, and Nathan Beers noticed Henry Rogers was lying on the sidewalk, obviously fallen from the heat. While many others merely walked past him, these INTREN employees didn't hesitate to get up and provide help. While these good Samaritans were doing what good Samaritans do, an intern for the Tulsa World newspaper happened to be walking by and was curious of the sight that she saw. Here is her story as posted on the Tulsa World website. http://www.tulsaworld.com/blogs/news/intern-isabel-dobrin-how-i-stumbled-across-a-good-samaritan/article_fd3b10db-fa9f-50f8-aae4-154fbd77af10.html

After reading this amazing story, we called their GF, Mike Lechlider, to find out more about these good Samaritans. Mike told us these guys are doing an amazing job showcasing the INTREN way and is very proud of these individuals as well as all of his guys! Lechlider stated, "They were doing the INTREN thing. Doing the right thing every day." These three INTREN employees are one of Lechlider's five crews working downtown in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hunt has been with us since April of 2015, while Politte and Beers are from the St. Louis INTREN office and transferred to the Tulsa job over 3 weeks ago. Regardless of how long these men have been at INTREN, they have already adopted our core values to serve. It's unfortunate that not everyone would go out of their way to help a fellow human being in need, but these guys are a prime example of doing the right thing which happens to be the INTREN way - OutPerforming. Everyday.

*Photo taken from www.tulsaworld.com

On Tuesday, May 31st, INTREN attended the Women’s Energy Network (WEN) Chicago’s Signature STEM Luncheon at the Montgomery Club. This unique event seeks to celebrate young women in STEM and the importance of careers in energy. The luncheon brought together 40 young women from Chicago-area schools that are aspiring to work in STEM careers with experienced professionals across the energy industry, including our very own team of INTREN employees!

The afternoon consisted of empowerment and engagement between the bright minds of the future and the current professionals in the energy industry. Anne Pramaggiore, President of the WEN Chicago Board of Directors and CEO of ComEd, kicked off the event with the opening remarks and a warm welcome to the talented young students. Keynote speaker Robin Robinson, longtime Chicago news anchor, invigorated and inspired all those in attendance.

The event was hosted by the Women’s Energy Network, an international organization of professional women who work across the energy value chain. Their mission is to develop a variety of programs to provide networking opportunities for women who work in the energy industries. These networking opportunities are offered nationwide and they include events such as luncheons, conferences, community initiatives, socials, and mentoring programs.

Because of this inspiring opportunity, more young women in STEM can connect with organizations like WEN and INTREN to discover what’s possible across the energy industry.

The Federation of Women Contractors' (FWC) 10th Annual Women Rock Awards was recently held on Wednesday, June 1st. Among those honored was our very own Loretta Rosenmayer with the Women's Inspiration Award. A lifelong supporter of women and member of the FWC, Loretta inspires those around her on a daily basis to be strong, independent women who make a difference in the world.

Hosted at the House of Blues in Chicago, the night's theme was the 70's of "Peace, Love, and Women Contractors" in honor of the women's movement that occurred during the 70's. The FWC is one of the oldest and most recognized leaders among women-owned construction businesses in the Chicago area. It started in 1989 and remains "committed to advocating for women-owned businesses and women executives in the construction industry."

The INTREN attendees included: Mary Lucarelli, Tanner Cummings, Amanda Glissman, Kathleen Pierce, Christina Curtis, Susan McElfresh, Maggie Williams, Jessica Kinchus, Karolina Korzec, Val Menolascina, Beth Alm, Samantha Deaton, Rachel Chronowski, Alexis Twardzik, Jackie Zelinski, Jennifer Chaffin, Katie Borst, Diane Loftin, and Heidi Schmitt.

Congratulations Loretta and to all the award recipients of the night.

This April, INTREN coordinated a meeting for the ComEd Contractors of Choice (COC) Executive Safety Council to discuss the utility provider’s safety campaign. Spearheaded by Lance Rosenmayer, President of INTREN and Chairperson of the COC Executive Safety Council, the meeting was held at ComEd’s new training facility.  Executive leadership from ComEd, ComEd’s COC Executive Safety Council and contractors were in attendance for the kickoff of their 2016’s Journey to Zero Incidents, Injuries and Fatalities Campaign.

At this meeting, ComEd and contractors reviewed historical incident data, discussed new and current ComEd expectations, related industry-wide trends, shared COC initiatives currently underway, and discussed human behavior.  Each contractor signed the 2016 Journey to Zero Incidents, Injuries and Fatalities Campaign, pledging to carry out this work in a safe manner. This commitment to the Journey to Zero Incidents, Injuries and Fatalities includes adhering to:

ComEd’s Core Safety Principles

1.       Safety is everyone’s responsibility

2.       Zero incidents is achievable

3.       We have to sweat the small stuff

4.       A safety culture begins with trust

5.       Anyone can stop a job at any time 

ComEd’s Rules for life

1.       Always wear PPE when performing critical tasks

2.       Establish & enforce a Zone of Protection

3.       Always test before touch

4.       Always meet confined & enclosed space safety requirements

For more information on INTREN safety, visit: http://www.intren.com/index.php/about-us/safety-and-quality  

Underground Contractors Association (UCA) of Illinois announced INTREN as the 2016 'Contractor of the Year' at their annual Underground Spring Showcase. On April 12th, UCA's Executive Director, Michael Wiedmaier, presented the award to INTREN President, Lance Rosenmayer, for his longstanding support, dedication and commitment to UCA.

