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Thread: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

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    Junior Member Thewiredownbelow's Avatar
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    Default Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    Not sure if this is the right place to post this but here goes.

    I sent a resume & cover letter to them last week and got a call early this morning to talk to a rep. Does anyone know of this company? I have reviewed their website & can not get a read on them. Any info appreciated.

    Jim Sr
    Those who have never served, will never know the true meaning of Sacrifice.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    Well sir, They locate for Frontier (formerly Verizon). They, like most locating companies around the U.S. are owned by Dycom, Rumor has it, they are still new enough to the Dycom family that they are not leashed with a GPS tracker, Camera in the Vehicles, or other monitoring equipment. I know they have only been in the area for about 2 years or so. Most of the guys i've seen use an RD400, Some with an RD4k, and one "Lead" guy with a RD8k.

    As for how they are ran....... it sounds like a normal contract locating company, some people think they are the devil, and some think they are the bee's knees.

    I don't know if that helps, but thats all I got.

    mke

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    Junior Member Thewiredownbelow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    Yes it helps & is appreciated much. I was unable to call them Friday so will try on Monday, been out fishin!!!!!
    Those who have never served, will never know the true meaning of Sacrifice.

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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    You can expect - 7/24 on-call. Crappy equipment. Feeling like the abandoned step-child.

    I only know this because I know the locator they are filling this position for. He came to work for us. If he did that, this position MUST be hell.
    Last edited by RD_Wrangler; March 5th, 2011 at 04:28 PM.
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

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    Junior Member Thewiredownbelow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    Do tell, I was going to call them Monday so would be great to have an insiders view B-4 I do call!!!! Where are you located?

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Jim Sr
    Those who have never served, will never know the true meaning of Sacrifice.

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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    How to call them Friday... I appreciate the effort that has been made by them so far... And may be i could count on the efforts that have been made on this regard too. I want to know more about it. Can you help me;...!!

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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    http://csilocating.com/

    I do not know from where you got your information. The locating company CSI is not a part of Dycom. From everything I can find, it appears to be a privately held, small company. Dycom is a publicly traded corporation.

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    Junior Member Censored's Avatar
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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    Connective Solutions is a new, small, and privately owned company based in Florida. Until recently, they held the contract for locating Frontier lines in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho since they took over the (then) Verizon in house locating services in the middle of 2008. They also maintained the Snohomish County PUD Power locating contract since January of 2011. For what it's worth, the company also located the Water and Sewer for the City of Woodenville, WA. The contracts have since gone to a company called Locating INC. They locate Frontier and Snohomish power as well as Comcast and PSE power and gas in the southern area and west such as Kitsap, Pierce, and so forth.

    The other locating company here in Washington that is also dominant is CLS (now known as USIC) that locate PSE power and gas north of Seattle as well as Comcast/Wave/Black Rock Cable.

    The only other major locating company in Washington is, for now, Stake Center Locating. They are newish to WA and will likely be leaving it due to so many at fault damages and complaints and issues to the Utilities Commission. They locate all CenturyLink phone lines (which were formally CenturyLink, Qwest, and Embarq phone lines). I anticipate Locating INC to take that contract back soon enough.

    All other utilities are in house or private, such as CNG, WTC, DOT, or city, etc.

    ---

    I worked for CSI from the start of their locating business in Washington (I covered north end. Island, Skagit, and sometimes Watcom or Snohomish as needed). As such, I should clarify some of RD_Wrangler's assumptions.

    Firstly, while on-call is a 24/7 situation; it is rotating. As such, it is only on-call for one week and that is only once per four weeks. You also get paid, as all locating companies do, from the time you receive the call until the time you walk back into your house... so you are paid for all that time you are away from your business. It is also somewhat flexible, in that if you need time off or vacation or whatever, they work with you. Also.. I feel it important to say that I was almost always willing to take other people's on-call schedules if I wanted the extra money. (It can really add up for just driving...).

    Secondly, it isn't crappy equipment. They use RD machines which, if you ask anyone or do research, are some of the best locating tools around. All (CSI, USIC, Stake Center, and Locating INC) use these machines. It's an industry standard. They do ask you to take care of it though, as they are extremely expensive.

    Lastly, they do not treat you like an abandoned step child or anything like that. You are always encouraged to call a fellow tech, lead, supervisor, or whomever you need to to ask a question or for help. They *want* you to. All locating companies will tell you this! Why? Because a simple walk-through, additional training, a second locator, or any other locating assistance is always better than a $450-$2,000 service repair. It's cheaper than a $3,000-$20,000 mainline repair. It is cheaper than a FiOS or other kind of FOC which can easily go into a six figure repair bill. Not to mention the fact that it betters their reputation.

    If you do your job, you manage your time well (since you are indeed under minimal supervision), and be courteous to homeowners and contractors, and be safe and follow the laws... it is a great career in any company.

