Blog Archives

AB&I Team Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday, Acts Full Gospel COGIC Church held a community event at Verdese Carter Park to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Team Members from AB&I helped with bagging 2,000 frozen chickens.

ABI 2018 MLK day

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AB&I Partners with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital for Christmas

In the spirit of the holiday season, AB&I partnered with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland to donate gifts to the children spending Christmas in the hospital.  Team members were encouraged to bring new, unwrapped gifts to the HR department and the response was overwhelmingly generous.  It was truly an honor to help make a difference in a child’s life during the holiday season.

ABI 2017 Christmas donations to local hosptial

AB&I Holds Second Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest

AB&I held their second annual ugly Christmas sweater contest, and boy did everyone bring it!  All of the ladies wore something festive, and enjoyed a BBQ lunch before the judges picked their top five winners.

Can’t wait to see what everyone wears next year!

ABI 2017 Ugly Christmas Sweater Party resized

AB&I Hosts Students From Oakland Unified School District

AB&I partnered with Emiliano Sanchez and the Oakland Unified School District to host several middle school students and approximately 65 students from two Oakland high schools on November 2.  The goal is to continue educating students about the career opportunities available in manufacturing and the important role it plays in our lives. Many students think of manufacturing as an old industry with no advanced technology. Advanced Manufacturing and Career Technical Education Day gives us the opportunity to showcase the role technology plays in our foundry today and hopefully inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

AB&I manufacturing ambassadors talked to the students about how they started their careers at AB&I, what they are doing now and why they like manufacturing.  Environmental team member Mike Olvera talked about how he found his passion in the environment through an internship in high school.  He discussed all the regulations he has to follow and stay up-to-date on and how he has to apply them by working collaboratively with engineering, maintenance, production and other departments to implement changes.  Rich Watson, Jose Martinez, Jaime Miramontes, Alfredo Costa, Roberto Ramirez led tours for two groups of students, teachers and chaperones.  Prior to the tours, Jennifer Grundell coordinated the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), including head phones.  AB&I also presented each student with a t-shirt that Jenny designed and a 4” cast iron skillet.
At the conclusion of the tour, the students went to Laney College for lunch and an introduction to the various manufacturing programs available at the college.

“I appreciate the partnership with AB&I and the willingness of the manufacturing Ambassadors and the team to share their experience and knowledge with the students,” said Emiliano Sanchez.

Allowing manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is clears up many common misconceptions. By working together during and after the event, manufacturers can hopefully begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the industry.

ABI 2017 2017 Manufacturing Day Tour

2017 Team Health & Wellness Fair at AB&I

AB&I held its annual Health and Wellness Fair for team members on Thursday, October 12, 2017.  These events are designed to encourage team members to take preventive measures to avert the onset or worsening of an illness or disease and to adopt healthier lifestyles.

Team Members were provided free biometric screenings through eHealthScreenings flu shots by U.S. Health Works, and financial planning by Merrill Lynch.  Participants were also offered a massage, a discount gym membership at 24 Hour Fitness and could win prizes for participating in a challenge of making a smoothie while riding a bike.

A huge thanks to Filice and Western Suppliers for their help in organizing this year’s event and to the vendors that attended the fair.

ABI 2017 Health Fair

 

All for One and One for All, Our Shared Culture

2015 Plumbing Group Meeting at Tyler Pipe

L of Pipe: Raul Aguirre – Production Foreman, Anaco R of Pipe: Ken Nobriga – Shipping, AB&I Directly behind pipe: Dave Janney – Shipping, AB&I Second row, L to R: Dave Methot – Health & Safety, Bibby Ste Croix / Will Jones – Maintenance Supervisor, Anaco / Enrique Ramirez – Core Room Supervisor, AB&I / Carlos Gonzalez – Engineering, AB&I Third row, L to R: Sylvain Daigle – Production Supervisor, Bibby Ste Croix / Kelly Cheek – Coupling Supervisor, Tyler Coupling / Brian Lowe – Gasket Supervisor, Tyler Coupling / and Billy Ngiraikelau – Maintenance Supervisor

The McWane family of companies is an amazing amalgamation of four pipe facilities, four valve and hydrant facilities, seven soil pipe and utility fittings facilities, seven tank manufacturing facilities, one fire extinguisher facility, and five technology companies. The diversity and variety of product lines and business practices are certainly broad, but we all share an amazing amount of commonalities. Recently, Tyler Pipe had the opportunity to share their practices, culture, and expertise with team members from other McWane facilities in the Plumbing Division.

About three years ago, Alan Boscacci suggested that each of the facilities within the Plumbing Division take turns hosting their sister companies and sharing their knowledge, skills, best practices, and unique cultures. Initially HR team members attended the meeting, but that was eventually expanded to include the production team.

Tyler Pipe was proud to host representatives from Bibby Ste-Croix, Anaco, AB&I, and Tyler Couplings this year for the third annual meeting. Everyone was given a guided tour of Tyler Pipe and the opportunity to visit specific areas of interest that pertained to their every day job duties including Production, Maintenance, Customer Service Representatives, and Shipping.

After the meeting, Rod Burrus said, “We had a wonderful exchange of ideas and everyone left with a broader perspective of how our respective businesses can be improved.”

