NEW ORLEANS – The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) on May 2 presented the first annual Joseph R. La Rocca Union Project of the Year Awards as part of its annual Leadership Conference.
The awards recognize outstanding work performed under labor-management cooperation and were named in honor of a true pioneer in the union construction industry. Joseph R. La Rocca served as Executive Vice President of TAUC's predecessor organization, The National Erectors Association, from its inception in 1969 until his retirement in 1986. In addition, he also served as the first Impartial Secretary of the National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee Inc. (NMAPC) and was instrumental in spearheading its creation and shepherding its unprecedented growth throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
The impact Joe made on TAUC, and the industry as a whole is still felt today. His passion for the business and the people who are served by it are a vital part of his legacy. His philosophy was simple: you don't just serve the contractors, the participating unions and/or the owner; your service is an even higher calling to the union construction industry as a whole. That is a true testament to his – and TAUC's – approach to leadership, and the reason why this award is named in his honor.
There are three award categories, for projects of:
The judges for this year's awards were: Jim Daley, JJ White; Kathy Dobson, Alberici Constructors; Ginny Favede, Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council; and Tom Householder, American Electric Power
In the first category – less than $5 million – the winner is APComPower, for its work in the fall of 2018 on the Unit 1 SCR Upgrade at NRG Energy's Homer City Generating Station in Homer City, Pennsylvania. The scope of work on the nearly two-month-long project included removal and replacement of existing piping and SCR equipment at the facility. APComPower completed the project under the terms of the National Maintenance Agreements. They employed nearly 70 craftworkers from six international unions: Boilermakers, Pipefitters, Laborers, Operators, Iron Workers and Electricians.
In the second category — $5 million to $50 million – the winning project is Superior Construction Company, for its runway rehabilitation work at the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority. Superior Construction completed a total rebuild of the main concrete runway – more than 4,000 feet long by 150-feet wide — in less than 30 calendar days. That was two days ahead of schedule. They worked with the airport, the FAA, subcontractors and vendors to eliminate disruptions to ongoing airport operations and ultimately increased the airport's operational ability to service bigger and heavier aircraft.
In the third category — $50 million and above – the winner is Kiewit Power Constructors, for their work on Dominion Energy's Cove Point LNG Terminal in Lusby, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay. Kiewit added a new Liquid Natural Gas export facility to Cove Point, capable of handling more than 5 million metric tons a year. The project included the construction of a new feed-gas receiving area, pre-treatment area, liquefaction unit and new 130-megawatt power plant, to name just a few. Adding to the complexity of the project, all of this needed to be built within a roughly 40-acre site, the smallest footprint in the U.S. for a project of this size. At its peak, the project involved more than 2,500 union craft workers and 600 staff workers on site. As you can imagine, it required extraordinary collaboration and teamwork to execute such a project under a very demanding timeframe.
Congratulations to all of this year's winners!