June 23, 2017
June 2, 2017
Sundt Craft Recruiter Jerrin Jaramillo.
Sundt Craft Recruiter Jerrin Jaramillo focuses on hiring craft and administrative workers for our Concrete Division, which performs work in the transportation, industrial and building markets.
A Phoenix native, Jerrin lives in the East Valley with his wife. The two are expecting their first child in October, a daughter.
What qualities do we look for in concrete employees?
The goal is to hire top talent and the best of the best. Obviously we look for people with a lot of skill and experience, and Sundt also does a great job in training and investing in new people who don’t have a ton of experience yet. I think, above all, we want individuals who are going to work hard, strive for excellence and come to work hungry to learn new things every day and improve their craft.
What are the best ways for craft workers to keep up with available jobs at Sundt?
Check our website regularly. We also advertise on indeed.com. Potential new hires can reach out to me and I’ll keep them in the loop with where we are in our need for people.
With craft workers in such demand, how does Sundt set itself apart from other companies?
There are a few things that make Sundt unique. The company provides our craft people with an immense opportunity for growth. We do a great job promoting from within and put effort into advancing deserving people who work hard and show growth. The second thing is the emphasis we put into training. Not only do they receive direction and guidance in the field, but we put an emphasis as a company on getting our people nationally certified through the National Center for Construction Education and Research curriculum. The person who oversees the program, (Craft Workforce Development Manager) Sean Ray, is a great guy and has a passion for people and teaching. Also, right now we are building relationships with high schools, community colleges and trade schools to help develop our future workforce.
Plus, our concrete workers get to build complex, award-winning projects like Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth and the San Diego International Airport Rental Car Center, which is the largest concrete building in the city.
The benefits are excellent, too.
Yes. Since Sundt is employee-owned, our craft workers get to share in the company’s success. We were the fifth-largest employee-owned construction company in the U.S. last year. We offer a comprehensive suite of benefits for our craft, including medical, dental, vision, life, disability and 401(k). We also provide employees with access to a medical plan without a monthly premium.
Work must be incredibly busy these days. What are your favorite things to do away from the office?
I am a family man. I come from a very unique dynamic with five brothers and one sister. We get together regularly and I like to consider them my best friends. I like to coach, too. I coach my nephew’s flag football team. Go, Titans! I like to travel with my wife as well. In the last year, we have visited Denver, Portland, San Francisco and New York. Outside of that, you will find me at home fulfilling my honey-do list to get ready for the arrival of my daughter in October.
April 12, 2017
Concrete Foreman Alex Martinez is a second-generation Sundt employee.
Alex Martinez’s story is one of persistence. After honing his skills in the field for several years, he recently was promoted and is playing a key role as a Concrete Foreman in our work at University Square in Tempe, a mixed-use project near the Arizona State University campus.
His father was a Sundt employee in the 1970s, even keeping his original hard hat years after leaving the company. After a little more than three years as an employee-owner, Alex was promoted to his current position last month.
What’s the most enjoyable project you’ve worked on and why?
I’m working at University Square, where they have asked us to participate in an amazing mentorship program. When I was out working in the field as craft I was invited into morning safety meetings. They brought me in and I was able to ask a lot of questions and was given more direction. It’s building me as a team leader.
What is Sundt doing to make this a better workplace for craft employees?
Our leadership instills that safety always comes first. That makes our people feel secure to come in and work and return home as safe as they came in.
Anyone on the jobsite has the ability to stop work if he or she believes safety could be an issue, right?
That’s always promoted. They instill it from laborers up the chain. We assess the situation and create a different plan if we have to for everyone to be safe. We also use a buddy system where we work in pairs and watch out for one another, take water breaks and get into shade when it’s hot.
How much of a role did the Employee Stock Ownership Plan play in your decision to work at Sundt?
When I went through orientation and they talked about the ESOP, it was really attractive. A lot of people jump companies for money. Sundt considers us employee-owners and has created a whole different atmosphere. We take more pride in the work. When you retire you can do so comfortably. The ESOP inspires people to do better.
What are some of the things craft workers do on jobsites to encourage teamwork and camaraderie?
When you come out in the field, you see the camaraderie. It’s more of a brotherhood. We look out for each other. At the end of the day, you see a lot of handshakes. There are people who give each other hugs. We look forward to working together the next day.
