This week (March 23-27) is National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week. Alabama Struck-By Alliance will be using this week to publicize potential dangers to workers and motorists in highway work zones and is asking that companies throughout Alabama participate in a "Safety Stand Down" focusing on work zone safety by hosting a tool box talk anytime during the week. The theme for this year's National campaign is "Expect the Unexpected."
White-Spunner Construction has pledged to take part in this year's Safety Stand Down and will be holding mandatory tool box talks to discuss work zone safety and distracted driving at all our job sites. Although we aren't road builders, our company does plenty of work next to roadways, we have friends or family that work for road building companies, and all of us frequently drive through areas of road work. The men and women working in these areas are mothers, fathers, sons or daughters and deserve the respect from all of us to slow down and help keep them safe.
However, it's not just the workers in these road work zones that we need to protect. From 2004-2013, there were more than 5,500 work zone crashes in Alabama resulting in injuries and 232 fatal crashes. Four out of five fatalities in work zone accidents are drivers and passengers. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of these crashes, and the three main types of distractions are visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel) or cognitive (not paying attention to what you're doing). While all distractions can endanger drivers and others, texting is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distractions (visual, manual and cognitive).
Some tips to remember while driving through a work zone include:
MOBILE, Ala. (March 12, 2015) – The Mobile Section of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Alabama named White-Spunner Construction’s (WSC) Safety and Compliance Manager, Ross Moyer, “2014 Safety Leader of the Year” at its 13th annual Construction Safety Excellence Awards luncheon on Wednesday, March 11 at the Mobile Country Club. Moyer was chosen for the award based on his dedication and innovativeness as WSC’s safety leader, as well as his active participation and contribution to safety in the construction industry.
“I am truly honored to receive this award,” said Moyer. “I can manage and implement all the new procedures I want, but it wouldn’t mean anything without a shared commitment to safety from each of our employees at WSC. I’m very thankful and proud to work for a company where each individual understands the importance of safety and takes personal responsibility to make sure everyone stays safe at all times.”
The company was also presented with a Construction Safety Excellence Award in the Building Division for maintaining an excellent safety record throughout 2014. WSC finished the year with more than 127,000 hours worked without a lost-time incident, OSHA recordable or OSHA violation, bringing the company’s overall total to 2.25 million consecutive safe hours worked.
Mobile Section, Alabama AGC is a part of The Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., the leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including more than 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, more than 9,000 specialty contracting firms and more than 10,500 service providers and suppliers. AGC is dedicated to safety and accident prevention, continuing education, research in methods and materials, ethics and trade practices, and market development. The Association serves its members by providing guidance in the fields of labor relations, legislation, public relations, contracts and bidding procedures.
The 26th Annual American Cancer Society Chili Cookoff was a huge success! The event, presented by Trax Tire Pros, was held at The Grounds on Saturday, March 7 and raised more than $170,000 to support the ACS's fight against cancer. More than 15,000 people came out to try the wide variety of chili recipes from the 75 teams competing for Best Chili in Mobile.
The competition definitely saw some interesting recipes with unique ingredients such as elk, snapping turtle and kangaroo. WSC's Chicken Chili recipe placed us on this year's leaderboard, but the overall winner of the Chili Cookoff was Thompson Engineering.
This event is highly anticipated each year among White-Spunner employees, and we always have a blast being able to enjoy some great food with our friends and family while supporting a great cause.
WSC would like to welcome back Amy Anderson as our Human Resources Consultant. Amy previously worked for WSC as Human Resources Director from 2006-2009. She is currently consulting for White-Spunner Realty, Inc. as well.
Amy grew up in Mobile and attended Baker High School. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Spring Hill College in 1997. Prior to her first few years at WSC, Amy spent her HR career in the healthcare industry and worked at Providence Hospital for 15 years. She has spent the last five years working as Vice President of Human Resources for a local rehabilitation management company.
Amy’s husband, Robert, is a Manager at Trax Tire Auto Service Center. They have two sons, Noah who is nine years old and Jonah who is seven. Amy’s hobbies include reading, singing, outdoor sports with her boys and college football.
The demonstration was a perfect example of how stress is created. Many of us have a routine we follow every day, similar to the pattern in which the balls were thrown. Now imagine each item on your daily to do list as another ball being added to the circle. As your list grows, it becomes harder and harder to juggle everything at once and eventually it becomes too much for one person to handle.
Following the demonstration, Ross went over a few strategies that have been proven to reduce stress including body relaxation such as breathing techniques and guided imagery, physical exercise such as yoga and other workout routines, meditation and counseling. Effectively managing stress can yield several benefits including improved physical health, increased energy, stabilized emotions, a more positive attitude, happier moods, improved focus and ability to learn and achieve. Some other helpful tips for managing stress include changing perceptions and expectations, breaking tasks into manageable parts, setting reasonable and realistic goals, avoiding procrastination, setting boundaries, refusing to compromise values, and scheduling some personal time for yourself to relax.
This was a very fun and imformative lunch and learn for our employees, and we plan to have several more sessions like this throughout the year. Our goal at WSC is to provide our employees with plenty of opportunities to learn more about safety, health and wellness and to remain knowledgable and up to date on topics, techniques, trends and changes within our industry.
