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McWane Ductile Iron Pipe Companies Join Together to Form McWane Ductile

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Today marks an exciting and historic change for the McWane ductile iron pipe companies. Effective immediately, McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company, Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company, Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company, and Clow Water Systems will operate unified under the new name McWane Ductile. This consolidation reflects a united company focused on providing excellent service and quality products to our customers, while making all of the divisions recognizable as part of the McWane family of companies.

In a letter to the team, McWane Ductile Sr. Vice President, Jeff Otterstedt said,

“We will make a public announcement later today; however, it’s important to us to first share it with our valued team members — the people who work so hard each and every day to make our company successful.”

This decision wasn’t made lightly. After lengthy consideration, it became clear that while we have many significant and rich traditions that are unique to each of our divisions, we become stronger collectively as one distinct brand. And, although our name has changed, our promise to our team members, customers, and partners remains the same as we build on our nearly 100-year history of creating iron-strong utilities.

There are many good reasons for this change. Not only does it provide our North American and international customers with a uniform business experience across our operations by standardizing purchase orders and acknowledgements, terms and conditions, invoicing, RMA procedures, quotations, submittals, and most other customer service processes, but it also aligns the best practices and cultures from all of our operations under one vision. We should note that Canada Pipe, also a member of the McWane ductile iron pipe companies, will retain its name, which best reflects its unique position as the leading ductile iron pipe provider in Canada.

With this unification, we are fully committed to maintaining and continually investing in our three plants, located in Phillipsburg, New Jersey; Coshocton, Ohio; and Provo, Utah. While we’re excited to forge ahead as McWane Ductile, we understand that it can be difficult to embrace change while saying goodbye to old traditions. We hope that you’ll consider this an opportunity to bring the very best parts of your current culture to this new brand that we can all be proud to call our own.

You’ll find more information on our new website at http://www.mcwaneductile.com.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown Visits Clow Water Systems

L to R: Billy Boyce, International USW Representatice; Senator Brown, and Jeff Otterstedt, McWane Senior VP for Pipe Group

L to R: Billy Boyce, International USW Representatice; Senator Brown, and Jeff Otterstedt, McWane Senior VP for Pipe Group

AT CLOW WATER SYSTEMS, BROWN TO MEET WITH PLANT LEADERSHIP, EMPLOYEES TO HIGHLIGHT EFFORTS TO STREGTHEN “BUY AMERICA” PROVISIONS IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURCHASING

In June, Brown’s Amendment to the Water Resources Reform and Development Act Would Benefit Ohio Manufacturers Was Signed into Law by President Obama

COSHOCTON, OH – On Wednesday, July 2, 2014, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown visited Clow Water Systems in Coschoton to highlight recent legislation signed into law by President Obama that benefits Ohio manufacturers. Brown introduced, and helped pass, an amendment to the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) that would ensure American-made iron and steel are used in federally-funded water infrastructure projects when available and competitively priced. The amendment benefits Ohio manufacturers like Clow Water Systems in Coshocton, and Nucor Steel in Marion.

“For our economy to continue adding jobs, we must ensure American taxpayer dollars are used to support manufacturers and workers at home, not overseas,” Brown said. “That is why I fought to include language in recent legislation that will strengthen our economy and infrastructure while benefitting Ohio manufacturers like Clow Water Systems.”

WRRDA connects businesses and communities throughout the country with critical resources for maintenance, inspections, and upgrades to water infrastructure projects. Brown’s amendment extended Buy America provisions, which ensure that federal taxpayer dollars spent on public infrastructure utilize American-made materials and labor, to water infrastructure projects. Before passage of WRRDA and Brown’s amendment, Buy America applied to federally funded roads, bridges, and rail projects but not water infrastructure.

Brown continues to champion the cause of domestic manufacturing and its workers. Described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American Manufacturing,” Brown is a member of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, currently Vice-Chair of the Senate Auto Caucus, and was recently named incoming Chair of the Senate Steel Caucus.

Meet McWane: Phil Emler, Clow Water

Phil Emler

Phil Emler

“He goes above and beyond.” That is one of the many accolades you will hear about Clow Water team member Phil Emler. The story of Phil’s life is inspiring to say the least. Phil started working for Clow Water on 8/26/1964 after graduating high school. When both of his parents died, Phil became the head of the family and took on the responsibility for his five brothers (Mark, Jack, Scott and twin brothers Dwight and Duane) and one sister (Louise). His siblings ranged in ages from 2-16 and his main goal was to keep the family together. Phil said, “I decided to keep the family together in the house Dad built in 1957 for us from the basement up.”

