December 14, 2017
December 1, 2017
Vache Garabedian (center) was recruited by Michael Morales (right) to become a Sundt Intern.
It’s never too early to start laying a foundation for a construction career. For Sundt Intern Vache Garabedian, his preparations went into high gear as soon as he arrived at Cal Poly Pomona.
“I knew I wanted to be as involved as possible with student organizations and clubs,” Vache said.
Vache joined the Construction Engineering Management Association (CEMA) and Cal Poly Pomona’s Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Student Chapter. CEMA is a student-run organization celebrating its 45th anniversary at Pomona. Serving construction/civil engineering students and industry partners, CEMA facilitates networking and professional opportunities between students and industry partners.
Vache has worked in leadership capacities for both organizations. He was a founding member of the DBIA group and is CEMA’s President.
“Being involved has helped me tremendously in my personal and professional growth,” he said. “It has taught me invaluable skills that will aid my professional career such as time management, collaboration, leadership and mentoring. It has also reinforced one of my core personal values of giving back to others.”
It was through CEMA that Vache learned about Sundt and the many opportunities at our company. He met Talent Acquisition and University Relations Specialist Michael Morales at a CEMA luncheon the company sponsored. Shortly after interviewing with Michael, Vache accepted an internship offer for the summer of 2016.
“A few days into my internship, I knew I wanted to return to Sundt for not only a second internship, but as an employee-owner after graduation,” Vache said.
Fortunately for Vache, we have a student housing project under way at Cal Poly Pomona. He worked there this past summer and has stayed on through the school year. Vache’s knowledge and enthusiasm inspired Project Manager Dominic Daughtrey to encourage him to pursue his Commercial Drone Pilot’s License, which he did this past July. As a result, Vache is running the drone program on the project.
“I’ve been able to supplement my academic knowledge with real-world experience and have helped solve problems that arise on job sites daily,” Vache said.
Student organizations and in-the-field work have combined to put Vache on track to get hired when he graduates. It would fulfill a lifetime dream.
“I’m a builder at heart and love the field,” he said. “My fondest memories of childhood include watching ‘Home Again with Bob Vila’ on Saturday mornings instead of cartoons and riding my bicycle to a nearby high-rise construction project and watching in sheer amazement day after day, week after week as that building was constructed. I aspire to be running large projects at Sundt.”
For more information about a career with Sundt, please visit http://www.sundt.com/careers. Click here for more information on internships.
November 30, 2017
Sundt Project Manager Amber Simonson.
Sundt Project Manager Amber Simonson is a native of San Diego who wanted to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher before entering construction in 2005. She has been with Sundt since April 2014.
She and her husband recently celebrated their 12-year anniversary. They have two daughters and a son.
What made you want to work for Sundt?
Two things actually. My mother, Sue Jackson has been with the company since the days of Ninteman Construction (a San Diego contractor Sundt acquired). I can recall many fond memories of company picnics as a kid and how much I saw my mom love the company she worked for. The other was my experience working as a subcontractor under Sundt. I saw the culture was one I wanted to be part of and thought to myself, “I want to join that company!” I wanted what my mom had. It would be a big change for me, but I decided to make the leap from the subcontractor world to general construction and Sundt was the company where I wanted to start that journey.
What’s your proudest moment as an employee-owner?
When I was placed in a difficult position on a joint venture. I was hired at Sundt right on to a JV. I was proud that I worked for Sundt, but had to show I was a team player for our partner as well. I’m proud to say that I played a very equal role for the JV and gained the trust of many, both with my Sundt and JV coworkers. I pride myself with being ethical in every decision I make and stand my ground when I disagree.
We often talk about providing good client value. When were you part of a team that excelled at that?
I believe in every team there are parts of providing client value. Sometimes it isn’t an entire project … it’s only in a few decisions. I find I have to always look to the brighter side of my day every day! “What moment brought value to the client today?” Or even, “How can I bring more value to my client tomorrow?” I have been a part of many teams, both with client value in mind, and with some that have lost sight of it. If you focus on the small amount of value you provide each day, it will grow. It becomes habit. It becomes almost routine.
Where do you like to travel?
I don’t travel much. I don’t have a favorite yet, so I’ll say it is a TBD. Someday when I’m older, I’ll make it out there. Right now, my priorities are set on keeping a healthy marriage and raising my three children.
