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WBE Specialty Utility Contractor INTREN Does Quality Differently

 

Not since the Industrial Revolution have companies been so challenged with the absolute need to change the way they manage and operate. Technological, regulatory, and competitive forces are shifting the utility landscape which will change dramatically in the not so distant future with quality performance being a leading differentiator.  

 

Company Information:  

WBE specialty utility contractor, INTREN has faced these evolving changes head-on by announcing a unique, innovative approach to quality management that is designed to involve every employee, in every department, at every level and at every INTREN office throughout the country.  With ISO 9001:2015 standards as their guide, INTREN has successfully implemented an updated quality management system that addresses the individual concerns of each customer while creating a strategic advantage for INTREN internally by providing a platform for continuous improvement.Intren quality structure diagram

 

“How we approach quality is more important than the progressive tools we use,” states Scott Fowler, INTREN’s Quality Manager. 

 

While no one approach will meet the needs of every customer, the INTREN leadership team has chosen to follow the latest ISO model to ensure a high level of integrity within its Quality program.

 

As the company enters its 30th year in business, INTREN continues to earn the trust of many of the nation’s largest utilities, municipalities and cooperatives dedicated to building and maintaining the infrastructure of the energy industry.   Now, this award-winning company has expanded its brand into new markets by integrating a customer centric, scalable quality management system into the way they do business.

 

“We believe our commitment and approach to quality provides us with a unique competitive advantage,” states Fowler. “We’ve listened carefully to our customers and responded in a professional way by providing all stakeholders with scalable, expandable and cost-effective solutions to quality.

 

Our CEO, Kelly Tomblin, along with INTREN’s senior leadership, are the champions behind this effort and are clearly committed to its success. We’ve all been empowered to personally deliver the best quality possible each and every day.”

 

INTREN has strengthened its internal culture of ‘OutPerforming. Everyday.’ by developing a strategic process and structured model behind its quality improvements.  The INTREN process is based on integrity and is designed to ensure every customer gets consistent quality service every time. “We’re focused on producing quality work the first time, every time, because people’s lives and livelihoods depend on the services we deliver.   One of our shared goals is to self-identify risk and reduce rework to increase our competitiveness,” stated Fowler.

 

Both field and office teams regularly review operating processes to identify current or potential quality issues.  Each day, every work group is expected to “Self-Identify” Quality shortcomings in order to prevent future consequences.  The identified risks are communicated as “Lessons Learned” across the entire INTREN organization.

 

INTREN is a leading specialty contractor, well known for serving the needs of its customers.  Their customer-centric approach ensures that every INTREN employee is trained to clearly understand how Quality is defined for each specific customer but also how to best deliver that Quality.  Since quality is not a one size fits all concept, listening to understand is INTREN’S first step in delivering a customer focused Quality solution. 

 

Regular status updates consist of high-level graphical reports, along with location specific detailed reports that outline Quality compliance as well as self-identified deficiencies. “We’ve learned to take the Quality message to where the audience is,” stated Fowler.  “By using a wide variety of communication tools, we are able to deliver a consistent Quality message to a broad audience.” 

 

In the end INTREN hopes to accomplish two goals:  First, that customers will appreciate the company’s full transparency and know that placing their trust in INTREN is good for business.  Second, that all stakeholders see quality as a personal responsibility. 

 

“This is a game changer in the industry.  We are clearly demonstrating that as our customer’s needs evolve, so has the way INTREN responds.  We want to be known as a trusted partner that delivers economical, quality solutions to our customers every time,” stated Fowler. 

 

As the economic spotlight in utility operations continues to drive efficiencies, INTREN has identified Quality as a strategic advantage and uses Continuous Improvement as a way to reduce costs associated with previously unidentified opportunities. The INTREN approach to Quality stresses that every employee validate quality work at every step of a project.  While the INTREN team is reminded daily of the benefits of completing work error free, understanding how to deliver Quality to each specific customer is what sets them apart.

 

INTREN has always used Quality as a cornerstone for success. Now they are advancing their efforts by putting this unique process and structured model behind its plan for continued growth and future success.

 

To learn more about INTREN’s, focus on quality, visit https://www.intren.com/about-us/quality-commitment

Innovative Solutions and Collaboration are Key to Solving the Labor Shortage Says Bellcock

INTREN is proud to announce that Mike Bellcock has been hired as a Senior Labor and Workforce Strategist, effective immediately.

"With the country's present shortage of skilled labor, Mike's creative thinking and innovation will lead us to solve this issue for our customers," said Matthew Turk, INTREN's Executive Vice President of Customer Solutions & Business Development. "With INTREN now in eleven states, this will also enable us to integrate a consistent approach coast-to-coast."

For the past 16 years, Bellcock has been a Business Agent for IBEW Local 2150 in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, where he was able to bring a fresh and innovative approach to attracting skilled labor and creating a groundswell of candidates for entry-level positions. He is also a 30-year member of the IBEW.

