April 9, 2019
December 7, 2018
Constructech Magazine’s Women of the Year are an elite group of women who represent some of the industry’s largest, most innovative companies. Among them is Sundt’s own Cindy Van Marter, winner of the Heavy Equipment Operator Woman of the Year. We caught up with Cindy to discuss her career and recent award.
How long have you worked in construction, and how’d you get your start?
I operated heavy equipment for 26 years. When I started in the industry in 1983, there weren’t many women in the field. My dad, who worked for Sundt, told me, “If you like working outside, you can make some good money,” so I tried it and ended up loving it. I learned on the job—back then, they didn’t have the level of special training they do now. Working under experienced equipment operators, I learned the tricks and how to make the machine work for me. I worked on several different projects throughout Arizona. When Sundt asked me to be a recruiter in 2006, they knew I had extensive knowledge from the field and that I was a good people-person. So, I gave it a shot. I took over craft recruiting for the Transportation Group in 2008, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Sundt Craft Recruiter Cindy Van Marter, Constructech 2019 Heavy Equipment Operator Woman of the Year
During your career as a heavy equipment operator, what was your favorite equipment to work on?
I was known for my skill as a production operator, using an excavator or loader to load trucks. I loved doing this; the work is fun and moves fast, and you have to use the right technique to load the trucks properly. But I also did a lot of underground work digging basements and trenches to lay pipe, grading, working on canals, dams, and crushers, and even drilling and blasting throughout the years. Working with Concrete, Industrial and Transportation, you name it. I’ve worked on most of the freeways in Phoenix in some capacity.
Were there any obstacles you had to overcome as a woman working in the field?
I’ve always been very competitive, so I was always trying harder to show the guys that, even as a woman, I could do my job just as well or better than some of the men. Things got more comfortable as time went by. I built some great friendships and had a lot of fun along the way. I have stories to last me a lifetime, and I miss it sometimes. Today, things are changing. There’s a lot more acceptance of women working in this field. We have many more women working as welders, pipe fitters, truck drivers, etc. I’m trying to get more women interested in working as heavy equipment operators. The ones I have seen are very good, dependable and hard-working. They take pride in their work.
Who was your biggest mentor in this business, and what did they teach you?
Many people I’ve worked with here—Sundt is like my second family. But I would have to say my dad was always the one I looked up to. What he taught me still applies to this day: Never have the attitude that you know everything. You’re always learning, and the world is always changing. I’ve told young people who go through our apprenticeship program: You’re working alongside operators who have been doing this for 10, 15, 20 years, and you have to earn your way. Even if you’re good, you have to be willing to learn from people who have been doing this a while.
“Now that I look back on my career, and I look around the valley and all the projects I’ve worked on, it’s really rewarding to have been a part of all this. I just loved building stuff,” Cindy said.
Now that you’re later in your career and working on the administrative side, how has your role changed?
I’d say now I’m really helpful in making connections between the field and the office. I realize where breakdowns in communications are because I’ve been there and done that. I know the demands placed on people in the field, and I’m a little more flexible and better able to solve problems. Also, I’ve built up connections in the industry; I’ve earned people’s trust. The longer you work in this business, the more you realize how small of a world construction is.
What does it mean to win this award?
I’m really humbled. Now that I look back on my career, and I look around the valley and all the projects I’ve worked on, it’s really rewarding to have been a part of all this. I just loved building stuff. I talk to a lot of young people, and I say this is a great field to work in. The pay has gotten much better, and the demand for workers is here. There are so many ways you can use your mind and your skills, and you can have fun!
August 30, 2018
Sundt and Central Arizona College (CAC) recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 142-by-92-foot concrete pad Sundt donated earlier this year, which will expand training for students in CAC’s Construction and Concrete Technology programs. In 2017, Sundt and CAC formed a workforce development partnership, in which Sundt staff donate their time as adjunct instructors and funds are donated to purchase supplies for the program.
In honor of the celebration, students from CAC’s welding program built a new sign, surprising our Craft Workforce Development staff with it when they arrived on campus. Also in attendance (left of sign) were CAC President Dr. Jacquelyn Elliott and Sundt Chief Administrative Officer Dan Haag (far right), who both spoke to the crowd.
