October 08 www. bus- ex. com 67 everything we do centered around our people." Those people give the company the continuity and expertise it has gained through working on numerous large- scale, complex projects in the North American industrial space. Aker is currently in the early stages of a project outside Toronto for TransCanada and is in the midst of structural steel work for a $ 1.6 billion pulverized- coal-fi red boiler facility in Monongalia County, West Virginia, being built for GenPower. Last year, it completed a $ 300 million project at MidAmerican Energy's Council Bluffs, Iowa, power plant in partnership with Hitachi America, Ltd. In addition to the new construction, Aker is active in retrofi tting and upgrading industrial facilities, such as plants owned by DuPont, US Steel and Esso. Depending upon the project, Aker often provides direct- hire union construction such as prime contracting, electrical work, equipment setting, heavy mechanical contracting, steel erection and piping, as well as construction management. Senior vice president of operations Chuck Schropp says customers turn to Aker not only because it can bring the resources of its parent company to bear on a project but also for the experience and expertise of its people. " It's our employees who carry with them the expertise when it comes to supervising the construction of a refi nery or a gas plant. You can't just go out and recruit that skill set with the experience right out of school. It's something you have to focus on and nurture all the time." McCartin says the company does that with an intense focus on making employees feel valued. A key component is its company's award- winning Health, Safety and Environment program. " One of our guiding precepts is that we want to make sure we send everyone home to their families at the end of a project," he says. " We invest a lot of time and money in ensuring that everyone knows that's the fi rst mission. We work in very arduous environments such as steel mills and chemical plants and refi neries. These are some pretty dynamic places, so we had to make sure we do that much more, and that means having a culture that breeds safety." Aker also strives to make employees feel part of the company's success, with programs in place to mark hiring- date anniversaries as well as birthdays of employees and their family members. " This is a people business we're in, and what we're doing is all centered on the relationships we have, whether it's with the unions we deal with, the supervisors in the fi eld or back in the offi ces. There's a hands-on approach to those relationships from the senior management all the way through the company, and our people feel it from the very open communication we employ. We are very much focused on being an employer of choice." Aker's reputation is evidenced by the fact that many of its employees have long tenures with the company, and some current employees are second or even third generations of the same family to become part of the Aker workforce. " Finding good people is vexing for everyone in the construction industry, and we continue to do a lot of succession planning to make sure we have the next generation of workforce coming Blue Mountain Equipment Rental Corporation is unsurpassed in providing high quality, reliable, and safe equipment to meet the needs of your specifi c project. We offer a variety of machinery for industrial, heavy highway, utility and general construction. Blue Mountain Equipment Rental Corporation Champion Construction, LP provides a broad range of construction services to clients in the industrial, energy and commercial building industries. Because of our collaborative approach to project management and our ability to execute your plans with high quality workmanship, our roster of repeat customers is extensive. Let Champion Construction, LP be your go- to company for high performance in industrial construction. Champion Construction Aker Construction " Our employees carry with them the expertise when it comes to supervising the construction of a refi nery or a gas plant. You can't just go out and recruit that skill set with the experience right out of school"