Industry-related tidbits fromND'seditor, Greg Ettling.

Priority One:
Quality Installations

A recent National Driller Web poll ( found that the most frequently cited top priority (27% of the vote) for drilling contractors is “quality work/service.” “Employee recruitment” came in second place with 17 percent of the vote, just ahead of “sales and marketing” (16%). Sharing fourth place were “capital investment” and “competitive price.” Then came “safety” (9%), “professional image” (4%), “other” (3%) and “content employees” (2%).

Nothing terribly shocking in those numbers, but there is a bit of a disconnect relative to the priority rankings of the two issues that involve employee relations. If the recruitment of qualified employees were enough of a priority to rank number two on the list, it would seem that keeping them reasonably content would rank higher than the “other” category. That being said, a likely explanation of that particular ranking would involve the wording of the poll question itself, instead of what contractors think of their employees. Unless there is a major problem at hand, it usually is cheaper and easier to keep current employees than it is to recruit and train new employees - a-bird-in-the-hand and the-devil-you-know and all that. These are, after all, the people who will be executing all those quality installations for your firm.

Smart Name Change

The former Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) has announced that the group now will be known as the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).

Seems like a good move. Although the old acronym is user-friendly enough, “Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies” doesn't quite roll off the tongue too easily. And as for being friendly image-wise, “Clean Water” trumps “Sewerage” every time. It took them 35 years, but they did get it right.

Further information and news from NACWA can be obtained by visiting the group's new Web site at

EPA Head Confirmed

The Senate has confirmed President Bush's nominee, Stephen Johnson, to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In a public statement that was issued just after the Senate's decision, Johnson said he was honored and humbled that the president had given him an opportunity to lead the EPA. “Together, we have made great strides in cleaning the air, water and land,” Johnson said in the announcement. “The success of EPA is inseparable from the productivity and creativity of the agency's professional staff and I look forward to our work ahead.”

Johnson, a career EPA employee, was nominated in March to take over after previous EPA leader Michael Leavitt moved to the head of the Health and Human Services Department.

CSDA Head Tabbed

The International Association of Concrete Drillers and Sawers (IACDS) elected Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA) executive director Patrick O'Brien as president at the annual meeting held April 18, 2005 in Zurich, Switzerland. Elected as vice presidents were Jan Lemos of Sweden and Norikazu Shibuya of Japan.

“It is an honor to be elected as president of this umbrella organization of sawing and drilling professionals,” says O'Brien. “The U.S. association, in conjunction with the German and Swiss associations, spearheaded the formation of IACDS 10 years ago. The wisdom of that decision has been reinforced over the past decade as international cooperation has expanded to many areas.”

Training is a key area of focus of international cooperation. A summary report comparing the training programs in member companies was presented. Once this project is completed, IACDS could establish worldwide criteria for certification of sawing and drilling operators.

Also, IACDS delegates visited the Swiss operator-training center and saw demos of the latest in machine and diamond tool technology from manufacturer members of the Swiss association. The 32,300-square-foot facility features indoor and outdoor demonstration areas, as well as classrooms to support 20 separate training programs covering the sawing and drilling disciplines, as well as forklift, scaffolding, safety and management courses.

Tee Time, Anyone?

Attention all you golf enthusiasts: Don't miss the annual Jubilee golf tournament taking place at the Myrtle Beach National Golf Course. Anyone attending the 2005 South Atlantic Well Drillers Jubilee (Myrtle Beach, S.C., July 30-August 2) who feels like golfing may participate. The action begins Sunday, July 31 at 7:30 a.m. Spots are limited; interested parties should contactNational Driller'ssales manager Dean Laramore at 800-874-4245 or for additional information.