"The key to success is always a collaborative approach between the union, contractor and utility, where we all strive to provide forward-thinking solutions for the customer's challenges," said Bellcock.

For example, Bellcock and his team were tasked with creating a pool of entry-level workers for their utility's Smart Meter installation program that focused on minorities and women. Together, with the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, they created a boot-camp style, 40-hour training where graduating students were awarded a special-skills certificate that bumped them up on the referral list. 

"The outcome of that collaboration resulted in over 50% of all Smart Meter installers being a minority or female," said Bellcock. "We knew the program was especially successful when many of those hires began to filter up into the URD (Underground Residential Distribution) program and lineman apprenticeship training."

According to Bellcock, with the current shortage, it also takes compromise from the union and their members when looking at long-term solutions.

At one time, Wisconsin URD workers were paid the Journeymen Linemen wage and benefit package, but it was actually IBEW equipment operators and groundman performing the work and the utility questioned why they were paying the higher rates. In order to maintain the work on the property and prevent the customer from utilizing the nonunion or non-IBEW contractors, Local 2150 created a URD Installer classification of union member. With an associated one-year training program and slightly reduced wages, it more than tripled the number of workers over time, while increasing customer satisfaction with the work.

"If you don't have innovative ideas from the contractor or the union and are not willing to take risks or collaboration, you will get stuck, said Bellcock. Forward-thinking individuals and organizations, no matter how great the challenge can always alleviate this."

" I am excited that Mike has joined our team to help us find innovative solutions to this industry challenge. Working with our customers, unions, workforce organizations and various schools and colleges throughout the country, we plan to outline both short - and long-term workforce strategies," added INTREN CEO Kelly Tomblin. "INTREN is committed to fully servicing our customers' needs and to do that we will focus on making sure we have the right people to serve them and the industry for the years to come."

 

As a WBE, INTREN is especially proud to celebrate its more than 100 women who are "OutPerforming. Everyday." during International Women's Day.
women stand for a group photo at the Intren office
"At a time when we face labor shortages in many areas of our businesses, it's more important than ever to open our doors widely to women," said CEO Kelly Tomblin. "This year's theme, #PressforProgress is on target - we are standing on the threshold of significant change for women and we have to continue the momentum built over the years."

International Women's Day was established on February 28, 1909 in New York and is a day to recognize the achievements of women without regard to divisions - social, political, economic, cultural or ethnic. The day includes a call for action for gender parity in every geographic region, in every industry, and in every economic opportunity.


INTREN joins women around the world as we honor the contributions of women and applaud the work of the men and women who have facilitated these contributions.

#PressforProgress  #IWD2018  #InternationalWomensDay

Workers fixing damage at a storm site.March 6, 2018 - Union, IL – As Winter Storm Riley pummeled the East Coast, 234 INTREN linemen and supporting staff headed to the battered region to assist in restoring power in what was called the third worst storm in recent history. 
INTREN is proud to support the storm effort and the Mutual Assistance process.

On Saturday, almost 2.4 million homes and businesses from North Carolina to Maine lost electric power after wet snow and wind gusts of up to 59 mph downed power lines. 

The region braces itself for a second Nor'easter, which is threatening the region later today.
March 6, 2018 - Union, IL – Brian Swatski has been hired as INTREN's Director of Operations, West-North, reporting to Jason Combs, Regional Vice President. Together, they will focus on expanding INTREN services throughout the entire West Region, while better serving our customers.

Brian's most recent role was Lead Principal Construction Planning with TRC Solutions. Prior to TRC, Brian was the Supervisor for Electrical Construction & Contracts at PG&E for Transmission, and has held numerous leadership roles within the industry.

Brian studied Mechanical Engineering from Montana Tech and Montana State University. He will be located out of INTREN's Concord office.
March 6, 2018 - Union, IL – The INTREN Icicles took to Lake Michigan for the 18th Annual Polar Plunge held at North Avenue Beach in Chicago to help raise money for the Special Olympics. With a teeth-chattering temperature of 37 degrees, CEO Kelly Tomblin and Executive Vice President of Customer Solutions Matthew Turk let the charge into the icy waters of the Great Lake. 

This year's Polar Plunge raised $1.6 million and featured celebrity plungers Otis Wilson (Former Chicago Bears player), Ravi Baichwal (ABC7), David Eigenberg and Miranda Mayo (Chicago Fire TV Cast members) and actual Chicago firefighters.

It is not too late to donate to this great cause. Just go to the INTREN Icicles page at 
https://goo.gl/Zn3J2n.
March 6, 2018 - Union, IL – The first winners of The Loretta Award For Outstanding Stewardship were announced recently at the company’s quarterly meeting. The 2017 winners were Jessica Hopkins from Cincinnati (Assistant Project Manager, MWE), James Feuerborn from St. Louis (Journeyman-MW), Steve Canestrini from Franklin Park (Operations Qualification Manager-Gas), and Marty Kominoski from Illinois (Superintendent-Midwest). 

