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January 15, 2017
This Issue
Featured Articles

Safety & Compliance

Member News

News from GAWDA

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The Tech Air
Acquisition Process

 
 
Read about Avery "Whip" Seaman and how Corp Brothers merged with Tech Air.
 
 
"The Tech Air option, particularly with an ownership stake and staying on if you want, is certainly a viable opportunity.”
- Whip Seaman

Popular Content
Planning on hiring in 2017? Getting your new hires up to speed the right way can make them more productive faster and help you keep them. Read about the importance of onboarding in the fourth quater 2016 issue of Welding & Gases Today. Find the article here.
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Featured Articles

Feb. Webinar Will Highlight Value of Economic Reports

Alan Beaulieu, GAWDA's new chief economist, will offer a seminar on Feb. 28 for GAWDA members.

The hour-and-half-long webinar will offer pointers for using the exclusive GAWDA Industry Analysis Report Provided by 
ITR Economics. The first report will appear in the upcoming Welding & Gases Today. The webinar will cover ITR’s methodology and terminology and help members understand how to use the report in their business and why specific indicators were selected.

The webinar, scheduled for 1 p.m. EST, is free to GAWDA members. Details on how to access the webinar will be included in the February issues of the GAWDA Connection.

If you are unable to take part in the live webinar, arrangements are being made to record the event so it can be accessed through the GAWDA.org member portal

30 Days Left to Apply for GAWDA Scholarships

The clock is ticking for students and their families to make applications for the 2017 GAWDA Foundation scholarships.

Applications are available online and must be completed by the Feb. 15 deadline.

GAWDA has provided nearly $100,000 in scholarship assistance to members of the welding and gases community since the program was launched in 2011. Scholarships worth $2,000 will be awarded.

Time to Support the GAWDA Scholarship Program

For five years, GAWDA members have supported improving the gases and welding industry by supporting the GAWDA Foundation scholarship fund. That support has helped nearly 50 students move toward their dreams of bringing to our industry a valuable level of education.

This year, GAWDA leadership has committed to matching donations up to $25,000, effectively doubling the value of gifts to the scholarship fund. 

Donations can be made online .

Spring Management Conference Coming Up

The Spring Management Conference is set for May 11-13 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Fla.

This year's SMC will finish the day before Mother's Day. To capitalize on that , the hotel, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, is offering special discounts and gifts for mothers attending the SMC.

For more on the SMC, click here. To see more about the hotel, click here.

Safety and Compliance

FMCSA Issues Guidance on Drug, Alcohol Testing for Staffing Agencies

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued enforcement guidance to clarify that commercial driver staffing agencies that employ commercial drivers who are supplied to motor carriers to operate commercial motor vehicles may qualify as employers under the FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing rules. 81 Fed. Reg. 94481 (December 23, 2016). 
 
Under the guidance, a motor carrier that leases an intermittent, casual, or occasional CDL driver from a staffing agency may adopt the driver staffing agency’s drug and alcohol testing program as its own. In that case, the carrier assumes responsibility for the driver staffing agency’s regulatory compliance with respect to the leased driver, and must ensure that the driver staffing agency has a fully compliant program under DOT regulations and is able to provide within 48 hours the required driver qualification records.
 
If the staffing agency has not conducted the required testing, however, the motor carrier must treat the leased driver as a new employee and conduct all required part 382 drug and alcohol testing and program requirements before using the driver to conduct a safety sensitive function.
 
The FMCSA interprets a casual, intermittent, or occasional driver as one who works for another employer for any period of less than 30 consecutive days. If a leased driver operates or is expected to operate for a motor carrier employer for more than 30 consecutive days, the driver should be included in that motor carrier employer’s random testing pool and that motor carrier employer should assume full responsibility for the driver under its own DOT drug and alcohol testing program. A driver staffing agency may remove the driver from its random testing pool or allow the driver to remain in its testing pool based on its reasonable expectation on whether the driver will or will not return to its employment as a temporary leased driver.
 
Interested Parties Submit List of Hazmat Rules for Repeal, Reform

The Interested Parties for Hazardous Materials Transportation, a group of some 45 trade associations (including GAWDA) representing shippers and carriers of hazmat by all modes, has submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee staff a list of hazmat regulations that need repeal or reform. 
 