The partnership between Sundt and CAC continues to expand. Sundt brought on an Industrial Carpentry Instructor and now has three adjunct instructors at CAC. The college furnishes an on-site lab and instruction space and has hired an additional professor and a full-time recruiter. Since the start of the program, Sundt has donated the concrete pad, as well as a pipe wall, industrial concrete tools, GPS system, backpacks and hard hats. Activities are planned to continue alongside the development of the CAC training area. These include opportunities for real-world experience outside the college environment, such as visits to jobsites, vendor training facilities, and the Sundt Center for Craft Excellence, as well as participation in community outreach programs.
During the ceremony, the program’s training equipment and tools were placed on display across the concrete pad.
James Busch, CAC Skilled Trades and Technology Division Chair and Professor of Diesel Technology and Heavy Equipment Operation, said, “We’re very grateful for the support Sundt has provided and continues to provide. The advancements being made within our programs and division are possible because of this strong workforce partnership.” During the 2017-2018 academic year, 178 students enrolled in Industrial Carpentry, Welding, Pipe Fitting, and Heavy Equipment Operator program offerings at CAC. Sundt Director of Craft Workforce Development Sean Ray said, “Our partnership with CAC continues to grow and produce fantastic results. We have a great relationship with CAC and look forward to the next phases of the program.” The first cohort graduated in May 2018 with 100 percent of graduates receiving jobs in the industry. Students hired by Sundt received a $1,000 tuition reimbursement to help defray the cost of the program.
November 13, 2012
Sundt’s College Recruiting Program Manager, Michael Morales, recently presented at the Campus Recruiting Forum in Philadelphia, PA and in Irvine, CA, hosted by Brainstorm Strategy Group. Michael was part of a three-panel team at both events that discussed best practices in campus recruiting, with his portion including campus branding initiatives and building a structured program for consistent, predictable results.
The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA: one of two host sites for the Campus Recruiting Forum
“We’re in an extremely competitive market right now, and building a strong and focused college recruiting strategy is vital to any organization’s longevity,” said Michael. “Recruiting is more aggressive than ever, and students have more choices upon graduation. It’s imperative for companies to differentiate themselves from their competition by providing real-world internships. My number-one goal is to provide our business units with the future leaders of our company.”
Sundt’s College Recruiting Program has continued to grow year after year with an expected 100 interns in 2019. The team plans to make 30 campus visits this year and conduct over 600 student interviews to achieve Michael’s goal.
For more information on the Campus Recruiting Forum hosted by Brainstorm Strategy Group, please see www.campusrecruitingforum.com. To learn more about Sundt and how to become a Sundt intern, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 16, 2012
Approximately 600 wooden toolboxes were assembled by high school students who visited Sundt’s booth at this year’s Arizona Construction Career Days event in Phoenix.
Encouraging high school students to consider construction careers is important to Sundt, which is why we participate each year in Arizona Construction Career Days in Phoenix. The event is a win-win for everyone. Contractors get the opportunity to attract talented young people to our industry, and in turn young people are exposed to the many rewarding career possibilities construction has to offer.
Arizona Construction Career Days is a two-day event, sponsored by the Association for Construction Career Development and hosted by the Arizona National Guard. Approximately 1,000 students from 65 schools across Arizona attended this year.
In addition to providing company literature and knowledgeable people to speak with, each year Sundt provides a hands-on activity in which students assemble wooden tool boxes that they are allowed to keep. The activity is always popular – approximately 600 tool boxes were built this year – because it gives students a chance to work with their hands and get a feel for the complexities of building, albeit on a small scale.
“While they build the toolboxes, several Sundt employees give them guidance,” said Dave Muehlbauer, Sundt’s Corporate Director of Learning and Performance Support. “Sundt has been participating in this event since it started 11 years ago. It’s about showing kids that construction offers a lot of career choices, and with the right training there are many options for earning a good living. There’s a lot of diversity in this business that people probably don’t know about until they’re exposed to it.”
Sundt Construction, Inc. is pleased to announce that Jonathan Hunt has joined us as a senior project engineer in the Tempe office. He will lend his expertise to civil and industrial projects (Learn more here). Since Sundt believes that our people are the core of what we do, we wanted to get to know our latest addition. We recently spent a little time talking with Jonathan, and this is what we learned.
When not at work, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy travelling to other countries.
Where in the world would you most like to visit?
The far-east: China, Japan, Korea and Thailand would be amazing.
How do you take your coffee?
At work: hot and black but at my leisure it varies from cream and sugar to iced coffee.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I hope to get my pilot’s license one day.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
You can do anything if you put your mind to it.
What is it about Sundt that has led you to make your career here?
The importance that Sundt places on its people really attracted me to the company. We are truly valued here.