Awards winners were nominated by their leaders based on the following criteria: Giving Back to Their Community, Benefiting our Investors, Employee Empowerment, High Safety Standards, Integrity, Customer Focus and On the Job Performance. This prestigious honor will be awarded annually to individuals in the Company who have OutPerformed in all areas of INTREN Stewardship and who exemplify INTREN's Culture.  


Winners/ Front Row: James Feuerborn, Jessica Hopkins, Marty Kominoski, and Steve Canestrini
Back Row: INTRN Leadership team: Mike McArthy (Senior Vice President/CFO), Kelly Tomblin (CEO), Lance Rosenmayer (President) and Matthew Turk (Executive Vice Presidents of Customer Solutions)

March 6, 2018 - Union, IL – Landon Kluck has been hired as the Director of Operations, Transmission, reporting to Lance Rosenmayer, President. This new position will allow INTREN to strategically focus more on growing our transmission work and customer base. Landon is currently based in the Union office, but he will be supporting transmission across the company.

For the past 9 years, Landon was the Vice President of Operations - Western Region for Michels Corporation, where he led all electrical power projects in the western United States. Previous to Michels, Landon held various leadership roles with the industry and was also a Journeyman Lineman.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Cuts Ribbon Welcoming Specialty Utility Contractor

January 22, 2018 - Baltimore, MD – To support its corporate expansion across the country, WBE utility specialty contractor, INTREN, announced the opening of its new east coast regional office in Baltimore. A special ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Catherine Pugh commemorated the occasion on Wednesday, January 17th at the company’s new headquarters.

The facility will assist with INTREN’s increased demands for services and represents the first regional headquarters for the company on the east coast. The move enables INTREN to offer its completeThe ribbon cutting at the new Intren office range of construction service solutions to new and existing customers throughout the region.

Joining Mayor Pugh and INTREN officials were leaders from the Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association, Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, Business Agents from Operating Engineers 37 and Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 486 and other business and civic leaders.

“Baltimore is an exceptional place to do business, and the decision to base a dedicated group of leaders in the city demonstrates our belief in the prospects for Baltimore’s growing local economy and emerging status throughout the region. Having a growing team here will allow us to increase the amount of time we spend providing innovative solutions to our customers,” stated Keith Garvey, INTREN’s Regional Vice President of Business Development.

“As our INTREN footprint continues to grow, we are committing to opening local offices which demonstrates our commitment to building our presence in the community. This office is testament to the momentum we are seeing as we continue to invest in our business and our people across the country,” stated INTREN CEO, Kelly Tomblin.

In support of its corporate mission, a special check presentation was made by Keith Garvey to Joe Jones, President and CEO of Center for Urban Families. “INTREN was built on the core values of safety, integrity, customer focus and employee empowerment. Yet stewardship is the cornerstone on which the company has thrived for 29 years. We’re honored to be a part of your community and to help your organization in your mission to create opportunities and supportive services for Baltimore’s urban families,” stated Garvey.

For more information on INTREN’s East Coast Headquarters, contact Keith Garvey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

UNION, IL, January 16, 2018. INTREN LLC is proud to announce that former ICC Commissioner Sherina Maye Edwards has been formally appointed to the INTREN Board, effective immediately.Sherina Maye Edwards

As the fourth INTREN Board Member, Sherina joins Board Chairwoman Loretta Rosenmayer, CEO Kelly Tomblin and President Lance Rosenmayer, along with leadership representing One Equity Partners, Senior Managing Director Andrew Oliver and Director Matthew Hughes.

"I am pleased to bring Sherina Maye Edwards to the INTREN Board," said Loretta Rosenmayer. "With her immense knowledge and insight, she will play an integral role in guiding INTREN into the future."

Appointed to a 5 year term in 2013, Sherina was the youngest commissioner ever to be selected for the ICC. Since her appointment, she has been actively involved in the National Association for Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) serving as Chair on both the Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety, and the Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity.

A woman frequently recognized for her leadership, Sherina was selected to join the ranks of the distinguished list of fellows for the Leadership Greater Chicago in 2015, and was named a 2017 Eisenhower Fellow where she served as an Ambassador for the United States in South Africa and Australia.

A long time champion for diversity and inclusion, Sherina founded the Women's Energy Summit, a national event focused on vital issues in the energy industry. She also is a founding member and current president for the Women's Energy Network Chicago, as well as a member of the board of directors for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Prior to her ICC appointment, Sherina was an attorney for Locke Lord LLP, where she focused on business and consumer finance litigation.

Sherina has a J.D. from Howard University School of Law and a B.A. in Psychology from Spelman College.