April 5, 2017
The White Tanks project was once a massive area of dirt and mud.
Choosing a new project delivery method kept the Maricopa County Flood Control District from seeing its budget wash away during work on the White Tanks Flood Structure in Buckeye, Arizona.
In the past, the District constructed similar projects using Design-Bid-Build and sometimes faced change orders that nearly doubled initial bid values because of outside agency inspections during construction.
It’s now a flood control project that is coming in on time and on budget.
On White Tanks, the District decided to try Construction Manager at Risk and selected Sundt. Our Transportation Group partnered with agencies including the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the National Resources Conservation Service to write specifications exactly as the District expected, lowering the chances of costly change orders.
“It worked well,” said Preconstruction Manager Jeffrey Hamilton. “The only change order relating to additional cost was because of a flood event, and the District had a contingency to cover that.”
The joint venture with Rummel Construction consists of widening and extending an existing flood structure and adding upgrades, including an architecturally enhanced auxiliary spillway, drop inlet structures and principal outlet structures. While the initial contract value was $25.3 million, the team is looking to bring the cost down by about $1 million.
We’re delivering client value in many other ways, too, including using drone technology to provide required survey information to verify completed work for our payment purposes.
“This would be a difficult and costly task with a survey crew,” Project Manager Ryan Vlach said. “We found a drone company that was able to fly the site and provide the necessary information at a fraction of the time and cost.”
Preconstruction ended in January 2016 and construction began the next month. Even with a small change order extending the contract until August, the team intends to finish work by June.
February 24, 2017
Our work on the West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth also won a Build America Award in 2015.
Sundt’s reconstruction of the West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth recently earned a Best of Precast Award from the Precast Concrete Manufacturers’ Association.
We received the award in the bridge category along with Heldenfels Enterprises, supplier of the bridge’s precast floor beams, and the Texas Department of Transportation. We were the general contractor and our concrete crews worked on the precast arches. The bridge also won a Build America Award from the Associated General Contractors of America in 2015.
The bridge is the first of its kind built with precast, post-tensioned arches and floor beams. Each arch measures 24 feet tall by approximately 160 feet long and weighs more than 640,000 pounds. The 12 concrete arches were built offsite and installed in pairs along either side of the bridge.
Reconstruction of the bridge improved pedestrian access and safety and created a landmark gateway between Fort Worth’s downtown and cultural district.
We completed the 980-foot-long bridge for the Texas Department of Transportation a month ahead of schedule. It opened to traffic Oct. 9, 2013, in time for the holidays.
A team from Cal State University Sacramento won the concrete competition at ASC.
For the seventh consecutive year, Sundt made an investment in the future of the industry by supporting the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Student Competition in Sparks, Nevada earlier this month.
ASC is the professional association for the development and advancement of construction education, where sharing ideas and knowledge inspires, guides and promotes excellence in curricula, teaching, research and service.
“The ASC competition is a great opportunity for Sundt to get to know some of the brightest college students in the country,” said Sundt Vice President of Concrete Operations Sean Lynch. “We’re proud to play a role in educating the next generation of problem-solvers and construction leaders.”
We sponsored the concrete solutions category of the Regions 6 (Rocky Mountain) and 7 (Far West) competition. A team from California State University Sacramento won.
Our team put real-life issues before squads of college students who were tasked with developing the best approaches to solving the problems. The objective was to provoke critical thinking, display technical and presentation skills, promote teamwork and enjoy the experience.
The teams focused on the six-story, cast-in-place Sun Stone parking structure at San Diego State University, which is located next to two six-story student housing towers that were to be constructed concurrently with the garage. This problem statement focused on self-perform concrete and the teams were assigned to build the frame of the garage (e.g. slab on grade, walls, columns and decks).
The event was attended by students from dozens of colleges and universities. The conference is also a good venue for us to recruit interns who eventually could become important contributors as employee-owners.
Our concrete group was represented by Dinesh Reddy Allam, Shawn Blubaum, Kira Bruun, Michael Canter, Jesse McDonald, Tyler Menard, Gates Molitor and Carolina Silvas. Michael Morales ran our booth at the job fair. Tom Case and Dan Haag attended from our executive team.