RGPC | May 16, 2022
Rio Grande Pacific Corporation through its Rio Grande Pacific Group portfolio company Basin Railway Constructors, LLC (“BRC”) announced today it has selected the engineering and construction firms for the final engineering and construction of the Uinta Basin Railway, the 85-mile-long common-carrier railway that will provide the first-ever common-carrier railway service to northeastern Utah’s Uinta Basin region.
Construction and operation of the Uinta Basin Railway project was authorized by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board on December 15, 2021. The railway will serve mineral, energy, agricultural, construction, and manufacturing industries in the Uinta Basin. The railway project was initiated by the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition, a political subdivision of the State of Utah, in 2018. The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation is an equity partner in the railway.
Engineering and Construction firms that were selected are:
AECOM will deliver final design of the railway exclusive of it tunnels. AECOM is the No. 1 engineering firm worldwide (in terms of revenue) per Engineering News-Record (ENR).
Skanska-WW Clyde Joint Venture will deliver construction of the railway exclusive of its tunnels. Skanska is the No. 5 construction firm worldwide per ENR. WW Clyde is the largest locally owned heavy civil contractor in the state of Utah and has constructed a substantial portion of Utah’s major transportation infrastructure since 1926.
Obayashi Corporation will deliver final design and construction of the railway’s tunnels. Obayashi is the No. 15 construction firm worldwide per ENR and is globally recognized for tunneling expertise.
RGPC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Bertel stated, “We are pleased to award engineering and construction of the Uinta Basin Railway project to AECOM, Skanska-Clyde, and Obayashi. Numerous qualified and technically proficient engineering and construction firms, including most of the major firms in the U.S., pursued the Uinta Basin Railway project, and provided to us high-quality and creative responses. AECOM, Skanska-Clyde, and Obayashi provided the best fit to our project objectives of the firms we interviewed.”
“WW Clyde since 1926 has been known as a premier heavy civil contractor in Utah and the Intermountain West. We’re thrilled to be chosen for the largest new railroad construction project in the U.S. since the 1970s. We’re excited to be a part of creating new jobs and economic opportunities for rural Utah.”
WW Clyde Area Manager Garrett McMullin
A key selection criterion for RGPC was the commitment of AECOM, Skanska-Clyde, and Obayashi to a tribal and local hiring preference, and to include within their teams to the greatest degree practical the construction and engineering firms located within the Uinta Basin and the counties of the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition.
About Rio Grande Pacific Corporation
Rio Grande Pacific Corporation (RGPC) is a privately held, Fort Worth, Texas-based holding company for regional freight railroads. Through its various subsidiaries, RGPC provides a comprehensive suite of services to the railway industry, including railway development, engineering, and project management, passenger railway operations and maintenance, railway track maintenance equipment remanufacturing, railway dispatching services, industrial switching. RGPC portfolio companies provide services to Class I, regional and short line railroads, passenger transit agencies, and rail-served industries across the United States. Our properties serve many Fortune 500 firms and move a diverse mixture of commodities in the agricultural, chemical, lumber, mineral, energy, and recycling industries. These initiatives offer diversification across the industry spectrum through synergistic businesses and relationships. RGPC provides international railway consulting service for clients worldwide, including on five continents to date, and evaluates major greenfield railway projects for its clients as well as our own portfolio.
During the 36 years since our founding, we have focused on building a business known for its proactive approach to engaging communities; strong, strategic partnerships with our customers and our communities; efficient, safe train handling operations and transportation solutions; and excellent customer service. Internally, our company focuses on attracting strong team players who bring innovative, creative thinking and a willingness to go the extra mile to the table. This entrepreneurial and often non-conformist style translates into a growth plan that is strong, yet stable. As a result, Rio Grande Pacific continues to evolve to meet the demands of a dynamic railroad industry.
