A Wall of Honor for Trade Workers

Whether they’re drillers, toolpushers or derrickmen, front-line workers in the oil and gas field – like many skilled trade workers – are unsung heroes. They spend long, arduous days away from family, often in hazardous locations. Their daily grind is always expected, seldom celebrated.

In other words, there’s no Oscar, Emmy or Golden Globe award on the rig.

But there are stories. And in one safety footwear providers’ view, there are “epic” stories of courage and commitment worth remembering and sharing in an era of skilled labor shortages.

That’s why a Wall of Honor was created by Red Wing Shoe Company, a provider of footwear as well as additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to roustabouts and other tradesmen and women. Unveiled this month, the Wall of Honor celebrates all kinds of skilled laborers’ accomplishments, as spoken in their own words and carried out through their work boots.

Red Wing asked for customer stories last year, received hundreds of submissions and selected 32 to highlight, along with their boots, on a physical Wall of Honor adorning its flagship store in Red Wing, Minn. In addition, a virtual Wall was “built” at www.redwingshoes.com/honor where the honorees’ inspiring tales – surviving scares, making critical repairs or getting up and getting it done each morning for decades – are on display.

The company’s CMO Dave Schneider says Red Wing has routinely received unsolicited notes from appreciative customers for more than 100 years and felt compelled to put some elbow grease into how they collected and curated these experiences at a time where the profession can be overlooked and ignored but is critically needed.

“It felt right to provide a space where their stories can live forever, paying respect to our customers’ boots and the remarkable work they have accomplished in their communities,” said Schneider.

One remarkable story is that of Eric Neece, a driller turned wind turbine repairman who, literally, followed his father’s footsteps in his Red Wings. His dad was a drilling consultant for a while with Parker Oil on rig 201. Decades later, he found himself on the very same rig pumping cement down a well using a new reverse-circulated method that, if it succeeded, would set a global record for the deepest hole to be cemented using that technique.

Wrote Neece: “When I stepped on that rig, it didn’t take long to hit me. The name and paint were different, but sure enough: number 201… Dad was no longer with us, but I know he was watching. And I made extra sure we set the world record to make him proud.”

Red Wing plans to continually maintain and rotate new stories, so RigUp readers are encouraged to submit their own epic moments here.

To learn more about becoming a consultant or contractor with RigUp, visit www.rigup.com/contractors.

 

Why We’re Here

When we set out to build RigUp, we wanted to build a business and a technology that would catalyze positive impact across a vital industry. We had hundreds of meetings with energy executives, field operations, petroleum engineers, and community groups about the state of the energy industry. A common theme of improving “trust” emerged; trust between the operators and service companies, trust between field operations and finance teams, and most importantly trust between communities and the companies operating in their backyards. RigUp is building technology to restore trust in the energy sector. We’re putting together a team of world-class petroleum and software engineers to solve problems that at one point in time seemed unsolvable.

To meet demand from a growing global middle class, McKinsey estimates that global energy resource productivity will have to increase at a 3.2% per annum rate going forward compared to a 1.7% per annum rate from 1990-2010. With 66% of oilfield workers set to retire in the next 10-15 years, the great men and women working in the energy industry have a large task at hand to meet the world’s energy needs. Improved productivity must come alongside stronger environmental stewardship and safety benchmarks, and modern technology is required to improve upon legacy platforms and processes.

RigUp helps producers and service companies visualize and manage assets on location. Using big data and analytics, we allow industry participants to optimize their assets for safety, efficiency, and higher environmental standards without sacrificing performance and economics. Asset level safety and tracking is key to formulating optimal development plans. Our team has a strong focus to reduce the “idiosyncratic risk” of field operations, and our platform will eliminate lapse time and disputes for service companies. We have partnered with a select group of operators and service companies as we begin testing the first version of our platform, and we look forward to bringing on additional partners in the coming months.

Recently, we closed a $3mn series seed round led by Founders Fund. We are humbled to have Founders Fund on board as our anchor investor. We’re proud to call Austin, Texas home and excited about fostering a great start-up engineering culture.

Here’s to the future, y’all.

– The RigUp Team