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On Thursday, July 28th, 20 INTREN Fleet, Yard, and Supply employees took part in Industrial Lift Truck and Rough Terrain Fork Lift Training performed by JJ Keller. This training has two components: an hour and a half long formal class training and a practical exam, in which the attendee must demonstrate their proficiency in the safe operation and material handling of the specified equipment. Training was done in the morning and afternoon to accommodate the different shifts of the Fleet Services employees. The certification that each attendee receives upon completion of the training is valid for up to 3 years. 

INTREN's Mike Tilley, Safety Professional/CHST, received Train the Trainer training and is authorized to train new hires in the future one-on-one.

INTREN's internal POWER Group (Promoting Of Women in Energy Roles) met on Thursday, July 28th. This session's focus was on recapping the MEA’s Energetic Women's Conference in Houston, Texas.

Midwest ENERGY Association’s (MEA) Energetic Women is a program aimed to help prepare women within the energy industry for leadership roles in operations and engineering.  They help this initiative by encouraging leadership growth and development, mentoring, sharing information and expertise, and inspiring and supporting women in the industry.

The meeting kicked off with Carrie Lucas, ERP Support Analyst, discussing the industry news.  The recap of the four breakout sessions from the conference were presented by Carrie Lucas, ERP Support Analyst, Maggie Williams, Fleet Administration Coordinator, Chelsey Ball, Project Coordinator, Heather Bakke, Project Coordinator, Jessica Kinchus, Project Coordinator, and Ashley Hunter, Assistant Project Manager.  There was then a discussion of the two key note speakers from the conference presented by Christina Mazhary, Human Resources Manager, Christina Curtis, Assistant Project Manager, and Karolina Korzec, Project Coordinator.

It was a great opportunity for everyone who wasn't able to go to MEA's Energetic Women's Conference this year to be able to get a glimpse into what this conference offers and what it means to be an Energetic POWER-ful woman! 

Perfect for summertime, INTREN recently sponsored an Adirondack chair for the Marengo-Union Chamber of Commerce's 2016 Summer Art Exhibit & Auction. The Chamber is holding this auction to help raise money for the Marengo-Union community, and as a local company, INTREN is doing our part to support them.

The amazing local artist Peggy Gannon created this one-of-a-kind artwork for INTREN. Her work is dedicated to turning simple places into something beautiful and this is exactly what she did for the Adirondack chair!

The chair will soon be placed in Marengo or Union for the viewing along with other local businesses' Adirondack chairs. Make sure you check out this great piece of art, as well as all the other chairs for the Chamber's auction!

For more information on how to bid on any of the Adirondack chairs donated to the Chamber, please visit: http://www.marengo-union.com/

As part of the Rock River Project, INTREN previously removed two three-pole structures on the north and south ends of the Rock River in Prophetstown, Illinois due to their decrepit condition and the safety hazards they posed. Crews from INTREN's Distribution Overhead led by Bill Nightingale, Senior Project Manager, and Jeff Vesley, General Foreman, worked diligently, efficiently, and safely to replace the old wooden structures with two new 70' steel structures. Using a 60 ton crane to place the two-piece structures on the cement foundations securely, initially the crews pulled the wire across the Rock River via boat to connect the towers. Next, they installed new 477 ACSR conductors for the 34kV lines that spanned between the towers and finished the installation later in the week.

 

As a forward thinking company, INTREN believes in continually investing in the future of our communities and employees.  Our comprehensive summer internship program is just one of the ways in which we achieve this goal.  This program engages and challenges each intern by providing hands-on training as well as showcasing the behind-the-scenes work that pushes a company towards success. 

In order to best serve our customers, our employees in the field must be supported by a wide range of diverse and talented individuals in the office.  The INTREN internship program helps with this initiative of strengthening both our field and office presence by providing a variety of positions within the business.  The various roles within the program range from finance and marketing to overhead and construction management.  The majority of the interns are currently pursuing higher education in the respective fields of their internship.

