November 3, 2017
November 2, 2017
Sundt Project Engineer Bryant Fulton.
Project Engineer Bryant Fulton started with Sundt as an intern after graduating from Chico State in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management.
He has experience in construction, manufacturing and quality assurance/quality control.
What does a Project Engineer do?
Project Engineers support field personnel through coordination with the Design Team, Project Manager, Superintendent and Owner. We work with stakeholders, performing document control and contract management, to help achieve a common goal. It’s technical, fast-paced and challenging. It’s rewarding to see the drawings come to life as the project progresses from planning to the real world.
What has been your favorite project at Sundt?
The project I’m currently working on, the Science II Building at California State University Sacramento. Sundt has given me the opportunity to work on this project from award through preconstruction and now in the field. This holistic approach to staffing has given me a unique perspective on the project. It’s been a great experience and I’m learning a lot.
What are your hobbies away from work?
Backpacking, hiking and gardening.
Who was your most influential mentor and why?
One of my first supervisors when I started at Sundt. He taught me that impactful leaders empower their employees through listening and empathy. I learned to value this leadership trait as a foundation for all others.
What is your hidden talent?
I enjoy woodworking and building furniture. I built or modified much of the furniture in my house.
October 27, 2017
Josue Ponce (left) and Darry Welker (right) are two of Sundt’s craft training instructors.
Those who do can sometimes teach. Sundt is fortunate to have skilled craft workers who, as instructors, are helping us bridge a growing trades gap.
Craft Training Instructors Josue Ponce and Darry Welker are helping further the careers of current and potential craft workers. Construction jobs that vanished during the recession have come back strong but with fewer skilled candidates to fill them. The industry expects to have a shortfall of two million craft workers by 2020.
“At the end of the day we are a construction company with huge demands for labor now and into the future coupled with a dire need for skilled help,” Darry said. “We need to train because the skilled help is just not out there.”
Josue teaches welding and pipefitting at least twice a week at our Center for Craft Excellence. He started as a welder’s helper in 1997 after high school and later joined the Associated Builders and Contractors Plumbing Apprenticeship, going to school every day after work. He worked his way up from Foreman to General Foreman. In 2012, he earned his Certified Welding Inspectors License and became a Quality Manager. Last year, he became an instructor.
Darry is teaching heavy equipment operation students at Central Arizona College, where Sundt has certificate and apprenticeship programs. Darry started as a laborer for a residential framer in 1995 after he graduated from high school. He stayed in the residential sector until 2000 before joining a dirt contractor in Kansas City as a laborer. He worked his way up to Foreman before moving to Arizona and joining Sundt in 2004. He was a Superintendent with our Transportation Group until 2014 before moving to Preconstruction and eventually becoming a trainer in December 2016.
“I think trained employees are happier and produce more,” Josue said. “If you show you are willing to invest time and money in your workers that goes a long way. A trained employee produces more and has the knowledge to help others around him/her grow.”
With the average craft worker in his or her late 40s, our company’s training focuses heavily on recruiting and retention. Having talented, experienced instructors like Darry and Josue on staff ensures that our employee-owners are being trained the right way.
“The industry has awakened to realize we have a skilled labor shortage and the norm going forward will be a craft training culture,” Darry said.
As new craft employees enter the workforce, construction companies will need to provide more in-house training opportunities.
“I believe career options are great and only getting better,” Josue said. “There are different areas where a trainer can move up and there are also a lot of specific specialized areas a trainer can focus on.”
For more information about a career with Sundt, please visit http://www.sundt.com/careers.
October 20, 2017
Sundt Project Controls Manager Kristen Bejarano.
Project Controls Manager Kristen Bejarano started working for Sundt right after graduating from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Construction Management. She has worked as an Estimator and Project Engineer before entering Preconstruction and eventually taking on her current role.
Kristen works out of our Tempe office.
What made you want to work for Sundt?
