Much Deserved Accolades for Public Works Professionals During the 2017 Public Works Week

Public Works Week
Late last month, municipalities all over the country observed Public Works Week, an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and innovations made possible by the men and women in the public works field.

Since 1960, The American Public Works Association has sponsored this week to educate the general public about the value and necessities of public works projects throughout North America. The 2017 National Public Works Week theme was “Public Works Connects Us” and celebrated the vital role public works plays in connecting us all together.

“As the cornerstone of civilization, public works provides, maintains, and improves the structures and services that assure a higher quality of life for our communities,” says the organization. “Its streets, roads, bridges, and public transportation keep us linked together from coast to coast, and its clean water and sanitation services keep us healthy and allow our communities to grow and prosper.”

WVCO is especially grateful to the Public Works field and we are proud to partner with organizations like The American Public Works Association which gives us access to the latest technologies and resources to better serve our industry.

So in honor of Public Works Week, and every week, WVCO salutes and thanks the tens of thousands of public works professionals who work tirelessly every day planning, building, managing and operating at the heart of their local communities to improve everyday quality of life. Keep reading to learn more about APWA and the many contributions made by public works professionals.

Read on to learn more about the APWA and the importance of Public Works in our society.

strong>What is public works? APWA defines it as: the combination of physical assets, management practices, policies, and personnel necessary for government to provide and sustain structures and services essential to the welfare and acceptable quality of life for its citizens.

APWA serves our industry in countless capacities; here are just 5 ways they impact communities on a local and national level:

1. APWA enables it’s members (made up of 29,000+ public works professionals) to bring important public works-related topics to public attention in local, state and federal arenas.

2. The organization educates the public on trends and emerging issues through their nationally sponsored educational programs, industry publications, professional development, training activities

3. The APWA Center for Sustainability now serves our industry as a primary resource on sustainability and sustainable practices for public works organizations across the United States and Canada.

4. APWA facilitates a forum for public works professionals to improve the performance of their agencies and companies, to discuss management techniques for everything from emergency management and water resources to transportation to fleet services and winter maintenance.

5. APWA members advocate for increased investment in public works and contribute their expertise to policy debates that significantly impact public works and our communities.

It is partnerships like the one we have with APWA that have allowed WVCO to emerge as a leader in our industry for decades.

Railroad Day on Capitol Hill

Capitol_at_Dusk_2

In a few short weeks, advocates and representatives of the Railroad Industry will make their annual journey to Washington DC to make their messages heard by lawmakers. This important annual event, Railroad Day on Capitol Hill, is taking place on March 2nd, 2017, at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown, 999 9th St, NW, Washington, DC.

With the ever-shifting political climate, it’s more important than ever to be heard.  As anyone who has taken part in the event before knows, it’s the most effective way for the railroad industry’s message to be reached by Congress and can only succeed if everyone turns out in order to present a unified industry.

New Dome Railroad Day Logo - 2017

The event takes place over the course of one day with appointments, meetings, and events all organized in order to communicate the important role that the railroad industry plays in America’s economy, improving our country’s role in global marketplace, and our ongoing success in helping the environment.

Attendees of Railroad Day will have the opportunity to speak directly with decision makers and help promote real change. “Railroad Day is our single most impactful day of the year with Congressional leaders,” said Linda Darr, president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, of 2016’s Railroad Day. “We had the opportunity to address issues of importance to our industry and the shipper customers we serve.”

Attendance is open to all Class I, II, and III railroad personnel, shippers, state and local government representatives, as well as members from the supplier community with an interest in furthering the political goals of the railroad industry. To learn more, please visit www.aslrra.org.

Photo Credit: By Martin Falbisoner – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, www.commons.wikimedia.org

Partner Spotlight: Moulding & Millwork Producers Association

WMMPALOGO

“The MMPA is a unique association…I am amazed at how daily competitors come together and discuss the business obstacles and opportunities within a relatively small industry.  The knowledge, experience, and comradeship that is built within the members within the association is an investment for myself and for my company.” – Al Delbridge, President, East Coast Moulding Co.

Willamette Valley Company is thankful for the strategic partners we have. It’s important we all work together and look towards the progress and innovations that each has accomplished. With that in mind, we’re taking this opportunity to spotlight one of our partners, the Wood Moulding and Millwork Producers Association (MMPA).

The MMPA is a non-profit association, created to promote quality products, develop sources of supply, promote use of raw materials, standardize products, and increase both domestic and foreign usage of moulding and millwork products. To this end, MMPA provides the tools, information and services necessary to help its members achieve increased sales and profitability.