This summer, INTREN hired 12 interns across our office locations of Union, Woodstock, Bolingbrook, and Franklin Park.  Meet the fresh new faces of our INTREN’s interns:


Zachary Adcock & Devin Allbright - Construction Management Interns
Dylan Ayers - Journeymen Mechanic
Nicole Bertrand & Samantha Reis - Marketing Intern
Brendan Juno - IT Intern
Humberto Marquez - HR Support Intern
Taylor Nightingale & Shelby Young - Overhead Interns
Rudy Rosenmayer, Jr. - Cable Faults Intern
Jeremy Schneeweis - Finance Intern
Jordan Sutton - Underground Electrical Intern

Late last year Loretta Rosenmayer, Founder and CEO of INTREN, was given the opportunity to meet with President Obama and other industry leaders to discuss the White House's initiative for climate change. INTREN left that meeting with a pledge to reduce our impact on the environment by reducing our GHG emissions annually, purchasing clean renewable electric energy for our offices nationwide, and opening local offices to reduce office employee commute time.  INTREN is happy to announce that we are moving forward towards meeting our goals.

Since establishing these initiatives, INTREN has replaced a number of vehicles used by L2CMS, INTREN’s Construction Management Solutions Division, with more eco-friendly vehicles. This change alone will reduce the CO2 output for this group by almost 50%.  For our offices, INTREN has purchased 50% renewable electric energy which is energy produced from sources that are not depleted when used, such as wind or solar power.  Also, we have opened several new office locations and continue to find strategic locations across the country that will help reduce commute time.

There are many more initiatives in the works that will help INTREN’s sustainability efforts environmentally, economically, and equitably which we will pursue to improve our sustainability practices.

 

Congratulations to INTREN’s Samantha (Randby) Ronding for graduating from the Missouri Valley Line Constructors Apprenticeship Training Program in May 2016 to Lineman.  Samantha joined INTREN in April 2014 as an apprentice while continuing to study and train with crews from our New Berlin, Wisconsin office as well as on special projects in Illinois.

Samantha, a native of Duluth, Minnesota, grew up with an interest in the electrical industry that was influenced by her father who was a cableman and her grandfather who was a troubleshooter for Minnesota Power. Samantha jokes that her enthusiasm for working in the field must have just run in the family.  “One night, when I was away at lineman school and doing homework, I got a text from my dad. ‘I’m proud of you’, was all it said, but those four words meant the world to me.” Samantha claimed that it was that text from her father that cemented her decision to become a lineman.  In May, Samantha accomplished her dream of becoming a lineman and couldn’t be happier. 

During her apprenticeship, she was assigned to an INTREN crew to gain hands-on training in the field while also attending regular classroom instructions.  Classes included safety, electrical theory, circuitry, and transformer connections, among many others.  While advancing through the seven steps of the apprenticeship program, apprentices are also required to work full time over four years, which roughly translates to around 7,000 hours of experience.  Samantha said that she had to learn along the way and realize that in order to get better she first had to gain experience and learn to “try, try, try again.”  While the program did not come without its challenges, Samantha said, “that as long as you keep trying, you’ll eventually get to where you want to be.” As for the challenges she currently faces being a woman working in a male dominated field, Samantha stated that she hasn’t encountered many challenges.

Samantha (Randby) Ronding is a prime example of how hard work and determination leads to success. Having completed her journey to become the third generation of linemen in her family, Samantha is currently working for INTREN in New Berlin, Wisconsin.  When asked how she feels about becoming a full fledge journeyman lineman, Samantha said, “It feels good to finally be here.”

Did you know that statistics show that women account for only 8.9% of the construction workforce today, or of the 6,625,000 people working in the construction industry, 589,625 are women?  That is why we are more than proud to have Sam as part of the INTREN family working to OutPerform. Everyday. for our customers and our communities!

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.”

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."