Blog Archives

Clow Hydrant Makes the News

Clow Valve team member Rick Smith was reading an article in the Washington Post about the wild fires in California and noticed that the hydrant in the photo is a Clow hydrant produced at the Clow facility located in Corona, California.  Cory Zwolinski also saw this same article on MSN.com.  This picture was taken in Petaluma, about 20 miles south of Santa Rosa. 2 Product Sighting 2017 Petaluma, California

With the death toll of at least 31, it’s become the deadliest week for wildfires in California’s history.  We hope our products can help the firefighters get these wildfires under control and prevent further loss of property and life.

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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!

Announcing the Winners of the 2013 EHS Awards

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The winners of the 2013 EHS awards were announced in February recognizing McWane facilities in five different environmental, health and safety performance categories. The winners were:

The Most Improved Recordable Injury Rate Award – The most improved total recordable injury rate (TRIR) is determined by calculating at year end the TRIR for each facility and comparing it to the prior year. The facility with the greatest percentage of improvement from the previous year is the winner. This year’s winners were:
AB&I, Oakland, California (Foundry)
Tyler Pipe Company, Marshfield, Missouri (Fabrication)

The Outstanding Health & Safety Performance Award is given to the facility that has the best overall health and safety performance in 11 different categories, including program compliance, incident rates, implementation of health & safety initiatives, and risk reduction efforts.
Manchester Tank & Equipment, Elkhart, Indiana

The Outstanding Environmental Performance Award is given to the facility that has the best overall environmental performance including management commitment, program implementation and compliance. The winners were:
Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company, Provo, Utah (Foundry)
Manchester Tank & Equipment, Bedford, Indiana (Fabrication)

The Outstanding Environmental Progress Award is given to the facility that showed the greatest overall improvement in environmental performance during the year. The winners were:
AB&I, Oakland, California and Tyler/Union, Anniston, Alabama (Foundry)
The Solberg Company, Green Bay, Wisconsin (Fabrication)

The EHS Excellence Award is given to the facility that has the best overall performance in both environmental and health and safety company-wide. There was no clear winner for this award in 2013.

Although the Screaming Eagle (pictured) was not awarded for 2013, we anticipate all facilities will continue with excellent health, safety and environmental programs during 2014 and strive to be this year’s winner.

Every team member plays a role in helping us become safer and more environmentally conscious and we must work together to continue to improve our EHS performance.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

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!