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Bryan Newman Named 2022 Craftperson of the Year

May 27 2022
Unions, Willis Craftperson of the Year

Bryan is a member of Heat and Frost Insulators Local #80 in Worthington, Kentucky. He was nominated by Thermal Solutions for his outstanding leadership on the Transite Panel Removal Project at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio.

When Thermal Solutions was awarded the work to remove 14,311 3.5′ X 10.5′ ft asbestos containing transite panels from the exterior of the X-326 Process Building at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant to prepare the building for demolition they knew they had to select the right craftperson for the job.

Not only did the work require the removal of the transite panels, but it also included the removal of 114,450 lead dome head fasteners that secured each panel to the building. They removed, collected, and packaged those for disposal. A 25’ section of asbestos containing pipe insulation was also removed.

The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant is a decommissioned uranium enrichment plant and is under the oversight of the Department of Energy (DOE). The work being performed was in an area considered to be a “high contamination area.” Due to the radiological boundaries of the work site employees, supplies, materials and equipment were continually monitored by radiological technicians for contamination. In addition, any items brought into the area or any waste that was generated was required to be inspected by Waste Acceptance Oversight to ensure the materials were properly handled for disposal. In short… it was no ordinary job.

All site-specific training and safety meetings were conducted in conjunction with Fluor BWXT, the general contractor on site. Regulatory audits and inspections were conducted by the General Contractor and DOE. Most of the work was completed on third shift to facilitate demolition during the day. This work schedule created its own set of challenges – such as lighting, communication, and procurement of supplies. Overall, the project was completed without injury and ahead of schedule.

These challenges were met with the outstanding leadership and commitment to his craft, and ultimately why TAUC’s panel of judges selected James “Bryan” Newman as the 2021 James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year.

Bryan Newman of Insulators Local Union No. 80 receives the 2021 TAUC James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award

Bryan was able to meet all of his goals successfully and the project was complete 3 months ahead of schedule. In addition, Bryan served as a liaison between Thermal Solutions and the general contractor. He successfully passed all audits and inspections and was able to maintain productive working relationships with the general contractor, site owner and other contractors and crafts on site.
Bryan successfully managed not only the administrative aspects of the job, but he also handled labor issues, material procurement, safety oversight, and coordinated services from other contractors while still meeting all project milestones.

The size of the project necessitated a large budget. The budget was monitored closely and through each phase of the contract, by all parties involved. Bryan was responsible for documenting any additional work, delays, or new requirements to ensure they were added to the budget and were eligible for reimbursement. As a firm price project, the budget was established prior to the start of work. However, as additional requirements or changes were made in the scope additional funds were allotted as needed. Bryan tracked the expenditures and any add-ons to ensure the job was completed within the budget.

Bryan’s leadership on the project exceeded everyone’s expectations and helped to make this project such a success. The progress of this project was featured in several Fluor and DOE newsletters.

Thermal Solutions

The quality of the project was constantly monitored by teams of technicians provided by the general contractor and DOE. Bryan and Thermal Solution’s team were required to meet certain standards not only in quantity of panels but in the techniques and tools that were used during removal. Their processes were continually evaluated for efficiency and safety and to ensure that we were meeting regulatory requirements for removal and disposal of all regulated materials. Any possibility for environmental pollutants were mitigated through air monitoring, ground water testing and radiological surveys. Due to the nature of the removal and the unique hazards this project was held to the highest standards by federal, state and local regulatory agencies.

As Thermal Solutions stated in their application “Bryan’s leadership on the project exceeded everyone’s expectations and helped to make this project such a success. The progress of this project was featured in several Fluor and DOE newsletters.”

About the James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award

The James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award honors outstanding labor-management cooperation and quality craftsmanship in the union construction and maintenance industries. It is given to building trades members who have a gift for recognizing the vision of a project and can bring that vision to fruition in a professional manner.

The recognition program was originally created in 1989 as the Craftsman of the Year Award. TAUC changed the name in 2008 to memorialize James J. Willis, Sr. He was a dear friend and supporter of TAUC and an authentic leader within the union construction industry for more than five decades. Jim started out as an apprentice ironworker in 1945 at the age of just 16 and eventually rose to the rank of First General Vice President within the international union. He also served as President and Labor Co-Chairman of the National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee, Inc. (NMAPC) from 1988-2000.

Jim was hugely influential within the union construction industry, and his steadfast commitment to fairness and cooperation was legendary. It is fitting that the award bearing his name honors a union worker who demonstrates unparalleled leadership and professionalism, because Jim exhibited the same qualities throughout his life.

The James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award recognizes five categories of achievement:

  • Safety and Health
  • Schedule and Budget Productivity
  • Cost Savings
  • Innovation
  • Outstanding Craftsmanship

Projects must be completed in the calendar year of the award. Nominations are forwarded to our judge’s panel to be evaluated and ranked in each category. This year, the members of the James J. Willis Award Task Force were: Rusty Brown, Kiewit; Timothy Hoch, APM; Don Austin, Worley Industrial Services; and Dave Daquelente, Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania.

Learn more about the Willis Award.

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