Beyond assisting their members and promoting products and materials, the MMPA is driven to promote the use of sustainable forest and recyclable/renewable resources. Protecting the ecosystem for future generations is a key principal of MMPA, and strengthens their commitment to protect the natural cycle of forests. To this end, the Poly Material Group of MMPA champions the use of Cellulosic and Plastic materials that may otherwise him ended up discarded in a landfill. In their own word, “MMPA recognizes the importance of creating sustainable solutions to meet the moulding and millwork needs of Today and Tomorrow.”

To accurately understand the impact of MMPA, however, one has to look no further than the impact it has had on its members. Please find some testimonials below taken from MMPA.com

“Yuba River Moulding and Millwork Inc. has been a member of the MMPA since 1977. Like most of the active members of the association, our company considers the MMPA a very important component to the success of our company  in past, present ,and future perspectives.” –  Tom Williams, President, Yuba River Moulding and Millwork Inc.

“I was caught in awe at first, just thinking about a bunch of competitors meeting twice a year to discuss how to improve our industry…it’s about as real and honest as you can still find in any industry and I am proud to be associated with them.” — Les E Baker IV, Sales Manager,  Best Moulding Corp

“We joined the MMPA a few years ago so we could be a part of the organization that is the voice of the moulding industry in North America. We have found this membership to be a benefit to our company in several areas: moulding market information; support organizations; and the MMPA quality influence to our customers/customer.” —Bob Simon Exec. Vice President, Gossen Corporation

It might be one of the best business decisions you ever made too.” — Ted Smith, President – Smith Millwork, Inc. Lexington, NC

We’re proud to have MMPA as a partner and look forward to continuing to work together and assist one another in the future.

Sources:

http://www.wmmpa.com/

See You at the 2016 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair

EWTA Info Fair

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the APA Annual Meeting & EWTA Info Fair with 81 exhibitors 400+ attendees.

Once a year, managers and top executives from EWTA’s supplier members and APA’s member manufacturers meet to review and plan association programs. The WVCO team is thrilled to once again join APA member manufacturers, EWTA members, suppliers and hundreds of other wood products industry professionals from all over the country in Bonita Springs, Florida November 5-8, 2016 for the 2016 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers. The Info Fair is held in conjunction with APA – The Engineered Wood Association’s Annual Meeting.

“It forges great partnerships,” says Willamette Valley Company Vice President of Northwest Sales, Tony Vuksich. “It allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

The primary focus of this year’s meeting will be to devise solutions to the many challenges and opportunities that face the wood products industry today including affordability of single-family home ownership, mill and occupational safety, and how to increase interest in manufacturing careers and close the skilled labor gap.

This year’s meeting organizers have lined up an esteemed selection of guest speakers, roundtable discussion moderators and panelists like Bethany Mclean, author and columnist for Forbes, to lead these conversations that could potentially impact the state of our industry as well as the association.

The APA 2015 Supplier Award Winners: Hunt, Guillot & Associates LLC, Panel World Magazine/Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., Willamette Valley Company and KADANT Carmanah Design

The APA 2015 Supplier Award Winners:
Hunt, Guillot & Associates LLC, Panel World Magazine/Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., Willamette Valley Company and KADANT Carmanah Design

Willamette Valley Company has a long standing history with this annual event, and we always look forward to it. During last year’s conference, WVCO was honored with a 2015 Supplier Award at the Chairman’s Dinner and Safety Awards Recognition! This year, WVCO is once again a Gold Sponsor of the EWTA Reception and proud to help sponsor the Mike St. John Memorial Golf Tournament, an Annual Golf Tournament to honor the life of Pacific Woodtech executive and APA trustee, Mike St. John.

Association Teamwork
The Engineered Wood Technology Association is a related non-profit corporation of APA – The Engineered Wood Association. EWTA represents companies that provide products and services to the engineered wood products manufacturing industry and is based in Tacoma, Wash. APA – The Engineered Wood Association has a long history of providing quality service and programs to its nearly 160 member mills in the engineered wood products industry. A key to APA’s success is the teamwork between EWTA’s supplier members and APA’s member manufacturers. To learn more, visit www.engineeredwood.org

You can also visit the event’s Facebook Page to see more photos and recaps of this year’s event.

Railway Supply Community to Law Makers: Don’t Impose Regulations

Rail Supply IndustryThe Willamette Valley Company has joined a growing group of industry leaders within the railway supply community and prominent rail industry trade associations to speak out against the Surface Transportation Board‘s proposal on reregulatory efforts, including so called “reciprocal switching” and commodity reregulation.