Phil’s aunt helped him hire a lady for $25 a week to watch the children after school while he worked. From time to time, Phil would take the entire family to the local drive-in theatre. He also has great memories of going swimming and taking the family to the Columbus Zoo. However, Phil said, “I was glad when they grew up.”

Starting out in the labor pool, Phil worked third shift for 17 years in various positions. After 49 years at Clow Water, Phil says he still likes coming to work. He recalls the early years when there were two cupolas working. Phil has seen lots of changes over the years and feels that Clow Water is a much safer place to work today. After almost 50 years of service, Phil is actually considering retiring in October.

Phil’s siblings have thanked him through the years for keeping the family together and providing for them in their time of need. In case you’re wondering what become of his siblings, Mark went to Ohio State University and became a nurse; Jack attended a Career Center and become a carpenter; Scott, Dwight and Duane all work in the landscaping business, and sister Louise is now retired after working for Edmonds, Inc. To this day Louise still lives in the house their father built.

Thanks, Phil, for your many years of service at Clow Water. The dedication, hard work and contribution you have made will surely be felt by the Emler family and Clow Water for generations to come!

Meet McWane: Kent Arnold, Clow Water

Kent Arnold VPPPA Safety Champion Award

We are proud to announce that Clow Water Team Member Kent Arnold was awarded the Safety Champion Award at the Region V VPPPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Kent is a third generation, 45 year employee at Clow Water System and during his tenure has filled various roles within the local USW 7014, including Union President twice. Kent currently manages the VPP Program and coordinates over 15 monthly department committees and is the driving force on their VPP Board of Directors. He also serves as a Special Government Employee (SGE). As a SGE, Kent works with Ohio OSHA one to two times a year certifying and re-certifying VPP sites.

Kent travels a couple times a year to other McWane facilities to assist them in reaching their goal of VPP certification. He also manages the Safety Hazard Program at Clow Water and coordinates feedback to Team Members when needed until the hazard is fixed.

Congratulations Kent! You are a true testament to the commitment to safety excellence at Clow Water!

McWane Boasts Seven Plants in the VPP Program

VPP Flag No other company in the waterworks foundry industry has a single plant in the VPP program.  McWane has seven. Clow Valve, Metal Casting Facility (Oskaloosa, Iowa), Clow Water (Coshocton, Ohio), Manchester Tank (Elkhart, Indiana), Manchester Tank (Petersburg, Virginia), Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company (Provo, Utah), and Tyler Pipe (Marshfield, Mississippi) are all VPP Star facilities with Pacific States being the latest as of September 2013. Clow Valve, Machine Shop (Oskaloosa, Iowa) has earned VPP Merit accreditation – an effective stepping stone to achieving Star status.

In order to receive this accreditation, a facility has to successfully pass certification by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to become a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star Facility. According to the VPP website, “The VPP recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals.”

Receiving a VPP Star ranking is no small honor as only .03% of all American companies qualify – putting those facilities awarded with the certification in an elite club for sure. For example, in the entire state of Utah – where Pacific States is located – only eight other facilities are considered VPP Star! Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health programs.

“The VPP designation indicates a true commitment from management and team members in working together, with everyone taking personal responsibility for safety and health,” said Barbara Wisniewski, Vice President of Health and Safety, McWane. Inc.

Brian Lichtenfels, Safety Manager at Pacific States, gave several words of advice for facilities preparing for an upcoming audit.

“If I could give someone three learned lessons to focus on in an upcoming audit, they would be: prepare, prepare, prepare. Make sure the whole facility is on the same page and do not be defensive with OSHA. Take a cooperative and open approach.”

Congratulations to every team member at all of our VPP Star facilities, and especially those at our latest – Pacific States, all of whom demonstrated their supreme commitment to the best safety practices and VPP principles! This is more proof that the McWane Way is about being the best by doing our very best.

Our own Andy Boise, a melting foreman at Clow Water Systems, composed lyrics and music to create a VPP Song, Everyone Goes Home From Here. Take a listen!