Tag Archives: employee recognition

UDOT Bridge Engineer Josh Sletten Helps Build Bridge to Prosperity

 

Here at UDOT we’re proud of the innovative work our employees do to help, not just Utah get around, but the entire world. Recently one of our bridge engineers took part in a humanitarian trip to help a population in Central America better their transportation needs.

Josh Sletten has worked for UDOT as a structural engineer for seven years, but says it was exciting to get back to the basics of bridge building.

Josh spent 12 days this past April in the Central American jungle as part of Bridges to Prosperity. The non-profit humanitarian group has built 185 bridges in 17 different countries. The goal is to give communities the lifeline they desperately need.

“There’s this little community out there,” said Josh of the site. “The Lura River runs right through the community, separates a lot of people from the school.”

About 500 people live in the small community, and rely on the bridge to get to the main part of town. Josh was part of a 12-person team tasked with dismantling the rickety wood bridge and building a 51m (167.3ft.) long suspension bridge.

The group was made up of volunteers from several different engineering groups. Josh was the only one representing UDOT. He was invited by The National Steel Bridge Alliance to participate in the bridge building expedition.

“We had no two people from the same company,” said Josh. “We had one person from all of these different entities and we all came together and it was a fantastic way of doing it. You had to build relationships and a team on the fly.”

Josh worked as the logistics manager for the group, meaning he had to figure out transportation, lodging, food and finances. But everyone was involved in constructing the bridge.

He said it was an amazing experience getting back to the roots of engineering. He’s spent years in an office, planning on a computer. This project forced the team to be innovative, even making their own tools.=

“I love to be out on the construction site,” said Josh. “Get your hands dirty and kind of unplug and disconnect a little bit.”

Josh uses a level to check the alignment of the suspension bridge.

Josh uses a level to check the alignment of the suspension bridge.

Josh said suspension bridges have always been one of his favorites. There’s a lot of precision that goes into getting the arcs just right to support the weight of the bridge.

About 250 people showed up at the project’s completion to see the finished bridge and expressed their gratitude for the project.

“It was very well received,” said Josh. ”It’s rewarding. We didn’t speak Spanish, most of us, and they didn’t speak English, but just expressed their appreciation in whatever way they could.”

Josh said the experience is one that had a strong impact on him and others. They’ve all decided it’s something they’d like to do again.

 

Josh and Panama Ninos

Josh with some of the local school children who rely on the Lura bridge to get to school.

The new suspension bridge spans 52 meters (about 167 ft.) across the Lura River in Panama.

 

Employee Advisory Council January 2016 Meeting

The Employee Advisory Council met January 21, 2016. Items that were included in the discussion included:

  • Employee Recognition
  • Tool Allowance
  • Teddy Bears for Incident Management Teams
  • Compensation for Performing Supervisor Duties
  • Interview Process
  • Maternity Leave

Notes from the meeting are available below.

EAC January 2016 Summary

Information from previous meetings has also been posted on the blog.

Employee Advisory Council

Employee Advisory Council May 2015 Meeting

The Employee Advisory Council met May 20, 2015. Items that were included in the discussion included:

  • Performance Plans
  • Team Building Exercises
  • Mechanics’ ASE Certification Bonuses
  • Policy Limiting the Length of Time Plowing
  • Reimbursements for CDL Physicals
  • Lack of Pay Raises for Supervisory and Level IV Positions
  • Clothing Allowance for Paint Crew
  • Communicable Diseases and Trash Pick Up
  • Color of Safety Clothing
  • Make Staff Meetings More Memorable / Use for Team Building
  • Rest Areas
  • Hiring Panels
  • Internal Supervisor / Employee Disputes or Disagreements
  • Equipment Replacement
  • Hand Tools for Trades and Crafts Policy
  • Cash-Based Incentive Awards

Notes from the meeting are available below.

EAC May 2015 Summary

Information from previous meetings has also been posted on the blog.

Employee Advisory Council

Employee Advisory Council August 2014 Meeting

The Employee Advisory Council met August 6, 2014. Items that were included in the discussion included:

  • Performance Awards
  • Recognizing Retiring Employees
  • Employee Communication
  • Losing FTEs – Doing More with Less

Notes from the meeting are available below.

EAC August 2014 Summary

Information from previous meetings has also been posted on the blog.

Employee Advisory Council

Employee Advisory Council April 2014 Meeting

The Employee Advisory Council met April 10, 2014. Items that were included in the discussion included:

  • Discussion regarding .25 percent discretionary increase
  • New legislation from the 2014 session
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Employee recognition
  • Internal communications

Notes from the meeting are available below.

EAC April 2014 Summary

Information from previous meetings has also been posted on the blog.

Employee Advisory Council