The list includes the following items, in no particular order of priority:
 
  • Streamlining Processing of Special Permits and Approvals – Although PHMSA improved its processes in 2015, application processing times still far exceed those of other industrialized nations, taking months rather than weeks.  The consequence is that commerce is delayed, giving advantage to foreign competitors. 
  • Redundant Vetting and Credentialing – The Department of Homeland Security currently operates seven background check programs covering security-sensitive work environments, including the HME and TWIC. States are also allowed to impose their version of security checks on these populations. Legislation introduced in the 114th Congress, S. 3379, would allow the TWIC to satisfy vetting and credentialing requirements in other equivalent federal programs.  
  • Redundant Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Standards – Motor carriers of hazmat required to hold a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) are also subject to FMCSA’s general safety fitness standards, and by extension, the agency’s proposed rulemaking to integrate on-road safety data from inspections, along with the results of carrier investigations and crash reports, into the agency’s safety fitness rating methodology. Holders of HMSPs should be subject to only one safety fitness standard. 
  • Hazard Communication Simplification – Simplifying Class 1 placarding for emergency responders and simplifying identification number marking for petroleum distillate fuels.
Safety Committee Reports More Members Joining CGA Program 

More GAWDA members are taking advantage of the Compressed Gas Association Safety Program that is free to members, says GAWDA Safety Committee Chairman Jim Herring.

Herring, of SafTCart, says that at the January meeting of the committee members learned enrollment in the program has risen 8 percent since last fall.

Members of the committee are planning to continue their efforts to alert more members to the program, Herring adds. Information on the program is available online here.

Member News


Jana Nelson Named President
as Oxarc's Gregory Walmsley Retires 







Ullman Named New Executive Director at AIWD

Mathey Dearman Restructures Sales Organization

In Memoriam


Donald Hastings

Donald Hastings, retired president and chairman of Lincoln Electric, passed away Dec. 27 at his home in Colorado.

Hastings worked for Lincoln Electric for more than four decades, rising to president, CEO and chairman of the board.

He received the GAWDA Award of Excellence in 2004. The award recognized Hastings for his dedication to distributors and GAWDA. Hastings attended regional, zone and national meetings and was an advocate for the independent distributor. He was instrumental in changing Lincoln Electric from a direct sales manufacturing company into a pro-distributor organization.

"Don became one of us, and he was our trusted friend," Jack Butler, of Butler Gas Products, said when presenting the award.

In a letter informing employees of Hastings' passing, Lincoln Electric Chairman and CEO Christopher Mapes wrote, "We are indebted to Don and have lost a good friend, who will be fondly remembered with great honor. We extend heartfelt condolences to his family."

Hastings was a graduate of Harvard Business School who worked his way up at Lincoln Electric. With his daughter Leslie Hastings he wrote a book about his experiences, "Behind the Mask: Embrace Risk and Dare to be Better."

He is survived by his wife, Shirley, three daughters and two granddaughters.

Welcome, New Members!

Welcome international distributor member Gases Y Soldaduras Bringas SA de CV of Guanajuato, Mexico.

GAWDA News

2017 Directory Proof Arriving in Your Email Soon

Work has begun to update the 2017 GAWDA Membership directory. Watch your email for proofs of your current listing arriving from Stephen Hill, membership services manager.

Update the listing with the most up-to-date accurate information about your company and return it to Hill at shill@gawda.org. Your speedy reply helps us ensure the directory is accurate and timely.

Add Tampa Bay, Fla. to Your Regional Meeting Schedule

The Regional Meeting schedule has expanded again for 2017 with planning underway for a May 1-2 gathering in Tampa, Fla.

In addition, the schedule has been reworked so that the first meeting of the year will take place in April in Birmingham, Ala.

Keep up with schedule additions and changes right here in the GAWDA Connection or at the Regional Meeting web page.

Upcoming Events

May 11-13 • Boca Raton, Florida
Spring Management Conference

April 2 - 3 • Birmingham, Ala.
Regional Meeting


April 18 - 19 • Houston, Texas
Regional Meeting

May 1 - 2
 • Tampa Bay, Fla.
Regional Meeting

May 31 - June 1
 • Atlantic City, N.J.
Regional Meeting

June 12 - 14 • Seven Springs, Pa.
Regional Meeting

July 12 - 13 • Lansing, Mich.
Regional Meeting

July 19 - 21
 • Sun River, Ore.
Regional Meeting

August 14 - 15 • North Stonington, Conn.
Regional Meeting

Sept. 6-7 • Gettysburg, Pa.
Regional Meeting

Sept. 11 - 12 • Tulsa, Okla.
Regional Meeting
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Welding & Gases Today is the official publication of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. 

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The GAWDA Connection is distributed on the 1st and 15th of each month to all GAWDA members as a membership service of GAWDA, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association, One Oakwood Blvd, Ste 195, Hollywood, FL 33020. Neither GAWDA nor Data Key Communications, their Data Key Communicationsofficers, directors, members and staff are responsible for contents or opinions other than those concerning Association activities. Copyright © 2017 Data Key Communications. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher.
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