ECMC Foundation | December 21, 2021
The Collision Engineering Program has received a $700,000 grant from ECMC Foundation to support the growth and expansion of the industry-leading program's efforts. With foundational support provided by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, the program is designed to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles within the collision repair industry and enhance retention and advancement among collision repair technicians.With nearly 100,000 new entrant collision technicians needed between 2021 and 2025, according to the TechForce Foundation, the Collision Engineering Program addresses the ongoing industry technician shortage and skills gap. Collision repair businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in growing and sustaining their workforce as baby boomers retire and demand outpaces a declining supply of postsecondary collision technician entrants. At the same time, automotive technology is rapidly changing, requiring skill sets to evolve for those who repair vehicles.
The program replicates Ranken Technical College's unique two-year apprenticeship model at schools across the United States, preparing students for success by treating them as professionals from day one. Students gain real-world education working alongside industry experts while also earning their associate degree. Currently, the program is in its second year of a two-year pilot at four schools across the country—Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, Missouri; College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois; Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California; and Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas.
"We're excited about the innovative, five-semester associate degree Collision Engineering Program at Ranken Technical College which employs an eight-week rotation between on-campus coursework and paid work-based learning, We're proud to support a program that seeks to address the need for a skilled and diverse collision technician workforce and believe this unique institution-led, earn-and-learn model will serve as a valuable blueprint for institutions looking to implement work-based learning programs."
-Jennifer Zeisler, Career Readiness Senior Program Director, ECMC Foundation
The grant from ECMC Foundation will support phase two of the Collision Engineering Program. Phase one focused on piloting the program at four schools across the country. Phase two will build upon the efforts of the pilot program, establishing at least four additional partner colleges over the next three years. ECMC Foundation's contribution will provide startup costs to launch the program at partner colleges, enable the program to hire additional staff and provide continued support for existing partner colleges.
We're tremendously proud that our model has been recognized as the gold standard for connecting hands-on industry experience with education," said Don Pohl, President of Ranken Technical College. "The Collision Engineering Program helps partnering institutions adjust to the rapid pace of vehicle innovation and connectivity and brings meaningful training to students. This support from ECMC Foundation will allow the program to expand its reach and impact nationwide.
Since the pilot launched earlier this year, the Collision Engineering Program has also received contributions from Chief Collision Technology and Mitchell International. Chief Collision Technology, one of the world's largest manufacturers of high-quality collision repair products and services, is providing a MULTIMIG Aluminum Welder—valued at $12,000—to the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. The machine, used widely across the repair industry, will provide students with in-depth knowledge and experience working with real-world equipment.
Mitchell International, an Enlyte company and leading technology and information provider for the P&C claims and collision repair industries, is offering its full suite of repair solutions to each of the four participating schools. The in-kind donation—valued at $150,000—includes Mitchell Cloud Estimating with Integrated Repair Procedures, Mitchell TechAdvisor and its OEM-licensed repair data, and the Mitchell Diagnostics platform for scanning and calibration. These solutions are designed to help technicians efficiently diagnose, estimate and repair collision-damaged vehicles, improving customer and carrier satisfaction. With Mitchell's innovative technology and the Collision Engineering Program's advanced education, graduates entering the workforce are well-equipped to properly and safely repair today's complex automobiles.
"As the world's largest car rental provider, we have a responsibility to invest in the future of the automotive repair industry—a future that's at stake due to the ongoing skills and labor shortage,With our partners' support, we're working to increase awareness of this career path and build successful and skilled collision repair technicians through the Collision Engineering Program. It's so encouraging to see how the industry is collaborating to make a meaningful impact on the future of the automotive repair workforce and industry. We hope others will continue to step forward and join us in this endeavor."
-Mary Mahoney, Vice President, Replacement and Leisure Division at Enterprise Holdings
About Enterprise Holdings
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of mobility solutions, owning and operating the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries. Enterprise Holdings and its affiliates offer extensive car rental, carsharing, truck rental, fleet management, retail car sales, as well as travel management and other transportation services, to make travel easier and more convenient for customers. Privately held by the Taylor family of St. Louis, Mo., Enterprise Holdings manages a diverse fleet of more than 1.85 million vehicles through a network of nearly 10,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport rental locations in more than 90 countries and territories.
About ECMC Foundation
ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation with a mission to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under ECMC Group (www.ecmcgroup.org) enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation's vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential.
