Companies are always on the lookout for employees who will stay long-term and are committed to growing and improving. Likewise, employees want to work for companies that will provide them with opportunities to develop their skills.

Mentorships are a great way to help employees, both new and experienced, expand their knowledge and personal development. They focus on positive workplace behavior and performance, providing employees with the training needed to be successful.

Traditionally, mentoring relationships have involved senior employees guiding their younger colleagues, but hierarchy and age aren’t necessarily important in modern workforces. As long as mentors have experience that can help others learn, this is all that matters. For instance, younger employees can teach older employees about ever-changing technology in the workplace.

Successful mentoring relationships can also naturally create a rich multigeneration office culture by combining the top qualities of each participant. Senior employees traditionally have a great work ethic, loyalty and dedication. Whereas, younger employees may come to work with new ideas and passion. Together, they can make for a positive and effective team.

Research has shown that workers who have a mentor enjoy greater job satisfaction, and mentors learn from those they are guiding. But, mentoring in the workplace not only benefits the mentors and mentored, it also benefits companies with increased employee retention and knowledge sharing. On top of that, mentoring programs have shown to increase company diversity, with participation expanding minority representation in management-level positions.

Top Benefits of Mentorship in the Workplace

  • Better Job Satisfaction
  • Better Job Satisfaction
  • Better Employee Satisfaction
  • Increased Pride
  • Increased Self-confidence
  • Higher Employee Retention
  • Improved Communication Skills
  • Desire to Achieve Goals
  • Diversity of Leadership
  • Improved Knowledge Sharing
  • Skill Development
  • Increased Knowledge Sharing
  • Experience for Leadership Roles
  • Greater Probability of Promotion
  • Improved Company Culture

Something important to note is that mentoring relationships should never be forced. This can cause employees to resent the idea as an obligatory task. Instead, sharing the positive benefits with employees and offering to help connect them with a mentor, when and if they are ready, is most effective. To be prepared, companies should gather information about employee skills, communication styles and career goals. A major key to successful mentorship relationships is connecting employees who communicate well together, can connect on a personal level and are working toward attaining similar goals.

In the end, mentors need to feel that their time is valued in order to achieve a successful mentorship relationship. Those who are mentored must think of the experience as an investment in their growth, rather than a sure path to promotion.

Apprenticeships prepare workers for highly skilled construction jobs. Employers invest time and money in hands-on training, often along with regular classes. The model provides valuable real-world experience and educational instruction for workers who would like to break into an industry that is new to them. The end goal of an apprenticeship is attaining national skills standards and becoming licensed in a particular skilled trade.

There are many benefits to apprenticeship. However, many people often overlook apprenticeships, instead opting to attend college or beginning their career with an entry-level position.

Here are the top three reasons to consider an apprenticeship:

  1. Learning While Earning
    Going off to college or a trade school can be a great educational experience, but it can cost a lot of money that many simply do not have. On top of that, it can be challenging to hold a full-time job in order to pay for expenses while in school.

    Apprentices are paid a basic living wage (the national average is $15/hour) to start while also learning and gaining experience every day. As an apprentice’s skills grow, wage increases and promotions often follow.
  1. Access to Ongoing Mentoring
    Apprentices are usually assigned a mentor who is an experienced construction professional. The mentor’s role is to help plan and guide an apprentice’s learning along the way. They provide valuable feedback and support to improve an apprentice’s skills and are always available to answer questions.
  2. Increased Future Opportunities
    Being involved with the day-to-day operations of a business during an apprenticeship, which usually takes two to four years to complete, allows apprentices to make connections with many important people within the industry.

    Future employers will also see the hard work that was required to complete the apprenticeship and will surely value that education and work ethic when considering hiring an individual.

    In addition, apprentices have the potential to earn college credit toward a degree through their apprenticeship program, should they decide to work towards gaining an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree at a later date.

The apprenticeship model prepares workers to compete in today’s economy. The hands-on training keeps apprentices current with innovations and technology. Moreover, the majority of apprentices stay on as full-time employees upon completion of an apprenticeship, allowing for a successful long-term career with a competitive salary without college debt.