Congressional leaders John Thune, Chairman, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Bill Nelson, Ranking Member; and Bill Shuster, Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Peter DeFazio, Ranking Member, have received a letter signed by dozens of suppliers and contractors pointing out the STB’s “recent trend of imposing regulations first, and discovering the consequences later.”

“As the collective voice of businesses that serve railroads and provide the equipment and technologies to enhance the efficiency and safety of their operations, we know…over-involvement of the federal government in the day-to-day business decisions of railroads once pushed this sector and the larger railroad ecosystem of customers and suppliers to the brink of collapse,” the letter states. “Without the wisdom to partially deregulate the industry in 1980, America would have lost a privately owned and maintained economic engine that provides quality jobs to support families and communities, affordable and environmentally friendly options for businesses to move goods and critical infrastructure to support passenger railroads.”

Here are more excerpts from that letter:

“We are deeply concerned that this regulatory effort could greatly cut into capital spending by the railroads. Past analysis by the Association of American Railroads found that a similar proposal could affect an estimated 7.5 million carloads of traffic, placing nearly $8 billion in revenues at risk. Reduced revenues mean reduced money for investment in the rail network and reduced demand for businesses like ours. Continued investments are critical for maintaining a safe and efficient rail network and allow us to provide strong employment opportunities in our communities.

The railroad supply community plays an integral role in maintaining the world’s safest, most efficient and highly competitive freight railroad system. We also provide high-paying and high-skilled manufacturing jobs in our communities.

We support a transparent and efficient STB and believe that the agency maintains an important role in maintaining a proven regulatory structure. But we do not support the STB’s recent trend of imposing regulations first, and discovering the consequences later.”

Click here to read more.

 

 

Latest SpikeFast® Products to be Unveiled at 2016 AREMA Expo

Railroad SpikeFast It is widely agreed among transportation industry leaders that the WVCO Railroad Division is among the best in providing innovative new products and application systems for today’s railroads. Our proprietary product, SpikeFast®, is considered to be the industry’s most reliable product for plugging spike holes. Other solutions include railroad tie products for wood and concrete ties, and unique application systems.

In just over a month, team members from our WVCO Railroad Division will arrive in Orlando, Florida to demonstrate our railroad products and POLYQuik Roadway Repair materials to railway engineering professionals representing all segments of the industry, at the AREMA 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition August 28-31, 2016.

This annual event attracts generations of leaders in the railroad industry who go there to network, attend technical presentations, seminars and more. This is a unique opportunity for us to see and hear all that is new and innovative across the entire rail supply industry while developing solutions to some of the many challenges facing the transportation industry.

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) is one of the outstanding organizations WVCO has partnered with; thus enabling us to better serve our customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources. The 5,500+ members that comprise AREMA include a diverse group of railway and transit engineers, consultants, contractors, suppliers, academicians, federal and state governmental employees and others.

If you are attending this year’s expo, please be on the lookout for our team at Booth #301 on the interactive expo floor!

About AREMA
The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) was formed as the result of a merger of three engineering support associations, namely the American Railway Bridge and Building Association, the American Railway Engineering Association and the Roadmaster’s and Maintenance of Way Association, along with functions of the Communications and Signals Division of the Association of American Railroads. The rich history of the predecessor organizations, each having over 100 years of service to the rail industry, is the legacy of AREMA.

Featured Innovator: Linda Bauer Darr is Transforming Transportation

Linda Bauer Darr

Photo Source -NVLConvention

“We want the organization to be more inclusive and supportive of small railroads, develop a strong safety product and be recognized by Class Is as an essential part of their networks.” – Linda Bauer Darr

Transportation is a topic that’s of utmost importance to us at WVCO, with many of our divisions are focused towards public and automobile transportation. We do our part to push for innovation and safety in those sectors, and her 25+ year career, Linda Bauer Darr too is working to do the same. She has lead associations and companies in many of transportations biggest sectors and has brought positive and real change to them. If you’re planning on taking part in the AREMA 2016 Expo, you’ll have the opportunity to hear her speak on the subject.