Kojo | May 24, 2022
Kojo the construction industry's leading procurement platform, formerly known as Agora announced its new name and expansion of its platform to every major trade, including mechanical, concrete, drywall, roofing, flooring, and self-perform general contractors. Kojo also shared that it has grown its annual recurring revenue by 4x year-over-year.
"The construction industry has been overlooked by tech for too long. By expanding Kojo's solutions to every major construction trade, we can now help even more contractors solve problems that are critical to their businesses, Our mission is to make it faster, easier, and more sustainable to build the world around us, and I'm so proud of what our team has built to empower contractors in such volatile times."
Maria Rioumine, co-founder and CEO of Kojo
With more than $300 billion spent on construction materials annually in the US, Kojo is helping contractors grow more resilient against the extreme volatility in materials prices and supply chain disruptions of the past few years. In just the last year, Kojo launched new products that help contractors manage their warehouse inventory, reconcile invoices, and track their job progress against estimates.
Using Kojo's RFQ feature, contractors can quickly check material prices and availability across thousands of vendors, saving 3-5% per order or the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. In the field, Kojo decreases the time supervisors spend managing materials by up to 38% - an average of $175,000 in annual productivity gains. For office teams, Kojo automates manual data entry, shortening the time to process each purchase order by up to 75%, the equivalent of $124,000 in savings per year.
"Kojo's solutions completely changed how our team manages our supply chain, which is a life saver given current constraints," said John Mraz, owner of Einheit Electric Construction Co. "By just using Kojo's Request For Quote feature, I would say we're achieving 10-20% in material savings. The money we save through Kojo allows us to invest further in our team, grow our business, and focus on what we do best – build."
Last August, Kojo announced its $33 million Series B funding round led by Tiger Global, with additional key investments from 8VC, Tishman Speyer, Jerry Yang, Michael Ovitz, LeFrak, and Kevin Hartz, bringing total funding to $45 million.
Kojo is the leading materials procurement platform for trade and self-perform contractors across the country. By connecting office teams, field crews, and vendors on one all-inclusive procurement platform, Kojo gives contractors control over their procurement process from takeoff to closeout, enabling them to improve profitability, productivity, visibility, and standardization across their organization.
Kioxia | April 12, 2022
Kioxia Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today held a groundbreaking ceremony for its state-of-the-art semiconductor fabrication facility (Fab2) at its Kitakami Plant in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Utilizing AI-based cutting-edge manufacturing, the new facility will contribute towards possible expansion of production of its proprietary 3D flash memory BiCS FLASHTM at the Kitakami Plant. Construction of the Fab2 facility is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
The Fab2 facility will have an earthquake-absorbing structure and environmentally friendly design that utilizes advanced energy saving manufacturing equipment and renewable energy sources. In addition, an administration building will be constructed to accommodate the control management and technical departments in response to the increased staff.
“As a leader in memory, this Fab2 facility will become Kioxia’s key manufacturing hub to produce our memory products at scale. We are planning to introduce automated in-facility transfers and advanced production control to make Fab2 a truly world-class smart fabrication facility, Fab2 will be able to intelligently coordinate and optimize its production with Fab1 at Kitakami Plant as well as our fabs in the Yokkaichi Plant, enabling the company to seize opportunities in the growing memory market in a timely manner.”
Nobuo Hayasaka, President and CEO, Kioxia
Under its mission of uplifting the world with memory, Kioxia is focused on developing initiatives to strengthen the competitiveness of its memory and SSD business, which it has developed over the past 35 years since inventing NAND flash memory in 1987. Kioxia remains committed to creating consistent and sustainable growth through timely capital investments that meet growing market demand.
Kioxia is a world leader in memory solutions, dedicated to the development, production and sale of flash memory and solid-state drives (SSDs). In April 2017, its predecessor Toshiba Memory was spun off from Toshiba Corporation, the company that invented NAND flash memory in 1987. Kioxia is committed to uplifting the world with memory by offering products, services and systems that create choice for customers and memory-based value for society. Kioxia's innovative 3D flash memory technology, BiCS FLASH™, is shaping the future of storage in high-density applications, including advanced smartphones, PCs, SSDs, automotive and data centers.