Underground Construction - November 2019 - 4

EDITOR'S LOG

Robert Carpenter | Editor-in-Chief

Value of Knowledge

I recently attended the annual meeting
of the Industry Advisory Board for the
Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) at
Louisiana Tech University. It's something
I've been involved with for decades and
thoroughly enjoy. Networking with industry
experts, learning of cutting-edge research
and discussing additional research directions
that can influence and benefit the market
place is very interesting and rewarding.
While at the meeting, three new honorary
members were elected. These historic TTC
participants have contributed mightily to
both the TTC and industry in general: Lynn
Osborn, Kaleel Rahaim and Dr. Tom Iseley.
All three have retired from their long-term
jobs but, perhaps just as importantly, are
remaining actively involved within the
industry. The three represent a contractor,
supplier and educator. All very different, yet
intricately connected professions.
Lynn wrapped up his career as senior applications manager at Insituform after 31 years.
In the CIPP world, he designed incredible and
complex projects that continuously pushed
the industry forward. Lynn was active - and
still is - in important industry organizations
that maintain the quality and high standards
of the rehabilitation market. He has spent
the last few years as NASSCO Technical
Director and remains today as a prestigious
member of the NASSCO Technical Council.
In October, he became president of the board
4

NOVEMBER 2019 | UConOnline.com

of governors for the Utility Engineering &
Surveying Institute of ASCE.
Kaleel has led a similar life in the resins
industry for AOC. A chemical engineer,
Kaleel worked closely with CIPP companies
and individuals like Lynn, striving to deal
with industry needs, solve problems and
help move the rehabilitation industry into
the future. He, too, remains active in efforts
to maintain the quality and future of the
rehabilitation market. He has also returned
to college to obtain an additional degree in
civil engineering.
Dr. Tom has always had a thirst for knowledge and an internal mandate to share that
knowledge with new generations across the
globe. He will always be renowned for his efforts to teach, train and expose people to the
significance of emerging technologies and
managing our infrastructure assets. He was
the founder of the Trenchless Technology
Center and co-founder of the Buried Asset
Management Institute - International. He
continues to work with the TTC, helping to
establish and grow additional, ambitious
facilities and training efforts.
No doubt all three will remain involved
with industry. That's a critical benefit for
the underground infrastructure industry,
as their knowledge is irreplaceable.
As the Baby Boomer generation steadily
exits the workforce, there are too-few
Generation Xers to fill the void. That leaves
Millennials to fill critical positions, take on
leadership roles and continue the efforts
of the Baby Boomers.
One of the common complaints about
Millennials in the workforce is that they
don't want to roll up their sleeves and get
dirty - even if it means a steady paycheck
with attractive wages, competitive benefits
and a long-term career. Rather, they
prefer environmentally controlled jobs at
a computer or other digital device, even if
that career tends to be random, short-lived
and wages/benefits less predictable and
reliable. Of course, half of the Millennials
have reached the pivotal point in their lives
where they understand the value of a good

career with a reasonable financial return.
However, our employment issues are
much more than just a wonky workforce.
With a changing style of employees, the
Millennial workforce pool has not supplied
our industry with the skills, leadership and
knowledge base we're accustomed too. We're
not just struggling to find good employees,
we've become desperate for quality employees who can move up in the ranks, steadily
learning from older workers and assuming
roles of significance and leadership.
Our workforce issues did not just crop up
overnight. The Greatest Generation, followed
by Baby Boomers and Generation X, created
years of normalcy in the cycle of work. But
our hopes and dreams for our children that
focused on white-collar careers, combined
with modern technology and new mindsets
among the young, have disrupted that cycle.
Years of developed skills and accumulated
knowledge by Baby Boomers and Generation
Xers is irreplaceable. Unfortunately, when
too few are willing to accept the wisdom of
that experience, our workforce issues grow
more complex and acute.
There is hope for Generation Z as its values are tending to parallel Gen X. But current
workforce issues are proving to be a very
rough ride that will remain for many years.
In the interim, knowledge is fading in
critical areas. Lynn, Kaleel and Tom have
been able to depart their long-time positions
with quality individuals striving to carry on
their efforts. Unfortunately, all-too often
that is not happening. For many companies,
there is a void of succession.
There are young people who relish
knowledge from those workers who came
before them. I know many. But I also can
see the voids at many firms and recognize
what's been lost. Modern workforce woes
are not just about filling jobs, but also raise
the essential question: who will drive the
industry of tomorrow? *


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Underground Construction - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underground Construction - November 2019

Contents
Underground Construction - November 2019 - FC
Underground Construction - November 2019 - IFC
Underground Construction - November 2019 - Contents
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 4
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 5
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 6
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 7
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 8
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 9
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 10
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 11
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 12
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 13
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 14
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 15
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 16
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 17
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 18
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 19
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 20
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 21
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 22
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 23
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 24
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 25
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 26
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 27
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 28
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 29
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 30
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Underground Construction - November 2019 - 38
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Underground Construction - November 2019 - 40
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 41
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 42
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Underground Construction - November 2019 - 45
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 46
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 47
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Underground Construction - November 2019 - 49
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 50
Underground Construction - November 2019 - IBC
Underground Construction - November 2019 - BC
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