    - I do wish to add though, do not apply or work for Stake Center Locating. I have worked with them as well as spoken with the Board, CL regional manager, and contractors about how they operate. They do so poorly, with little training, and no data management system at all when it comes to ticket load (as that is how locates are done).

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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    In what towns were you in Idaho? I've never heard of Connective Solutions.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    I understand what he just said, and respect it appropriately. However, It seems a little stiff to be from a locator in the trench. And is slightly jaded. I understand that we are in two different markets and that may lead to the differences that I have personally seen, but when comparing one contract company to another (In this situation CSI to Stake Center) its not apples to oranges like he lists. Its more like Fuji's to Breaburn's. They are both apples.

    The On-call list is dependant on size of office and workers to pull from. And yes, they will let you take more rotations if the company allows you to collect overtime or not. As for the Information Management, that is all dictated by the contracts the company has. Century Link loves the OSP viewer where most Electric companies just give you everything on a version of Autodesk. Some small companies out there still believe in paper prints. You can't necissarily blame that on the contract locating company.

    As for the Training and Equipment. These are for ever innertwined. Poor training renders all equipment useless no matter who the manufacturer is. I however, personally seen (On more than one occasion) a CSI employee come to a site to locate a duct run and was ill equiped to preform the locate. One time, he did not possess a Ring clamp. Which if properly trained you can still preform the locate, which he didn't. He had to come back 4 hours later.

    I'm not stating this to bust balls, just to let you know that all companies have issues. To belittle one, belittles them all.

    Mke

    If you care for the other personal experiences just let me know.

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    Junior Member Censored's Avatar
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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    I'm only comparing those two companies (CSI to Stake Center) is because I have worked for both of them.

    Stake Center uses paper tickets, which are emailed to you and you print them out on a printer; I was never provided one despite consistently requesting one. They gave me a cell phone and told me that I need to maintain contact with contractors and such; a phone that can not call out whatsoever. I was given two days training by their trainer. Companies I'm familiar with in Washington provide a week or more in training. CSI provided me with three weeks of thorough training. (Yes, I may be jaded about that. But much of my opinion about various companies comes from word of mouth.)

    I do know of many guys in Snohomish or Shoreline/Kirkland had problems. There were really only three people down there whom of which I know and trusted to actually do the work. But yes, some were in fact ill equip. My point was in direct reply to RD_Wrangler's hearsay because it could be just another disgruntled employee who was fired. All locating companies have that. I read somewhere in forums that someone was fired from Stake Center because they wouldn't lie in court. That kind of issue does happen with that company (at least in the area of Washington I know about and worked in) and often times they do not even locate their lines.

    Frontier was pleased with CSI and so was Snohomish Power. I do know that CenturyLink is not pleased with Stake Center here in Washington. But I'm not speaking about Stake Center as a whole, just from personal experience I've had with the company and affiliates here in Washington.

    As for CSI; yeah, that ring clamp was an issue and I heard it from a few people as well as the boss.

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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    They were in any and all areas in which Frontier was located. I think mostly along the SW and western areas of Idaho. I am not sure as I've never worked there haha.

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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    Quote Originally Posted by Censored View Post


    I worked for CSI from the start of their locating business
    Which CSI? Las Vegas, Miami, or New York?

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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    Company name. Besides, the real ones for that are CSU haha

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    Default Re: Connective Solutions Inc. PNW (Kennewick, Wa)

    Being the first supervisor hired in under the former director Daniel Wilson (also former director of located for Verizon's internal locate division), I can provide a complete history of the company.

    CSI is Connective Solutions Inc. Owned by the sister company Innovative Data Management. Privately owned by Cheryl Blackburn. Her vice president is Jesus Gonzales. They are based out of Maitland, Fl.

    They do not like overtime to be had even though the geographical demands are ridiculous. I started Verizon's/Frontier's District 31 with a grand total of 9 employees, when Verizon had difficulty covering it with 22. This is mountainous country with a sever snow belt and was given 2 wheel drive trucks to work from. We were handed the contract dirty with over 400 past due locates from Verizon. With it being Spring when we assumed the route, and the fact that we had 2 wheel drive vehicles (at the time), we were able to make it to approximately 60% of the actual locates in the first week. At that point, Wen Wenker (Director at Verizon) had to threaten pulling the contract unless 4 wheel drives were obtained.

    I finally left after a year and a half because raises were not given to my locators (5 different standards set for raises in one years). I had guys sleeping in tents roadside to do their job because they were covering areas 8 hrs away from the primary area. There are other more private and litigation sensitive issues that I addressed that were swept under the rug by executives. Fratenizing amongst upper management and executives was jaw dropping.

    I know that it is still being led by the same executives and am confident that field supervisors have been chosen that reflect their behavior, so beware the working conditions and demands.

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