Category Archives: Community Activities of Interest

Ruffner Page joins state business leaders at Alabama economic growth summit

McWane, Inc. president and CEO Ruffner Page was among several of Alabama’s top business leaders who took part in the inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit presented by Yellowhammer Multimedia on February 19 at Birmingham’s Ross Bridge conference center. Ruffner was joined on the morning CEO panel by James W. Rane of Great Southern Wood, J. Michael Kemp of Kemp Management Solutions, Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance President Jimmy Parnell, and John D. Johns of Protective Life, who moderated the discussion. The Alabama business leaders agreed workforce development and improving infrastructure are keys to job creation in the state.

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions kicked off the summit Thursday night. Friday’s program started with a breakfast where Governor Robert Bentley challenged businesses and local governments to sell their region to potential employers and create an environment where entrepreneurism can flourish. McWane sponsored the lunch program featuring an interview with U.S. Senator Richard Shelby by Yellowhammer President and CEO Cliff Sims.

Community Outreach on the Other Side of the Border

AB&I Mexico House CollageDuring the weekend of November 6-8, AB&I team members Carlos Gonzalez, Enrique Ramirez, and Zeydi Gutierrez embarked on a community outreach project on the other side of the border. They headed toward an area of Ensenada where there is no running water or electricity to participate in building a loft house for a family in need.

Thirteen people participated in the build; eight were from the bay area. Carlos’s sister, Graciela, came from Mexico, D.F., to join the team along with his nephew, Mario. The pre-build took place in a parking lot during the week of October 17. Carlos participated in the pre-build along with approximately 70 people from all ages and walks of life.

Loft houses are prefabricated in church parking lots in the U.S. and assembled in Mexico in just one day. Though not luxurious by any definition, a loft house provides basic protection and shelter from the elements. A loft house is a 12-foot by 12-foot structure with 4 windows, a lockable door and a second story attic loft for sleeping that can be reached by an interior ladder. The kit-house consists of prefabbed panels made from simple building materials widely available at most home improvement warehouses: 2x4s, 2x6s, plywood, and tar paper roofing. The house has a raised wooden floor, covered with linoleum, and is built on concrete piers. One member of the team hauled the kit-house on a trailer all the way from Oakland to the work site.

This particular loft house went to a couple, Maria and Fidel. Maria is blind in one eye and going blind in the other. Both Marian and Fidel work picking tomatoes six days a week and have also worked alongside everyone else in building their new home. They were paying 1,000 pesos a month in rent and couldn’t wait to have a home of their own. Their excitement was overwhelming.

There were so many moments of closeness of community and joy while watching Maria and Fidel get the keys to their new home.

Thank you AB&I for sponsoring Carlos, Enrique, and Zeydi in this community endeavor.

 

McWane Ductile-Utah Helps Raise Money for the American Cancer Society

McWane Ductile - Utah Relay for Life 2015

Every year, McWane Ductile-Utah (MDU) team members participate in fundraising for the American Cancer Society Nebo Relay for Life. In fact, they are the biggest fundraising team for the event, and this year was their most successful year so far!

MDU had over 75 team members and their families participate on the day of the relay! They held a raffle for the number of laps walked, and Rick Garcia from Maintenance was the grand prize winner of a paid day off. Rick was elated and said, “I will be using this paid day off to go with my 17 year old daughter Valerie when she gets her port taken out.” Valerie has Hodgkins Lymphoma and MDU is happy to support Rick in being able to spend the day with his daughter. Casting Department Head Richard Simmons won Mr. Relay and Melting Department Head Nathan Thayne won the prize for the most unique boxcar, the Scrap Mobile.

We are proud to report that MDU donated about $23,500 this year! As always, they had a lot of fun and are looking forward to next year’s event.

Update on McWane Ductile-New Jersey Community Advisory Panel

McWane Ductile - New Jersey Community Advisory PanelMcWane Ductile-New Jersey (MDNJ) has a Community Advisory Panel (MDCAP) that meets on a monthly basis. The purpose of the MDCAP is to establish a forum for the regular candid and constructive communication between MDNJ and the local community. The MDCAP contributes approximately $60,000 annually to community projects, organizations, and events, and MDNJ makes separate donations to the local community. For example, MDNJ recently revamped their locker room and donated the left over lockers to a local homeless shelter.