From 1989 to 1998, Linda Bauer Darr acted as Vice President for the American Trucking Association, a far cry from her once vocation of choice, criminal law. “The trucking industry was opening up and going more international. I was 26 years old and meeting with ambassadors and senators,” says Darr. Her international experience would only grow from there as she made the transition to the U.S. Department of Transportation, adopting the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budgets and Programs. In her role she oversaw a department-wide process reform for the review of large-scale transportation projects and lead the development of a $60 billion dollar annual budget to go towards rail, highway, Coast Guard, and aviation funding. “Here I am in my early 30s and meeting with the Coast Guard commandant talking about eliminating part of his budget,” said Darr.

ABA

Her role in the transportation industry didn’t end there. From 2001 to 2007, Linda Bauer Darr took on the Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Policy & Communications at the American Bus Association. As executive director, she directed the day-to-day activities of the ABA Foundation (the research and education sector), created grant programs for rural buses firms, and lead initiatives that resulted in a multi-million dollar infusion into the industry. The next step in her illustrious career took Darr to the American Moving & Storage Association, where she acted as President & CEO from 2007 to 2014 and lead the AMSA through a transformative period. Her Industry Certification initiative removed hundreds of problematic AMSA members, an initially daunting proposition that resulted in short term due loss but long term gains.

These days, Darr is the president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the first woman to ever to fill the role in its 102 year history. She’s already brought progress in the form of the Short Line Safety Institute, a non-profit corporation that promotes safety, training, and research for short line and regional rail roads.  “Safety is a critical focus,” says Darr. “We need to help create a culture in this diverse industry, and a level of understanding and compliance.” Though she’s only been president since 2014, it’s clear that under her tenure the association will be moving towards greater efficiency, training, and overall security.

It is a difficult task to briefly sum up the crucial role Linda Bauer Darr has played in the transportation industry throughout her professional career; she has pushed for safety initiatives, championed researched and awareness, brought funding to industries that were previously struggling, and embraced forward thinking processes no matter how daunting they may seem in comparison to the status quo. For these reasons and many, more we have named Linda Bauer Darr our “Featured Innovator of the Month.” We hope you’ll enjoy her lecture at AREMA 2016.

Note: Linda Bauer Darr does not work for Willamette Valley Company nor is she affiliated with our company.

Sources:

Progressive Railroading

AREMA

Short Line Safety Institute

National Public Works Week returns May 15-21, 2016!

NationalPublicWorksMonth

Photo Source APWA.com

The American Public Works Association (APWA) is bringing back National Public Works Week for its 56th year in a row!

Every year in the third week of May, APWA sponsors National Public Works Week in an effort to raise awareness of public works issues and increase the overall confidence in public works employees.

What is National Public Works Week?

National Public Works Week (NPWW) is a public education campaign that seeks to create a stronger conversation and association between public works and the communities they improve daily.

One of the ways this is goal is achieved is through the issuing of a Top Ten list of public works professionals that show exceptional conduct and the highest of standards. Since its inception, NPWW has identified and honored over 400 men and women that work in maintenance, construction, design, and operation of major public works throughout the country.

National Public Works Week History

APWA first sponsored National Public Works Week in 1960, carrying it on as a yearly tradition from that moment onward. From the very beginning the focus has been clear, as evident in the first ever publication for the event.

The American Public Works Association, through its Public Relations Committee, will launch within the next few months a very important public education program. The primary purpose of the program will be to foster a better understanding of the function and importance of public works in the community, to enhance the professional status of public works officials in government, and to help attract competent personnel to the field.

The week October 2-8, 1960, has been tentatively set aside as NATIONAL PUBLIC WORKS WEEK (proclamation pending) to recognize and publicize the outstanding work being done by public works engineers and administrators. It is hoped that the program being planned will help arouse an interest in the young people of this country to pursue careers in public service.” – July 1960

Every year the week is filled with resolutions and proclamations from mayors, governors, and other political figures. Some notable examples include a United States Senate resolution that affirmed the very first National Public Works Week, letters of acknowledgement from Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower, and a Presidential Proclamation that was signed by John F. Kennedy.

Getting Involved

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in National Public Works Week then consider some of these sources.

The APWA publish several handy tools on the subject, including a How-To Guide for anyone looking for a good place to start. This document offers help in the following categories: Getting Started, Calendar, Events, Outreach, and even a section for students.

Florida’s APWA chapter offers some fun ideas to celebrate during the week.

About APWA

The American Public Works Association is a nonprofit organization founded to serve public works professionals in all branches of industry. The association has a worldwide membership in numbers over 28,500 and is open to any individual, agency, and/or corporation that bring with them an interest in public works.

Is the Construction Industry About to Enter the “Timber Age”?