The RK Apprenticeship Program helps provide skills for a much needed construction workforce. If you are interested in starting an apprenticeship in construction, click here to learn more about what our program offers.


Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year was anything but predictable or normal. Predictions for 2021 are cautiously optimistic with a combination of positive and some negative growth for the construction industry, arguably one of the largest sectors worldwide. Although large hotel and higher education projects have declined recently, others have increased, such as healthcare facilities and warehouse construction to meet current needs.

Because of measurements put in place to keep everyone safe, businesses have had to change how they function and communicate both internally and externally, limiting in-person interactions. This has also caused delays in some projects. The need to know what is happening on a job site has become greater than ever. As a result, even in an industry that is otherwise resistant to embracing new technology, construction has seen an increase in adoption of construction-specific technology, from BIM to 3D-printing, facilitating a more versatile way of working.

Without further ado, here are the top eight construction trends predicted for 2021.

  1. Keeping focused on safety with continued social distancing, protective gear and enhanced protocols for cleanliness
  2. Increased hiring for seamless execution of current and unexpected future projects
  3. Implementation of construction-specific equipment and technology to supplement a declining workforce
  4. Expanded distribution and manufacturing facilities to meet current e-commerce demands
  5. More complex urban development and infrastructure projects
  6. Renewed focus on sustainability and renewable energy
  7. Expanded use of modular construction, increasing quality while also reducing costs and project timelines
  8. Increased construction cost and pressure on the bottom line, as net profits remain slim

Construction companies must prepare themselves for the uncertain future. Luckily, with many recent innovations already in place, the construction industry has begun to optimize processes in all phases of construction.

Key developments in the construction industry will likely continue to grow and change as we progress through 2021, and we look forward to it.


Digital Builder, 2021 Construction Trends: 20 Insights from Experts, 12.17.20
Construction Dive, 2021 Outlook: 6 Trends that Will Influence Construction this Year, 1.04.21
Chad Fisher Construction, Commercial Construction Trends For 2021, 12.07.20
Method:CRM, Key trends in the construction industry for 2021, accessed 1.19.21
Let’s Build, 5 construction trends you want to look out for in 2021, accessed 1.19.21

Culture is the character of an organization. It’s the values, traditions, behaviors, interactions and attitudes displayed every day. Workplace culture is to an organization what personality is to an individual.

Positive workplace culture attracts talented people, affects happiness, engagement and satisfaction, while also improving performance. A company’s culture is influenced by everything from leadership and management to workplace policies, practices and people.

When looking to work for a company, the primary factors are often the company’s brand value and compensation to employees. While many believe these are enough to attract talent, work culture often plays an even bigger role in retaining good employees. Workplace culture makes some places great to work and other places miserable. It affects relationships between employees and leadership. This can mean the difference between working with each other for the common good of the company or arguing every step of the way.

A company’s culture is so important in bringing out the best in employees even during not-so-great times. Negativity not only crushes creativity and an employee’s will to perform but also stops the development of dedication to a company’s success.

When it comes down to it, humans are relatively simple beings. Working in a positive environment with a good culture affects the way we think and how we act with one another. So, make your workplace a positive one!

RK strives to create a rewarding workplace for employees by hosting several employee-focused events and recognition ceremonies throughout the year, check them out here.

By: RK Energy

The process of oil and gas production creates millions of gallons of hazardous brine, also known as salt water, every day. This salt water contains various chemicals for extracting impurities out of the oil and gas and has an extremely high salt content, making it dangerous. As the purified oil and gas are brought to the surface during production, salt water is left behind and must be safely discarded.

Companies will often recycle the salt water first by injecting it back into the cistern to continue gathering any remaining oil or gas. Once finished, the salt water must be carefully discarded at a nearby salt water well disposal site or trucked to a well, which can be costly.