"All of us at INTREN are extremely proud to be recognized as a leading contractor in the underground construction industry," Rosenmayer said. "INTREN has been a longtime member of UCA and I have been fortunate enough to serve on the Board of Directors for the past three years. We cannot begin to explain what a unique and influential organization UCA is and what this award means for INTREN as we continue to grow in this industry."

UCA presented this award to Lance Rosenmayer for his steadfast commitment to the association, the industry and the communities the specialty contractor serves. "[INTREN] contributes in some way to over 75 different causes throughout the state, nationally and internationally," UCA's Executive Director, Michael Wiedmaier said. "[INTREN] participate[s] in women and minority mentorship programs to encourage employment in the industry. This stewardship is ingrained in the company's culture and sets an example to the underground contracting industry."

At a UCA luncheon on May 19th, Tim Ayers, Director of Safety & Quality, received an award on behalf of INTREN for ‘Recognition of Management’s Commitment to Safety Excellence.’ The plaque notes INTREN’s commitment to excellence in creating and maintaining a safe work environment. INTREN actively participates in UCA events as it is a great opportunity to share best practices between peer contractors and helps keep us aware of local construction activities.

UCA is a not-for-profit trade association of contractors and suppliers in the sewer, water, utility and underground industry throughout Illinois. It is active in market development, information, education, labor and the promotion of safety. UCA represents over 200 contractors and associate member companies. For more information on the UCA, visit http://www.uca.org/

In May, INTREN, along with 30 construction industry companies, utility providers ComEd, Peoples Gas and Nicor Gas, as well as 6 social service agencies celebrated the accomplishments of 71 dedicated individuals who successfully completed the CONSTRUCT job training program.

Led by ComEd, this 11-week job training program offers professional support and assistance from committed companies who want to make a difference in helping minorities prepare for jobs in the construction industry. 

The six social service agencies, using experienced trainers, taught the classes at their facilities, provided individual job counseling and guidance, and worked with students on job placement opportunities. Entry-level job opportunities can include meter reader, truck drivers, customer service representative, designer, electric apprentice, and more.

This alliance of sponsoring companies and utility providers, along with IBEW locals 9, 15, 134, 196 and Laborers’ District Council of Chicago & Vicinity, actively support CONSTRUCT and have played an important part in growing this program. Their goal is to foster increased diversity in the construction industry through education, contracting and employment.

Although no promise of employment is guaranteed –an amazing 80 percent of previous participants have been offered employment. From the 2016 graduating class, INTREN has hired two union laborers and two union IBEW groundmen so far. 

“Quite frankly, job-driven training works,” Loretta Rosenmayer, INTREN Founder & CEO, said.  “These talented students are not just looking for jobs, they’re looking for fulfilling careers.  CONSTRUCT helps participants fulfill their career goals while helping to fill the jobs our industry needs today and in the future with skilled workers.”

CONSTRUCT has proven beneficial for companies. By providing a valuable source of qualified and skilled workers, CONSTRUCT is improving the prospects for expansion and continued success in the construction industry. 

To date, about 150 students have participated in the program, and participation continues to grow year-over-year. 

For more information on how you can become involved in CONSTUCT, visit ComEd.com/CONSTRUCT

L2CMS, a DBA of INTREN, is piloting an Agriculture/New Business Turnkey Program in order to bring more power to farmers in the Central Valley Region of California. The project is an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model focusing on electric distribution overhead and underground work. The purpose of the project is to provide clients with a more cost effective alternative to complete this type of work from start to finish.

Due to a major drought on the west coast, Central California farmers have begun to dig deeper in order to find the water they need to water their crops. Developed by L2CMS - a specialty service company concentrating on comprehensive pre-construction consultations, special program/project support and staff augmentation - the program is helping provide a more robust electrical distribution system to help farmers reach water at greater depths.

The project began as an experiment to give L2CMS’ clients a different perspective on how similar work could be done. By managing the entire process, L2CMS has provided the client with shorter engineering, project management and construction times, and ultimately at a reduced cost. L2CMS launched this project in February 2016, and has established a Project Management Office (PMO) which manages the overall program, as well as subcontractors. Having already received the third and final wave of the pilot at the end of May, L2CMS is scheduled to complete the pilot program by the end of June.  The fourth wave will be received early June and the program will shift from pilot to an implemented program.

“This is the first program for our electrical distribution team working on an EPC type model,” said Sarah Douglas, Director of L2CMS. “The whole team is pleased with the project we are making. We look forward to implementing this type of work model on future projects.”

This April, L2CMS unveiled is official branding video. For more on the type of work L2CMS performs, their eclectic team, and their spirit of stewardship and diversity, watch the L2CMS: Power Your Success video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZWusjFyRII. For more information on L2CMS, visit http://l2cms.com/