Home | Executive Dialogue | Carole Jesiolowski

Posts Tagged ‘military’

Dealing With Gas Supply On The Fourth Of July

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

A lot of propane will be used this Fourth of July, but it’s also a day when many independent distributors may be closed for business. So where do customers go for their gas needs? This was one of the issues raised in a recent On The Edge article called “Putting The Honor System To The Test.” A propane dealer expressed his frustration at losing customers to Big Box stores on the weekends and on holidays. Especially when holidays are some of the biggest grilling times, you can see why this would be an issue for some distributors.

The propane dealer’s response was to find a way to serve his customers by leaving out partial tanks. I raised the issue with several GAWDA members, and most agreed that there was a better solution than leaving tanks by the back door.

Multiple GAWDA members have found a solution in setting up their own consignment cages for propane at convenience stores, even at some of the Big Box type stores themselves. This not only keeps customers honest, it keeps the tanks under lock and key for safety. So if you’re looking for propane this 4th of July, you may still be able to buy it from your favorite GAWDA member.

Welding & Gases Today will have the full story next week, including GAWDA members’ opinions of and alternatives to the honor system.

The Intrepid - Helium Filled Military BalloonAs we celebrate the Fourth of July, this is also a great time to look at an amazing story involving helium. When the Genesee Country Village & Museum set out to recreate a Civil War military balloon, it never imagined that a helium shortage would deflate its plans. With the global helium shortage, the museum had trouble securing a supply of the gas and put out a call for help. Macy’s responded by donating 50,000 cubic feet of helium to get the Intrepid off the ground.

The fourth of July will be the inaugural launch of this helium-filled piece of history at the Rochester, NY, museum. Visitors will be able to ride up 300 feet in the air in the tethered balloon to recreate the experience of Union soldiers observing enemy troops (with helium in place of the more volatile hydrogen used by the soldiers). It just goes to show that gas played an important role in the military even in the 19th century.

Here’s wishing everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Service And Safety On Memorial Day

Friday, May 25th, 2012

If there’s one thing the gases and welding distributors in GAWDA are known for, it’s service. So it’s no surprise that many men and women who work at GAWDA companies have also given their service to our country in the military. Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have died in service of our country, and a time to thank those who have pledged their service.

In addition to the many veterans who have served, many distributors employ members of the Reserve and the National Guard. Welding & Gases Today recently went inside the service of Guard and the Reserve members at Naval Station Norfolk. Machinery & Welder Corporation President Joe Campbell, a veteran himself, joined the Wisconsin Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in their three-day Boss Lift event.

This great program familiarizes employers with the work their citizen soldiers do when called for military duty. Says Campbell, “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and made me very,

very proud.” It’s a great story, so be sure to check it out.

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank those who have served. It takes a lot of courage and discipline, traits that any GAWDA member would be happy to have in an employee. I’ve created a discussion on LinkedIn to personally thank GAWDA’s service men and women, so if you have served or know someone who has, please leave a comment in the group.

Finally, with the long Memorial Day weekend and what many consider to be the start of summer, there will no doubt be a lot of grilling done this weekend. I’ve shared this before, but it’s a great video from GAWDA member nexAir, and it’s always worth a look. In this video, nexAir’s Patrick Galphin talks about propane safety.

While LP gas perhaps isn’t a core product of the average gases and welding equipment distributor, there are quite a few GAWDA members who do specialize in propane. Whether it’s home heating or home grilling, safety is always important. What better way to spread this message than through a video.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

Let The Military Train Your Employees

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Gases and welding distributors around the country are reaping the benefits of employing service men and women.

There are many advantages to hiring members of the military to work in the gases and welding business, both from a performance and financial standpoint. I came across a great article on OPEN Forum recently called “How To Hire A Veteran,” which addresses some of these benefits and, as the title suggests, how to recruit veterans to work for your business.

From a performance aspect, service men and women are motivated and disciplined. “They know what it’s like to work in a fast-paced and results-driven environment,” CDW Senior Director of Talent Acquisition Melissa McMahon tells OPEN Forum. Beyond that, military men and women come with a great deal of experience and training. By the time they enter the workforce, veterans have already undergone training that would typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the private sector. If this training is not enough, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 can help businesses get tax credits to cover the cost of training newly hired veterans.