A salt water disposal well is a deep disposal site created specifically for the salt water byproduct of oil and gas production. The pipe leading to the well, which can be over a mile in depth, is encased in steel and surrounded by a protective cement layer to ensure containment. These extra protections are in place to ensure that the salt water doesn’t seep out and pollute the land, groundwater or other nearby water resources. Salt water disposal wells can be continually used for up to 15 years and are sealed off upon reaching capacity.

Prior to the 1970s, the oil and gas salt water byproduct was disposed of in whatever manner was cheapest. This meant that it was often released directly on the ground, leaving land riddled with salt scars as well as contaminating both surface water and groundwater.

Regulations for the disposal of salt water vary by state, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now monitors the disposal of this substance closely. The Safe Water Drinking Act requires the EPA to maintain minimal federal requirements for the practice of salt water disposal and regularly report on them to ensure that surrounding land and water remains safe.

RK Energy specializes in custom solutions and field support services that are expertly engineered for the unique needs of the oil and gas industry. We build custom salt water disposal skids, like the one pictured, to fit each of our client’s specific needs. At RK Energy, we use advanced engineering, preconstruction services and CAD modeling for precision planning that streamlines the design and install of field site facilities and equipment.

By: RK Energy

In the summer of 2014, crude commodity prices were more than $100 a barrel. Since then, prices have dropped to $45 and stayed low for the last few years. While dozens of energy companies had to file for bankruptcy during the down turn, quite a few have made it through despite the low prices. What is the secret to their sustainability? The Denver Business Journal credits their survival to technology advancements, paying debt, cutting expenses and earning favorable margins at a lower cost per barrel.

Technology advancements significantly cut costs.
Technology advancements have cut drilling costs in half. Strategic companies are using the money saved on drilling to pay off debts and sell unneeded assets.

Private-equity investors are still keen on oil and gas.
Over $130 billion has been raised by investors, and due to the market’s high demand, they’re not going anywhere. They see the potential for big returns in the future.

New lending agreements negate the possibility of bankruptcy.
New lending agreements have fixed problems that popped up during the downturn. Companies can no longer receive cash advances before they reduce the value of their reserves or file for bankruptcy. Also, lists of assets used for collateral have expanded to include other property, company-owned bank accounts and underground reserves.

Through the adoption of advanced technologies and cutting expenses, many oil and gas companies in the Denver-Julesburg (D-J) Basin are expecting to pour over $2 billion into drilling in 2018,  boosting output by 83{daeb8d662f58e4975bc93960761d671bdf0aa2ad049ea8a375d2717d280ef80b}, according to a recent Denver Post article. Even at $50 a barrel, the future is looking bright for the oil and gas industry.

RK Energy specializes in upstream and midstream production equipment, along with custom manufactured and skidded equipment for the oil and gas industry. We use advanced engineering, preconstruction and CAD modeling to fabricate skidded equipment for easy installation and maintenance in the field.

By: RK Energy

After a painful two-year price war with The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the worst may finally be over for the American oil and gas industry. 2016 was one of the most difficult years for the U.S. domestic oil and natural gas industry, but 2017 seems to be taking a positive turn as the industry starts to pick itself up after years of low prices and massive layoffs—plus, surviving companies are now more sophisticated.

Companies that Survived the Down Turn are Doing More with Less

Low oil prices forced companies to figure out how to do more with less, relying on sophisticated technology and lower cost options for personnel and equipment.  These companies have cut their operating expenses in half, paid off debt and increased cash flow. If they continue boosting savings and modestly increasing production, oil companies could be on track to make money this year. In addition, corporate mergers and acquisitions are more attractive as lean and highly productive companies are valuable.

Drilling Rigs are Ramping Up

The excessive amount of oil available on the international market has gradually dissipated, leading the number of drilling rigs in the U.S. to ramp back up. Compared to other states, Colorado producers have weathered the downturn with almost double the drilling rigs currently operating from the low last May.

New Factors Affect Natural Gas Prices

Natural gas prices in the U.S. used to be determined by the seasons, with winter seeing the highest prices. Now that demand is coming from a number of new sources, the weather is no longer the determining factor.

