Engineering Corporate Citizenship

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What is it about VAA's culture and project work that resonates with Dunwoody College of Technology graduates? “The work ethic was a huge part of the training at Dunwoody,” said Bernie Jansen, VAA Partner and Dunwoody alumni, about his experience at the school. Read the full story in the Dunwoody Alumni & Friends spring 2016 magazine to learn what other graduates say about what they value at VAA.

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In collaboration with Cargill, Inc. and multiple contractors, the team won Minnesota Concrete Council’s Cast-In-Place Concrete Award in the pavement category. VAA engineers used concrete paving for the site’s access road, which was the majority of the project’s civil design. The road consists of 22,400 square yards, or approximately four acres, of concrete. Starting from the main highway and stretching around the facility structures, the road is nearly a mile long at a width of about 45 feet. The team exhaustively researched pavement options to ensure the proper method was selected for the facility. Conventional concrete pavement was selected as a durable, low maintenance and cost effective option in the face of continuous stress on the site. VAA’s civil engineering design improved the operational efficiency of the grain elevator facility in Pipestone, MN.

All entries were judged based on creativity, functionality, innovative concrete construction / design and positive representation and/or advancement of the Minnesota cast-in-place concrete industry. Landon Pohl, Lead Civil Engineer on the project, accepted the award for the team on Thursday, February 25. Reflecting on the experience, Landon said, “It’s always a rewarding opportunity to work on a Cargill project. Our work on this facility has been ultimately beneficial to Cargill, local concrete suppliers and the surrounding community.”

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The project team responsible for the design and construction of Wheat Growers' high-speed shuttle loading and fertilizer terminal located in Kennebec, South Dakota was recognized for their “Excellence in Concrete.” In close collaboration with GCC Ready Mix, VAA engineers provided structural designs for the entire facility. The design team incorporated concrete into the foundations and select walls of the flat storage and fertilizer structures. Responsible for each component of the facility's construction, SMA, LLC provided the slipform construction of the largest concrete structure on the site. The grain elevator alone is compiled of 4,450 cubic yards of concrete, or the equivalent of 350 cement trucks.

The South Dakota Chapter of the American Pavement Association offers this annual award as a way to highlight substantial concrete projects that promote their surrounding community.

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VAA was recently recognized for its support of military service members by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Staff Sergeant Dan Starr, a VAA technician and combat engineer with the Army Reserves, nominated Quin Vincent, Partner, and Doug Rohkohl, Associate Senior Designer, for the Patriot Award. In speaking about his reasons for the nominations, Dan said, “I do miss a fair amount of work for my service, and the company’s really good about understanding and accommodating that.” In tandem with flexibility concerning his schedule, Dan also noted his team members’ efforts to take on additional work during his absences.

The Patriot Award recognizes a variety of support resources from schedule flexibility to time off regarding care or deployment. Learn more about the award and ESGR efforts in your community.