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter's Wooden Highrise apartments for Stockholm

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter’s Wooden Highrise apartments for Stockholm. Photo Source: /www.dezeen.com/

“New types of engineered timber that are considerably stronger and more stable than regular wood are allowing architects to build bigger and higher, with timber skyscrapers now a real prospect.”-www.dezeen.com

As we are about to enter a new year, we in the timber industry are asking,

Are we entering what architects are calling “The Timber Age”?

As more and more builders are seeking sustainable designs, some architects appear to moving away from conventional materials (i.e.steel, masonry, concrete) and embracing wood as the “architectural wonder material of the 21st century”.

And it’s no wonder.  Builders and  architects alike are recognizing timber for it unique aesthetics, sustainability, quality and speed of construction.

“This is the beginning of the timber age,” said UK architect Andrew Waugh in this recent article. Waugh’s firm is behind a housing development in London that will use more timber than any other project in the world.

In Portland OR, builders plan to build a 12-story tower the city’s famed Pearl District.  In the Portland Tribune, Thomas Robinson of Lever Architecture says that this type of wood not only resists fires, it will have the ability to absorb the shock of a major earthquake.

These buildings are not limited to London and Portland.  Plans for these tall timber buildings are also cropping up in Manhattan, Italy, Australia British Columbia and many more locations all over the world.

The building material making these wooden tower structures possible is cross-laminated timber (CLT)– a large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel.

Will cross laminated timber (CLT) take over steel and concrete as the preferred building material?


In it’s description of cross-laminated timber (CLT), APA – The Engineered Wood Association describes the material as “lightweight yet very strong, with superior acoustic, fire, seismic, and thermal performance, CLT is also fast and easy to install, generating almost no waste onsite. CLT offers design flexibility and low environmental impacts.”

This video reviews the Tall Timber Report that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP developed as it relates to the details of the hybrid building system, fire and durability.

Aside from the structural benefits of wood, there are other benefits to using this material in buildings. Exposure to natural materials has real and measurable health and wellbeing benefits for the building’s occupants.  Corey Griffin, an Associate Professor at the Architecture School at Portland State University, says studies have shown that people are more productive and less stressed in buildings with access to natural materials.

In addition, research suggests that these modern wood structures may result in lower costs and a lower carbon footprint since production and processing of wood uses less energy than most other building materials.

This is a very exciting time for the timber industry as the technology, research and designs evolve.  To learn more about this movement, we encourage you to take a look at some of these resources.

Article Resources:
www.dezeen.com
www.rethinkwood.com
www.woodworks.org
portlandtribune.com

Event Recap: 2015 EWTA Info Fair and APA Annual Meeting

EWTA Info Fair

Photos via EWTA Info Fair on Facebook

2015 EWTA Info Fair and APA Annual Meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: A Look Back to Our Future

Last month, the WVCO team joined 75 exhibitors and hundreds of professionals from the wood products industry for the 2015 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers. The Info Fair is held in conjunction with APA – The Engineered Wood Association’s Annual Meeting.

This year’s product and services exposition, which celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Engineered Wood Technology Association, was the perfect blend of past, present and future.

Many of you may recall that October 21, 2015 was “Back to the Future Day” a tribute to the beloved “Back to the Future Series”. So it was fitting that the theme of the 2015 APA Annual Meeting & EWTA Info Fair, held October 17-19, was “APA Looks Back-To-Our-Future: Driving the Road to Success!” There was even a DeLorean on display!

Willamette Valley Company has a long standing history with this annual event, and we always look forward to it. “Info Fair is the best exhibition that we do,” says Tony Vuksich, Vice President of Northwest Sales, The Willamette Valley Company. “It allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

This year, WVCO was a Gold Sponsor of the EWTA Reception and proud to help sponsor the Mike St. John Memorial Golf Tournament, an Annual Golf Tournament to honor the life of Pacific Woodtech executive and APA trustee, Mike St. John.

In addition to the exciting opportunity to introduce our latest wood products solutions to members of our industry, WVCO was honored with a 2015 Supplier Award/a> at the Chairman’s Dinner and Safety Awards Recognition!

Read APA and EWTA Members Travel “Back to Our Future” at 2015 Annual Meeting to learn more about the highlights from this year’s Annual Meeting. You can also visit the event’s Facebook Page to see more photos and recaps of this year’s event.

The Engineered Wood Technology Association is a related non-profit corporation of APA – The Engineered Wood Association. EWTA represents companies that provide products and services to the engineered wood products manufacturing industry and is based in Tacoma, Wash. To learn more, visit www.engineeredwood.org.