William Charles Construction Hosts Tollway Mentoring Program

tollway mentor

Author: William Charles Ltd.
Date posted: 11/8/2010

A clause in the Illinois Tollway Authority’s contract for ramp work at I-90 and Genoa Road and at I-88 and Route 251 offered a financial incentive for voluntary participation in a Metro Protégé Program. William Charles Construction, the general contractor, agreed to mentor subcontractors in the hope they will grow their businesses to become future general contractors. 

Project manager Joe Francis doesn’t dismiss financial incentives and he also sees the merits of generously sharing years of collected knowledge and expertise with our business associates.

Joe recently hosted a safety meeting for a variety of subcontractors working on the ramp projects. The Tollway targets 10 hours of monthly training. 

Mandatory topics include:
Assistance and guidance with bid package preparation
Training on the use of Tollway web-based project management
Training on the Tollway’s Contractor Quality Plan

Other topics include:
Record keeping / job management / job costing
Equipment scheduling
Training in new substantive / technical areas

At the second of six scheduled mentor / protégé training sessions, Jim Van Briesen and Casey Long of Risk Management and Jim Kohlhorst, field operations manager for WC Construction, explained in detail our corporate commitment to proactive safety. They outlined all facets of our safety program from the initial smart hiring and new employee orientation and training to tool box talks, video taping job sites, personal protective equipment, internal investigation of all incidents and extensive employee safety training. Casey also explained, “Safety starts at the top. We couldn’t succeed without the support and resources available through upper management.” 

Jim Kohlhorst emphasized that everyone has the responsibility for a safe worksite. Jim Van Briesen touched on the cost saving associated with working safely by reducing our experience modification rate within our captive insurance pool. Though our EMR rate is excellent, our goal is still to have zero incidents and zero lost time. Together they detailed matters of discipline, our safety manual, theft, loss prevention, claims and our WorkSafe and WorkSTEPS programs.

Joe explained that prequalifying to bid on big jobs often hinges on a company’s safety record. He then invited questions from those in attendance. Joe concluded by saying a commitment to safety is essential from the ownership down.

With over a century of quality work behind our name, William Charles is still guided by the pursuit of excellence and the “Do it right the first time” work ethic that has been at the cornerstone of our business philosophy since 1892. Our attention to the customer and to the highest safety standards are at the very heart of all we do.