One factor is that a transition from coal to natural gas for electricity generation has begun, driving demand up. The current surplus is above the five-year average, which will slowly strengthen price. However, the real improvement in the natural gas picture lies in the hands of the producing companies. If field efficiency and new technology continue to improve, operators will need to keep a balance between their revenue needs and long-term market trends.

Demand is also picking up through the transition from gasoline to liquid natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicle fuel in both normal and hybrid engines. City buses and taxis are starting to use LNG and CNG along with large-end trucks.

Overall, companies that have weathered the downturn with increased efficiency and financial strength, are able to start operating drilling rigs that have been quiet for two years. Along with expanded uses for natural gas, 2017 is shaping up to be a stable and productive year for oil and gas companies.

RK Energy specializes in custom manufactured and skidded equipment for the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors in the oil and gas industry as well as renewable energy. We use advanced engineering, preconstruction and CAD modeling to fabricate skidded equipment for easy installation and maintenance in the field. If you’re looking to join the oil and gas industry revival, contact us at to discuss what RK Energy can do for you.

By: RK Mechanical

Working outside during the winter can leave construction workers susceptible to hypothermia, frostbite or trench foot, a decaying of the feet due to prolonged cold and wet conditions. In extreme cases, workers without proper personal protection equipment can also suffer shock that could even lead to death. Not only do workers need to stay warm and dry to prevent health risks, but it’s also important to eat properly, stay active and keep an eye on coworkers.

Productivity is often delayed due to harsh weather. So, work hours should be scheduled during the warmest part of the day. Below are some recommendations to stay warm, healthy and safe during the winter season.

Winter Clothing and Layering Reduce Injury Risks

Clothing should be selected to suit temperature, conditions, duration of the activity and location. Wearing proper clothing and layering can reduce sweating and the risk of injury. It’s best to avoid cotton material, as once it gets wet from rain, snow or sweat, it will begin to extract heat out of the body. Some alternate material choices are fleece, wool, Thinsulate, nylon and polypropylene. Weather can change rapidly, therefore it is important to plan and dress accordingly.

The top nine types of clothing to wear while working in the cold:

  1. Thermal insulated coveralls
  2. Thermal polyester underwear
  3. Fleece or wool liner for hard hat
  4. Insulated gloves, mittens should be worn for extreme temperatures below -17 degrees
  5. Wrap-around eye protection
  6. Scarves
  7. Thick socks: layer two pairs to stay warmer longer, but avoid a tight fit which restricts circulation
  8. Insulated boots
  9. Waterproof/windproof external layers

Warm Break Areas Help Re-energize

When spending long hours exposed to the elements, a warm area to rest will help workers warm up and re-energize. Breaks are of the utmost importance, but without a warm and comfortable place to rest, breaks can be useless. For long-term construction projects, setting up a warming shelter is a must. Temporary tents with portable heaters can be used for smaller projects.

Incorporate a Buddy System to Stay Safe

Avoid traveling or working on your own unless someone knows your route and estimated time of return. Workers in frigid weather can show signs of uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech and erratic behavior. Keep an eye on your peers to help them stay safe.

If a co-worker is showing early signs of Hypothermia, like uncontrollable shivering, apply these treatments to help:

If more severe signs are present, such as slurred speech or erratic behavior, call for emergency help right away. While waiting for help to arrive, provide warm drinks, extra layers and heating blankets, if available.

Hydration and Good Snacks are Important in the Winter

Save Your Skin from Freezing Temperatures

It’s especially important to stress these simple points to people who may not be accustomed to cold temperatures. Holding safety meetings to help workers identify the signs and symptoms of cold-related illness and injuries and training them how to prevent and treat these injuries can save lives.

At RK, we take safety seriously and empower our employees to stop work if unsafe conditions exist. We encourage our employees to take responsibility for their own safety, as well as that of those working alongside them. Working responsibly in cold weather is no exception.