Tyler Pipe Hosts TSAPI

Tyler Pipe Hosts TSAPITyler Pipe and the McWane Plumbing Group were proud to have the opportunity recently to host a plant tour for attendees at a meeting of the Texas State Association of Plumbing Inspectors (TSAPI). The TSAPI held their annual conference in Tyler, Texas, from June 7-11 which included continuing educational programming and other activities both at the conference center and around town. Inspectors from the around state of Texas attended the conference.

A total of 46 participants signed up for lunch and a tour of the Tyler Pipe facility. The tour started with a brief history about Tyler Pipe and safety instructions for the foundry tour. Everyone seemed impressed with Tyler’s manufacturing processes, stringent testing procedures, and quality standards that help make Tyler Pipe the largest producer of cast iron soil pipe in America.

Tyler also hosted a Med Gas class on-site. This training is required in order to maintain a Plumbing Inspector’s License. The old pattern shop provided a nice area where the instructors could demonstrate techniques around a large table.

Team members from Tyler Pipe and the McWane Plumbing Group also participated in activities after-hours which included the President’s dinner, a raffle, and games. EST Representative Victor Hatcher built a custom set of inclined boards so everyone could play a fun game of corn-hole.

At the end of the day, there were numerous compliments about the foundry and the hospitality shown to the association. Gail Lux, president of the association, presented Tyler with a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the TSAPI for their generous time and effort shown.

AB&I Foundry’s Team has an Iron Will to Survive

AB&I Breast Cancer Walk TeamThe American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk is a powerful event that raises awareness and funds to find a cure for breast cancer. We are proud to report that on Saturday, June 20, 2015, AB&I’s team, Iron Will to Survive, was the second largest team at the walk with 40 participants!

The generous support of AB&I and their team members helped make Iron Will to Survive the first place team for the total amount of donations raised – over $10,000! Knowing that there were a total of 38 teams, 300 participants, and $57,689 total dollars raised, it is humbling to realize the impact our participation can have on the life of a cancer patient.

Thank you to the following AB&I team members and their families for joining Iron Will to Survive at the walk:

  • Amalia Beltran and her daughter, Margarita
  • Isaac Beltran, his wife, Guillermina, and son, Carlos
  • Gilbert Bolanos, his wife, Arisvel, and daughters Alexa, Cristal, and Stephanie
  • Nick Darling
  • Kevin Doran and his four-legged family, Gigi
  • Cris Forde, her four-legged family, Jack, and her friend, Laya, and her four-legged family, Nala
  • Isidro Gonzalez, his sister, Maria, and nephew, Saul
  • Jennifer Grundell and her husband, Greg
  • Zeydi Gutierrez, her son, Oliver, daughter, Chelsea, and four-legged family, Rex
  • Anthony Hernandez-Deanda
  • Harrison Lambert
  • Jenny Landon and her friend, Jessi
  • Dana Sherry and her friend, Assi
  • Nancy Tavares, her husband, Carlos, daughter, Natalie, son, Nathan, four-legged family, Darla, and extended family Josh, Bev, Rene, Danielle, Marla, Rhonda, Jeremy, Tony, and four-legged family, Bruno.

Sincere thanks and gratitude to AB&I for matching the donations that were made to Iron Will to Survive and to each and every team member that made a donation. Their support and generosity is a perfect example of what being a team truly means.

AB&I Recognized by the City of Oakland during National Small Business Week

AB&I Recognized during National Small Business Week

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week (NSBW), which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. AB&I Foundry joined only three other companies that were recognized in a ceremony on May 4 and received an award from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

“This week is a tremendous way to celebrate and support the small businesses in Oakland that serve us year-round,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Our small businesses are vital engines for growth and stability in our communities. They add to the unique flavor of Oakland’s neighborhoods and foster vitality throughout our city, generating thousands of jobs and delivering tax revenues that help pay for essential City services. I’m committed to making sure this important sector of our local economy continues to thrive.”

Congratulations, AB&I, for being a cornerstone in the community for 109 years!

AB&I Adopts Local Elementary School

AB&I Adopts Local Elementary School

In 2014, AB&I adopted a local school in Oakland, California – Aspire College Academy. The school serves 280 students from kindergarten to 5th grade.

One of the first things the school needed was supplies for the teachers and books for the children. By year’s end AB&I team members had donated $1,000 in books and supplies, and Kip Wixson even gave access to his subscription to Paper Back Swap and used his credits to purchase books for the school. Aspire Principal Jessica Newburn also provided book suggestions for team members.

The teachers were ecstatic when they saw all of the supplies, and both teachers and children alike were overjoyed with the number of books donated. Kip has even applied to Paper Back Swap for the school to be on the donation list for all subscribers.

AB&I received a note from Principal Newburn:

“Happy New Year! I just wanted to extend a GIANT thank you for all the books that were donated before the holiday. Our teachers have incorporated over 40 books into their classroom libraries and have sparked some great independent reading coming into the new year already. We really appreciate your generosity!”

Some of the books donated were:

Dr. Seuss Series
– Frog and Toad Series
– Fancy Nancy Series
– Joody Moody Series
– Junie B. Jones Series
– Skippyjon Jones Series
– Eric Carle Series

Chapter Books (for older scholars)
– Magic Tree House series
– Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
– Biographies of minority leaders
– Mysterious Benedict Society Series

There was also an opportunity to provide hands-on help. Aspire has a playground in need of repair, so a group of volunteers plan to get together in February to clean up the playground, fix benches, paint, plant flowers and vegetables, and help put a net on the chain link fence.

Great job, Team AB&I! Way to give back!