I became interested in working for Sundt while in college. I knew I wanted to stay in the Southwest and work for a large company with a good reputation and great culture.
What does a Project Controls Manager do?
I will be assisting projects with the development of their Project Management Plans and helping teams get up to speed on Sundt policies and standard operating procedures. This includes identifying areas where they may need additional attention (e.g. change management and safety) and getting teams the support they need.
Any interesting stories to share from a job site?
It was really great to work with the Ak-Chin Community on the Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Hotel expansion and learn more about their culture. There are many thoughtful design elements incorporated into the job: the pattern of the tile, the type of woods used, the colors in the carpet that are representative of the Ak-Chin Tribe. It’s made me more appreciative of the area where we live.
Where are your favorite places to travel?
Central Coast of California – San Luis Obispo, Morrow Bay and Paso Robles. I love the vibe of downtown SLO, mixed with the agricultural outskirts. The food is amazing and wine tasting is aplenty. Kayaking in Morrow Bay among the seals and otters is always fun.
If you could only have one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is a tough one. I’m going to say Mediterranean, I enjoy a good Greek Salad, Chicken Shawarma and hummus.
October 18, 2017
Sundt recently welcomed new proposal specialist Nancy Arroyo to its marketing team. She provides an expertise in the construction industry of over 15 years. Nancy, based in our Irvine office, has been working with the company for the past few weeks and had the opportunity to reflect on her experience with Sundt so far.
What interested you most about working for Sundt?
Sundt’s reputation. I have been impressed with the product our marketing team puts out!
How has the transition been so far?
Like most departments, in Marketing you hit the ground running. I have been lucky to work on a couple small projects, which have helped me become more familiar with our database and file locations. Everyone has been very patient, helpful and complimentary.
What are the most important qualities you look for from an employer?
A firm that wants to help you learn more about the industry and helps you achieve your career goals, while feeling like I’m contributing on winning great projects. I also want to have fun where I work. I like a good laugh when the workload gets stressful.
What’s something unique for fellow Sundt employees to know about you?
I’m a big runner and hiker. I’ve hiked many of our national parks, as well as Peru and Canada. I’ve also run races in California, Italy, and Canada and will be running the Ragnar road race (200 mile relay) in April of 2018.
If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life (American, Mexican, etc.), what would it be and why?
Japanese. I could easily be up to my neck in sushi and be out of the predicament within an hour.
The Sundt team at the new Caterpillar Surface Mining and Technology Building near Downtown Tucson is using advanced contracting and design principles to deliver this important project.
From the outset, meeting project timelines required by Caterpillar has been critical. The project team is using the Construction Manager at Risk delivery model to allow for phased guaranteed maximum prices (GMP). This phased approach has enabled the team to start the project earlier than a traditional approach.
“In a traditional delivery method, this project would never have met the aggressive timelines needed,” said Sundt Regional Director Ian McDowell. ”Using phased GMPs will allow us to finish seven months faster than conventional contracting would have allowed.”
The building has been designed with a narrow floor plate and high ceilings, which maximizes the amount of light that reaches the interior of the building. It has also been designed with flexibility in mind. Few walled offices exist in the building, allowing for a dynamic workspace that maximizes communication among team members.
The creation of collaboration spaces throughout the building is also key to the project concept. Conference rooms of varying sizes spaced throughout the building allow for spontaneous interaction among team members. This concept of collaborative spaces has been extended to dining and exterior spaces, as monitors are installed to allow for impromptu meetings almost anywhere employees might gather.
The building entry focuses on Caterpillar’s customers. The lobby is designed to celebrate work performed around the world using the company’s equipment. Design elements in the entry incorporate meeting spaces and equipment displays and use advanced display technology to show how customers are using Caterpillar equipment.
The building exterior incorporates numerous finishes that speak to traditional Tucson design and uses elements that reflect Caterpillar’s work. The exterior has been designed to allow employees to take advantage of the beautiful Tucson weather.