RK assesses how every aspect of our work integrates to improve your project. From conception through completion, we streamline the process while maximizing value. The combined skill set of our seven business units makes us the region’s most powerful single source for mechanical contracting, custom manufacturing, steel fabrication, prefabricated construction, facilities services, electrical work and water treatment solutions. If you would like to know more about our safety procedures or have questions about what we can do for your business, contact us at

By: RK Energy

Colorado Resolution 35 is a quality program that applies to factory-built, non-residential structures. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Housing, Standards & Technology section enforces compliance with the standard.

A factory-built, non-residential structure is one that is designed for commercial, industrial or other non-residential use and is made, fabricated, formed or assembled in a manufacturing facility for installation or assembly and installation on a foundation at the building site.

All fabricated non-residential structures that are manufactured, sold or offered for sale in the State of Colorado must display the Colorado Resolution 35 quality program seal, which is issued by the state. This seal certifies that the structure has been constructed in compliance with applicable codes and regulations adopted by the State Housing Board. It is required even for small structures which would otherwise not be except to operate the controls or maintain equipment.

Failure to comply with the rules and regulations outlined in the program can result in a Prohibited Sale Notice and, possibly, a Red Tag Notice being posted on the applicable structure. These notices state that the structure may not be sold or moved without prior written approval from the Division of Housing. A Prohibited Sale Notice means that the structure contains a violation. A Red Tag Notice indicates that there is a life threatening violation present. In both cases, the structure must be corrected and re-inspected for a fee before the tags will be removed and the structures can be sold.

The Colorado Resolution 35 quality program is a useful plan for businesses that need more than a simple management system but less than full compliance with ISO:9001. The quality program for compliance with Colorado Resolution 35 is considered an intermediate construction-grade management system.

For information about how RK Energy can ensure that your factory-built, non-residential structures will comply with Colorado Resolution 35, contact us at

By: RK Energy

When companies in the oil and gas industry need to keep a pipeline flowing, improve well production or neutralize corrosive substances, they use Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technology such as water injection. Water injection systems are typically skid-mounted. In other words, the equipment is permanently mounted in a frame or onto a metal pallet during the manufacturing process. Skid-mounted equipment allows for easy, secure and safe transport as a unit to the field.

How It Works

Water injection involves drilling injection wells into a reservoir and adding water to stimulate oil production. The water helps to increase pressure within the reservoir which, in turn, helps to move the oil. An added bonus to this technology is the reduction in emissions. Water injection cools the combustion temperature which limits the level of Nitrogen Oxide that is released.

Water injection wells are drilled or production well can be converted into injection wells. Water is then pumped into the reservoir or gravity can help move the liquid along the pipeline.

Various sources of water are used for water injection. Filtration and processing of the water is sometimes required to avoid materials clogging the pipeline and to prevent bacteria growth. In order to reduce corrosion within the reservoir oxygen is also often removed from the water.

Increased Oil Recovery

Whether water injection occurs after oil has been depleted from the reservoir or before production has been drained, the injection of water pushes remaining oil to production wells where it can be recovered. Normally only 30% of the oil in a reservoir can be extracted, but with water injection anywhere from 5% to 50% of the remaining oil can be recovered, greatly enhancing the productivity and economics of the development.

Methods of Water Injection

There are a number of techniques for determining where water-injection wells should be drilled and what patterns they should be drilled in. Here are some of the most popular drilling techniques and patterns:

Quality Fabrication

RK Energy specializes in all oil field related products and services and is proud to be the National leader in the fabrication of water injected skidded equipment. The ease of maintenance is considered in the design of every building that RK Energy fabricates. Each water injection skid includes a simplex or duplex charge pump with low Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) requirements, a filtering system, horizontal centrifugal water injection pumps, a flow transmitter and a flow metering valve. All parts are produced with stainless steel or coated carbon steel pipe. Water injection skids can also be built with enclosures for noise reduction and protection from the outdoor elements. Every enclosed building fabricated by RK Energy includes a North Dakota wiring certificate and is Colorado Resolution 35 compliant. Contact us at for more information or a free consultation.