The MDCAP donates quarterly to five local food banks that help feed those in need with a meal on a daily basis. They also awarded 8 scholarships – $2,000 each – in 2015 to local high school students to help further their education. During the holidays, they participate in the Polar Express and supply tickets to families who would not be able to afford this event, and provide hats, gloves, and food to local residents at the annual tree lighting ceremony. The MDCAP also adopts families during the holidays and provides presents and gift cards so every child will have something special at Christmas.

A few of the charities the MDCAP has supported are:

  • Big Brother Big Sister
  • Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Cancer Support Community
  • Wrangler to the Rescue
  • Relay for Life
  • Steele Hill Youth Organization
  • Boy Scouts of America

Through the CAP, MDNJ also encourages team members to get more involved in the community. Pictured is one of the many sheds MDNJ has throughout the facility where team members put cardboard and paper items for recycling to help Norwescap, a local children’s center that provides summer classes and after school programs.

McWane Ductile Ohio Sponsors Ice Carving Festival

McWane Ductile Ohio Ice SculptureMcWane Ductile Ohio was proud to be a sponsor in the Ice Carving Festival held last week in Coshocton, Ohio. The event is coordinated by the non-profit organization Our Town Coshocton and is in its second year. In addition to the ice carving, there is also a chili cook-off, horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, and lots of good food. Other than the concessions, the event is free and all of the activities are within walking distance around the courthouse.

The ice sculpture themes are chosen by the local sponsoring businesses and is an event that the entire family can enjoy. But no event would be complete without prizes! This year the top two local ice carvers received prizes of $200 and $100. The top three winners in the chili cook-off received prices of $300, $200, and $100. Of course chili samples were free to visitors, but they could pay a dollar to cast a vote for their favorite cook.

As you can see from the picture, these are really talented ice carvers and we commend them on their incredible talent! We are proud to report that McWane Ductile Ohio has now been memorialized in ice, which is appropriate in view of the harsh winter we have been having in 2015.

Atlantic States Announces the Winners of the 2015 Calendar Contest

Atlantic States Calendar Contest 2015

Atlantic States recently announced the winners of the 2015 Atlantic States Calendar – Ways to Stay Healthy! And the winners are…

1st Place (Cover Photo)Sajdah Qureshi, Age 12
JanuaryNicolle Roads, Age 12
February Yeismarie Garcia, Age 8
MarchKaitlin Merlino, Age 13
AprilJennifer Phan, Age 12
MayRaheem Qureshi, Age 14
JuneEthan Vu Tran, Age
JulyDaniel Merlino, Age 11
AugustAllyson Rodas, Age 7
SeptemberAngelina Tran, Age
OctoberLuke Merlino, Age 6
NovemberIsaiah Eddings, Age 11
DecemberJustin Tran, Age 11
Donnell & Derrick Wilson, Ages 11

The “Front Page” winner was awarded a $50 Toys R Us gift card along with two movie passes and all other winners were received a $25 Toys R Us gift card. A $10 gift certificate was presented to everyone else that submitted a drawing.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Celebrate Arbor Day by Paying a Visit to Greenwood Park

Now that spring is here and summer is approaching, it’s time to have fun in the sun! And what better way to do that than spending time at the park? With today being Arbor Day, it is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and take sight of all the beautiful trees, plants, and other scenery around us!

In 2012, McWane celebrated the transformation of a once vacant, dusty lot into a dynamic green space for the residents of Birmingham, and Mother Nature, to enjoy. A long time in the planning, Greenwood Park is the culmination of a lot of dreams and dedication by the McWane Team. Where once stood a 34-acre tract of weeds, now lies a vibrant park that provides recreation and fun for the entire community.

At one time, the land held rows of single-family homes and apartment buildings, but because of constant flooding and noisy aircraft, the city relocated the community. Buildings were demolished and the area swiftly deteriorated. To McWane, this was the ideal location to create a beautiful park. Working closely with a wide coalition of groups, including the EPA, Birmingham’s Parks and Recreation Board, the Birmingham Airport Authority, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and several neighborhood groups, McWane left no stone unturned to build the best possible park for Birmingham. On November 17, 2012, city leaders, neighbors, and McWane representatives unveiled Greenwood Park with a ribbon cutting ceremony. It was the joyous culmination of months and years of planning, and work.