Looking for a driver? Distributors have talked for years about the difficulty of finding qualified drivers for this industry. In New York state (and possibly others—check with your DMV office), veterans with experience operating a military vehicle can have their CDL road test waived.

Of course, there are some considerations to take when hiring from the military. Members of the National Guard and Reserve can get pulled away from their jobs for active duty. In hiring service men and women, it’s important to understand what this experience means.

The Second Quarter issue of Welding & Gases Today goes inside the experience of National Guard and Reserve members who work in the industry. “Take Your Boss To Work Day” follows Joe Campbell, president of Machinery & Welder Corporation, as he travels to a naval base in Virginia to see first-hand what members of the National Guard and Reserve do when called for duty.

What has your experience been like with hiring veterans? What are the greatest benefits and challenges?

A Veterans Day Thanks… And Welding A Tank Limo

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Tank Limo, copyright Tim HawkesIn honor of Veterans Day yesterday, I want to extend a belated thank those of you who have served our country at one time or another. In the past couple of months, I spoke with two young industry leaders who did serve in the military, and even just from speaking with them, I could tell they had a strong sense of leadership.

One of those young professionals, James Garner, is regional manager at Ozarc Gas in Cape Girardeau, MO. He says, “While in the Navy, I learned a lot about leadership. From officers who led by example and took pride in their service, I learned how to gain the respect of others. Just as important, from other officers I learned how not to lead.”

Not only does the military equip many of the industry’s young professionals with the skills they need to lead, the gases and welding industry provides skills and tools that help the military. Without welding and gases, how would we have stretch tank limos like the one above?

But seriously, the gases and welding industry and the military go hand-in-hand. Welding & Gases Today wrote about some of those soldiers who have used their gases and welding skills in the military, and how their military skills have aided them in the gases and welding industry. It’s a great read, and one soldier shares his tale of giving an impromptu class on proper handling of cylinders to a platoon of soldiers.

If any of you (my readers) are veterans, leave a comment and let me what your current position is in the gases and welding industry and when you served. And thank you once again for serving our country.

To celebrate casual Friday, enjoy the behemoth that welding built: a tank limo. In case you were wondering, this is available to rent for weddings. Watch the video here.

Airships: More than just hot air?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

U.S. Army AirshipWhen you think of the future of flight, you probably think fast. But lately I’ve been noticing a trend in the opposite direction. It seems aircraft companies are thinking slow. The good news is they are turning to gases such as hydrogen and helium to make this happen.

The U.S. Army and Boeing both recently announced projects for aircrafts capable of hovering at a standstill for use with surveillance and communications. The Army paid half a billion dollars for the development of helium airships to hover unseen, miles above hostile area. From there, the unmanned vehicle can relay information to the military.

It could just be that air travel is cyclical, but airships appear to be making a comeback. However, these airships are definitely not for anyone who is in a hurry. An airship built by E-Green Technologies tops out at 80 mph (Watch the inflation of the airship). Their airship, at least, can support a 2,000 lb payload, but that only adds up to little more than a handful of people with small luggage.

Apart from a military contract here or there, is there really a future in airships? Sight-seeing might be a novel application. I imagine they might find their way into the Super Bowl and other sporting events—the surveillance capabilities can provide some good replay angles. The concept of a virtual floating billboard, at low altitudes, could be attractive to advertisers (Think souped-up Goodyear Blimp that can float for 4 days without landing). Among other “practical applications” listed on the E-Green Technologies website are “forest fire monitoring” and “agriculture assessments.” Is there anything I’m missing?

There are a few applications, but it’s still hard to see this catching on. Transportation is probably not a large market for airships. These days, people want to get around faster, not slower. But then again, half a billion dollars from the military will work wonders for the advancement of technology. It’s kind of like a slower, lower altitude space race. Although it would be fun to ride in an airship, do you think it’s worth the hefty investment?