Luck Companies takes top honors for employee engagement

In an industry that ranks attracting and retaining employees among its greatest challenges, Luck Companies is having quite a bit of, well luck. It was ranked as one of the top three most engaged places to work in the United States in 2019.

The recognition came as part of the Korn Ferry annual Employee Engagement Awards. This is the second consecutive year that Luck Companies has earned the distinction. Other recipients include Toyota Motor North America, L’Oreal, and the Bank of England.

“This prestigious award recognizes companies that have built superior levels of engagement and work environments in which team members can thrive and want to contribute,” said Charlie Luck, president and CEO of Luck Companies, in a press release.

Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm, conducts an annual study of more than three million respondents from more than 500 companies in more than 60 countries. The winners are chosen based on the largest percentage of employees who “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with the following statements:
• “I feel proud to work for the company.”
• “I would recommend the company as a good place to work.”

Winners are companies that hold one of the top three highest scores within their country and category. Luck Companies was selected as a winner in the Small Business category in the U.S.

“This success is directly related to all of our leaders remaining committed to keeping our associates engaged and active in our culture. Administering an Associate Engagement Survey each year keeps us accountable; we’re always looking to raise the bar,” said Mark Barth, chief talent officer at Luck Companies.

“People really care and they know we are going to do something about what they share,” added Luck. “Our engagement, enablement, and values scores show that people are truly invested, they truly want to do a great job, and they truly understand the mission of our company.”

So at the end of the day, the company’s success at employee engagement may have to do more with a focus on its employees and less on luck.

Ohio earmarks funding for workforce training

Ohio has set allocated $34 million in funding for the new Innovative Workforce Incentive Program. Image by Neon Brand for Unsplash.

The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced a list of industry-recognized credentials eligible for $34 million under the new Innovative Workforce Incentive Program. The program was developed by Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly so students could earn in-demand, industry-recognized credentials.

According to ODE, the program includes $9 million in the state’s two-year budget for grants to assist school districts, community schools, joint vocational schools, and STEM schools in establishing credential programs to prepare students for careers in priority industry sectors.

School districts are also eligible to receive a share of $25 million over the current state budget to encourage the start of additional credential programs. Under this program, schools can receive $1,250 for each qualifying credential earned by students.

“When Ohio students graduate high school, they should be college or career ready,” said Governor DeWine. “This program helps schools expand credentialing opportunities and ensures potential employers that students have the skills they need to succeed in high-wage, in-demand fields.”

Ohio’s MACC Tech program (Mining, Asphalt, Concrete, Construction Technology) is among the programs approved by ODE. It provides a 12-point industry credential for high school students.

“We applaud the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, ODE, and the Ohio General Assembly for providing funding to jumpstart important, groundbreaking programs like MACC Tech,” said Pat Jacomet, executive director of the Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association. “OAIMA members and our industry partners are excited to get started!”

Find more information on high school industry-recognized credentials here.  

Environmental agency requires cleanup of discharged limestone

The Michigan DEP ordered cleanup of limestone spilled into the Detroit River. Photo by Kahari King for Unsplash.

The Michigan Department of Environment sent a violation notice to Erickson’s Inc. ordering it to clean up limestone and other materials that its tenant spilled into the Detroit River in late November.

According to Local News 4, the dock at the site collapsed on Nov. 26, discharging an unknown amount of crushed limestone into the river, along with asphalt and contaminated soils.

Testing showed contaminant levels in the water were not detectable or well below quality standards, but the company was required to provide a restoration plant and schedule for removing the material from the river. It is also required to “consider action to prevent the exposed shoreline from further erosion,” the news outlet reported.

National Lime and Stone receives state funds for rail-truck distribution yard

National Lime and Stone will receive nearly $250,000 for a distribution facility as part of Pennsylvania’s investment in rail freight improvement projects.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced the approval of 26 rail freight improvement projects that he says will create or sustain more than 390 jobs across Pennsylvania.

Among the approved projects is National Lime and Stone’s plan to construct 1,600 feet of track for a rail-truck distribution facility. The state will contribute just under $250,000 to the project.

“Investing in our extensive rail freight system increases mobility options and improves the efficiency of freight travel,” said Wolf, in a GANT News report. “These investments underscore our continued commitment to building a world-class infrastructure system that supports the business community and the creation of new jobs.”

According to the news outlet, Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads – more than any other state in the country.

Aggregates production up 8 percent in third quarter

Crushed stone production was up 9 percent in the third quarter, compared the prior year. Construction sand and gravel grew by 5 percent year over year.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), an estimated 744 metric tons of construction aggregates were produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the third quarter of 2019 – an increase of 8 percent compared with that of the third quarter of 2018. The estimated production for consumption in the first nine months of 2019 was 1.87 billion tons, an increase of 6 percent compared with that of the same period of 2018.

These estimates are based on information reported to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on its quarterly sample survey by construction aggregates producers.

Crushed stone production

An estimated 446 million metric tons of crushed stone was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 9 percent compared with that of the third quarter of 2018. The estimated production for consumption in the first nine months of 2019 was 1.14 billion metric tons, an increase of 8 percent compared with that of the same period of 2018.

The estimated production for consumption of crushed stone in the third quarter of 2019 increased in seven of the nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the third quarter of 2018. The five leading states were, in descending order of production for consumption, Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio, and Florida. Their combined total production for consumption in the first nine months of 2019 was 380 million metric tons, an increase of 10 percent compared with that of the same period of 2018 and represented 33 percent of the U.S. total.

Sand and gravel production

The estimated U.S. output of construction sand and gravel produced and shipped for consumption in the third quarter of 2019 was 298 million metric tons, an increase of 5 percent compared with that of the third quarter of 2018. The estimated production for consumption in the first nine months of 2019 was 727 million metric tons, an increase of 3 percent compared with that of the same period of 2018.

The estimated production for consumption of construction sand and gravel in the third quarter of 2019 increased in seven of the nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the third quarter of 2018. The five leading states were, in descending order of production for consumption, California, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, and Washington. Their combined total production for consumption in the first nine months of 2019 was 261 million, an increase of 3 percent compared with that of the same period of 2018 and represented 36 percent of the U.S. total.

Portland cement consumption

Portland (including blended) cement consumption increased by 7 percent in the third quarter of 2019 compared with that of the third quarter of 2018. Consumption in the first nine months of 2019 increased by 4 percent compared with that of the same period of 2018. This information was obtained from the USGS monthly survey of U.S. cement producers.

Typically, large changes can be attributed to the opening or closing of an operation, weather, or an external force that only the company or one of its operations experienced in that quarter. Previously reported data are occasionally revised, and the estimated quantities for the prior quarters are then recalculated. The latest release of the quarterly Mineral Industry Surveys contains the most recent estimated totals and supersedes previously published reports.