The park has all the right stuff: a playground, picnic shelter, two basketball courts, and a large field that can be used for baseball, football or soccer games. There are restrooms, parking spaces and a 3,600-foot-long walking trail that encourages visitors to pay attention to the park’s delicate ecology. Because we want Greenwood to represent the best qualities of McWane—durability, safety and respect for the environment, the park features an innovative bioremediation facility that naturally collects and filters contaminated rainwater before it enters Village Creek. Community leaders know the water quality isn’t all that has improved since Greenwood opened. Quality of life is improving too.

“They have the ball fields and the courts where they can play and they have the walking trails,” said Birmingham City Councilwoman Maxine Parker. “This will encourage our youth and seniors to get outdoors and be more active.”

The idea for Greenwood Park came after a settlement was reached in United States, et al. vs. McWane, Inc. McWane requested that a portion of any fine be redirected into the city of Birmingham through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Supplemental Environmental Projects program. McWane worked with the Birmingham Community Advisory Panel, Clarus Consulting Group, and a group of volunteer citizens to come up with a list of potential park locations and how best to develop the park. It’s this commitment to team work and community that makes Greenwood such a success — and McWane is proud to be part of this process.

AB&I Foundry Shares the Story of its Community in an Artful Way

AB&I Mural

For more than a century, AB&I Foundry has been producing pipe and fittings for use across the country. From its site in Oakland, California, AB&I has made components for U.S. Navy submarines in World World II and bronze statues for Market Street in San Francisco. Building off the work of founder Joseph Boscacci, AB&I products are recognized for their superior quality and craftsmanship and are 100% “Made in America” from post-consumer recycled scrap material.

But for all its history in Oakland, AB&I has been walled off from its community – literally. The foundry’s amazing work has been taking place behind a high wall tracing the edge of the property, wedged between Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train tracks and San Leandro Street. To transform the relationship between company and community, AB&I embarked on one of the largest public art projects of its kind in the area: a beautiful mural 253-feet long, eight-feet high containing 2,026 square feet of history and inspiration.

With the city’s former luster dulled by years of economic uncertainty, AB&I’s efforts not only help beautify, they remind the community of all it has accomplished while inspiring it anew.

“Our story is one worth telling, and our city is in desperate need of beautification,” said Kurt Winter, AB&I’s general manager. “The walls around our neighborhood are constantly tagged by graffiti artists, so we decided to take action and turn our own facility into a canvas for the benefit of everyone in the community. The art is beautiful, and so too is the message behind it.”

Instead of bare walls, commuters on the BART train and drivers cruising on San Leandro Street are presented with a striking tableau of milestones, memories and moments of genuine civic pride. Block by industrial block, AB&I is transforming its community while celebrating both local history and its own. Initial scenes in the mural depict Boscacci making ornamental castings for the city and the foundry’s work on behalf of the nation during World War II. Later images illustrate AB&I’s pride in its city and neighborhood, with iconic renderings of the Oakland Zoo, the Oakland Raiders football team, Fox Theater and the Christ of the King Cathedral at Lake Merritt. The richly detailed mural also honors team members who have worked at AB&I across its history.

Murals have long been used to celebrate achievement, highlight important issues and inspire future generations to greatness. From Michelangelo to Diego Rivera to contemporary art prankster Banksy, the mural is art in one of its most vital forms – directly engaging us in our everyday lives, sharing beauty and inviting new optimism for tomorrow. With so much value in the images, finding the right artist was paramount. Luckily for AB&I, acclaimed Bay Area painter Jean Bidwell from Castro Valley embraced the commission and embraced AB&I’s commitment to community and sustainability by including visuals celebrating the foundry’s accomplishments alongside those of the surrounding community.

“We have a long history of social and environmental responsibility,” said Winter. “This is yet another contribution we are making to improve our community, and it’s one we hope will inspire for a long time to come.”

AB&I’s deep involvement in its community goes far beyond the pigments and personalities used in the mural. For over two decades, AB&I has made environmental concerns a top priority, investing $10 million in environmental technology and training to set an industry standard for cleanliness and environmental responsibility. Its community faces more threats than just environmental ones, which is why AB&I has also helped law enforcement get guns off of the streets by taking in over 50,000 weapons and melting them down. This provides local law enforcement a cost-free way to permanently keep guns out of the wrong hands. AB&I also gives specialized confined space rescue training to new Oakland firefighters.

There’s been a lot to celebrate in the more than 100 years since Joseph Boscacci cast his first iron in his backyard. And now, there’s an appropriately sized canvas for this story to finally be shared with the community.

We just hope that there is room enough saved on the wall so that AB&I’s future accomplishments can be artfully memorialized too!