What’s your secret talent?
Now if I told you, people would know my secret to being a great Project Manager! It would be like you knowing my poker face. I’ll let everyone figure it out on their own.
Who consistently gives you the best advice?
My husband. He keeps me centered. I’m able to bounce so much off him in our little bit of evening time. It is a great thing to have my best friend by my side and be able to discuss all my crazy ideas without any judgment.
November 29, 2017
Sundt’s craft worker benefits are the best in the business, according to a national industry survey.
Sundt’s craft workers are the people who have enabled our company to thrive for 127 years. They are the men and women who perform the transportation, industrial, building and concrete work that helps our communities prosper.
Our company recognizes our trade workers’ value and offers benefits that a recent national survey showed are the best in the business, almost 50 percent more valuable than the industry average. Because our craft workers have commitments beyond the job site, we also offer them a paid time off program.
Since our company is 100-percent employee owned, we have an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for eligible craft and administrative workers. The program allows employee-owners to share in the company’s success and build retirement security. Employees may also choose to participate in our 401(k) program to supplement their savings.
“I have worked for a few construction companies throughout the Phoenix Valley and Sundt has the best benefits,” said Gerardo Lopez, a carpenter foreman who’s working on our Union Tempe Apartments project.
Our Center for Craft Excellence was established in 2015 to offer training and certification opportunities for our craft workers. It’s imperative that we have the best trade workers on our job sites and that we retain the most skilled to successfully perform our work. It’s also important for our trade workers to have opportunities to advance in the organization, a goal that can be reached through our many programs.
Because our company is growing, we are often in search of skilled trade workers. Craft job opportunities can be found on our website.
November 28, 2017
The two eight-story towers will house 980 students and a dining facility.
Sundt’s impressive student housing resume in California keeps getting bigger. So do our projects there.
We’re starting work on the Cal Poly Pomona Student Housing Replacement Project. Once complete, the university will have two new eight-story towers that will house 980 students and a 35,000-square-foot dining facility. Both housing towers are structural concrete that we are self-performing, giving us better control of schedule and cost.
This is the largest project for Cal Poly Pomona and the biggest for our California Building Group. We’ve had tremendous success working for the California State University System (Channel Islands, San Jose State, Chico State and San Diego State), University of California System (UC Davis and UC San Diego) and private universities (Western University, University of the Pacific and Pepperdine).
“We were awarded the project because of how well we know student housing in California,” said Project Manager Mary Homan.
The project takes up a little more than 10 acres; the site is 16 acres. Included is a storm drain running between the footprints of the two housing buildings and main water transfer lines running between the dining hall and one housing building.
“It was not only challenging to design around these existing utilities, but it’s challenging to build around, over and under them,” Mary said.
This is the first collaborative design-build project for Cal Poly Pomona and the fourth for us with CSU.
“The collaborative design-build process has been working very well for the team and university,” Mary said. “We’re able to tackle issues as a team rather than working more independently, and the owner is fully engaged in the process, which helps with decisions being made in a timely manner.”
We’re scheduled to go vertical on the student housing next month followed by the dining hall in January. The project is scheduled to be completed in October 2019.
For the third consecutive year, Sundt has earned the Military Friendly Employer designation by Victory Media. First published in 2003, Military Friendly Employers is a comprehensive resource for veterans. Each year, the list is provided to service members and their families, helping them discover the best post-military career opportunities.
“We’re excited to be recognized again by GI Jobs as a Military Friendly Employer,” said Sundt Director of Administrative Workforce Development Trevor Gelder. “At Sundt, we’re committed to providing an environment that recognizes the significant sacrifices our active duty, veteran and spouse military families make and consider it an honor to have them on our team.”
Companies and organizations earning the Military Friendly Employer designation were evaluated using three data sources: publicly available data from federal agencies, personal opinion data from veteran employees and proprietary Military Friendly survey data. More than 200 companies participated in the Military Friendly Employers portion of the survey.
Ratings methodology, criteria and weightings were determined with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment communities. Final ratings were determined by combining an organization’s survey score with an assessment of its ability to meet thresholds for applicant, new-hire retention, employee turnover and promotion and advancement of veterans and military employees.