Seasonal Employees Provide Summer Construction Project Support
June 10, 2016
Summertime in Alaska means construction season, the time of year where contractors are busy building roads, airport runways, bridges and other important infrastructure projects.
This is the busiest time of year for R&M’s Construction Administration (CA), and Materials Laboratory and Special Inspections Departments. Our CA and Lab personnel provide construction oversight and administration, and materials testing and special inspections for airport and highway improvements, as well as structural vertical and industrial construction projects. As construction ramps up, so does their project workload.
To accommodate this increased workload, R&M supplements our full-time staff with about 30 seasonal employees each summer.
“Seasonal employees are vital to R&M meeting client needs,” said Paul Hetzel, PE, R&M’s Vice President of Construction Administration. “Each employee brings a unique set of skills and expertise to solve specific challenges. Combining seasonal staff into our project teams provides an effective approach to meeting project goals.”
R&M starts assessing our need for seasonal staff in February and begins hiring staff in March based on project needs. These folks work through the fall on projects throughout Alaska. Some of the projects seasonal staff are currently working on include the Parks Highway Grade Separations Design-Build, Dalton Highway MP 18-37 Reconstruction, Prince of Wales Island Big Salt Lake Road Pavement Resurfacing, Yakutat Airport Runway Pavement Rehabilitation, Olympic Mountain Loop Improvements- Girdwood and Seward Hwy MP 99-100 and Hydaburg Highway Pavement Rehabilitation.
Many of our seasonal employees are retired DOT&PF personnel. They find working as a seasonal employee offers them the opportunity to still enjoy their retirement and travel the majority of the year. Many come back to work for R&M year after year.
Senior Engineering Associate Pat Conducy has worked for the firm for the past three construction seasons.
“R&M’s professional environment and efficient financial staff makes working enjoyable on all levels,” said Pat. “The ability to work in all regions of Alaska has proven to be both educational and a challenging experience.”
Pat is currently working as R&M’s on-site representative for the Parks Highway Grade Separations Design-Build project, which is creating new highway overpasses at mileposts 91.6 and 100.4 of the highway. R&M is the Independent Quality Firm for the project and Pat is responsible for the quality of the on-site construction elements.
Other seasonal employees are student interns from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and other universities on break for the summer months. Many of them are studying engineering. These internships are a great opportunity for them to gain on-the-job experience in the engineering field, as well as build valuable connections in the industry. Many of R&M’s former interns are now permanent employees at the firm or even members of client organizations.
Zach Cuddihy, a student in the Civil Engineering program at UAA, is back for his second summer internship with R&M.
“I knew from the moment I finished my interview, this position would be much more than the “typical” internship,” said Zach. “I wasn’t expecting so many opportunities to work on a variety of projects and provide a meaningful contribution to them. The value of being at many of these project sites has shown me how a lot of the theory I’m learning in my civil engineering courses applies to real world projects.”
Zach recently worked on the Hydaburg Highway Rehabilitation Project on Prince of Wales Island and is heading to Yakutat to work on the Yakutat Airport Runway Pavement Rehabilitation.
R&M’s 2016 seasonal staff includes:
- Hydrographic Surveying added to R&M’s services with addition of Marta Kumle, CH
- New Group Manager of Special Inspections Joins R&M
- Robert Colles, PE Earns Professional Civil Engineering License
- Andrea Story, FSMPS, CPSM Named SMPS Fellow
- Emery Schramm, CESCL Joins R&M’s Construction Services Department