White-Spunner Construction was proud to help sponsor the 2015 Green Coast Council Sustainability Summit held on Friday, January 30 at the University of South Alabama. The Summit included several presentations about sustainability trends, current efforts here on the Gulf Coast and goals for the future, as well as panel discussions and a tour of the University's College of Engineering.
The Executive Director of the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, Eliska Morgan, was the speaker for the opening session and provided updates about the Gulf Coast oil spill recovery efforts and funding. Other sessions in this year's Summit included:
Summit attendees were treated to lunch, which also served as ACF's Annual Meeting, and enjoyed a presentation from keynote speaker Mona Amodeo, founder and president of idgroup. After lunch, a panel discussion was held on the role of engineering in the future of sustainability. Dr. John Steadman, Dean of USA's College of Engineering, moderated the discussion, and panelists included Dr. John Valentine with Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Michael McHugh with AlabamaSAVES, Dr. Bret Webb with the University of South Alabama and Denise King with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood.
Other sponsors for the Sustainability Summit included Partners for Environmental Progress, Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Thompson Engineering, the University of South Alabama, U.S. Green Building Council's Alabama Chapter, World Omni Financial Corporation and Mobile Bay National Estuary Program.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Thursday, January 22 to mark the beginning of construction of the new Citronelle High School. White-Spunner Construction won the bid for general contractor with a $22 million proposal last month. The new school building will be built across the street from the existing high school on a 13-acre site and is scheduled for completion in July 2016 according to the current timeline. The project is one of several included in the Mobile County Public School System's plan to complete $100 million in school construction over the next two years.
Written by Sally Pearsall Ericson for AL.com
MOBILE, Alabama -- The Mobile County school board approved a $22 million bid from White-Spunner Construction to be the general contractor for the new Citronelle High School.
Bids were opened on Dec. 16, and White-Spunner was the lowest bidder of three proposals. The project's overall budget is $25 million.
"It's exciting that we're getting a major project underway with Citronelle High School," schools Superintendent Martha Peek said after the school board's meeting on Monday. "It's exciting to know that know we have a contractor in place and that we'll be moving forward with that brand-new high school."
Construction and an official groundbreaking will take place next month. The new high school will be built across the street from the existing high school, on a 13-acre site, which is bordered by Lebaron Avenue, Highway 45 and Centre Street.
The new school is scheduled for completion in July 2016, according to the current timetable. The project is under the supervision of Hoar Program Management, the school system's project manager for $100 million in school construction projects over the next two years.
Also on Monday, the school board approved a $1.5 million bid from Rod Cooke Construction Inc. to build a new science and technology wing at Burns Middle School in west Mobile, and approved a $5.6 million bid from Don Gordon Construction for renovations at Tanner Williams Elementary School.
The following article was published in the current issue of Alabama Construction News Magazine:
White-Spunner Construction: 2014 General Contractor of the Year
In its 30-plus years, much has changed at White-Spunner Construction. Based in Mobile, Alabama, the company has grown from a small company concentrating on local projects along the Gulf Coast to one of the largest privately held contracting firms in the Southeast managing major projects across the country. But as much as things have changed since the company was founded in 1981, the more they’ve really stayed the same. The company remains rooted in the same values as when it first began: to always meet the clients’ needs no matter what. “We do what it takes to be part of the solution,” said John White-Spunner, the company’s CEO and chairman of the board. “Safety is always first of course, but we also really focus on being on time and on budget, which are important for a client. That focus is just part of our culture.”
That focus on quality, timing and budget is what has led White-Spunner to receive recurring business from many of its customers. In fact, the company is still working with numerous clients it had when it first began. “We’ve always focused on creating long term relationships with clients and trades and vendors and then building on them,” White-Spunner said. “Because of that we’ve traveled across the country with many of the those same clients over the years.”
White-Spunner always hoped to start his own business, but he never dreamed he would start White-Spunner Construction quite as early on as he did. He was given the opportunity to run his own construction company when he was in his mid-20s when the owners of the company he worked for, Toinsmeire Construction, decided to quit the business. “I didn’t have a ‘Plan B’ when they decided to pursue other interests,” he explained. “The only thing I knew was construction. So fortunately, even though I was young and just kind of fell into it, I had a great team of people around me and a strong work ethic thanks to the influence of my father, Blacksher.”
From those early days, White-Spunner has gone on to complete jobs for major corporations like Coca-Cola, Lowes and Home Depot, as well as various healthcare, commercial and retail projects. One aspect that has made the company unique is that it has actually partnered with many of its clients to invest in properties. “I think we’re involved with over 200 different people in partnerships,” White-Spunner said. “To me, that brings a different perspective to the way you look at a project because as part owner we look beyond completion to the long term benefits of the project, the operational costs and the life cycle of things like exterior finishes and even the parking lot.”
While partnering with clients on various jobs may make the company unique, it really just speaks to what White-Spunner is all about: building relationships. “Everything is really about people,” White-Spunner said. “It’s not about the project. It’s about the relationships you build because in the end, that’s what matters.”
White-Spunner By The Numbers