July 14, 2017
July 12, 2017
Sundt Craft Recruiter Lou Mantrom.
Sundt Craft Recruiter Lou Mantrom has been part of the construction industry for 17 years, working in the human resources and recruiting fields. He has worked from coast to coast, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas.
All of his experience has been in industrial construction.
What interested you about working for Sundt?
The opportunity to work for a smaller construction company that’s employee-owned, to work with (Sundt Industrial Group Operations Manager) Ken Dean again and to return to Arizona.
What are craft workers looking for in an employer?
An employer that will keep them working, treat them with dignity and respect and show appreciation for their efforts and sacrifices. The traveling craft workforce is traveling to make a living. They’ll stick around a lot longer if you don’t treat them like numbers or herds of cattle. Money will get them here; genuinely caring for and about them will keep them here.
Skilled craft workers are in high demand these days. How challenging is it to find good craft workers?
With the labor crunch we’re experiencing, the loss of experience as the Baby Boomers retire and the disproportionate number of new people entering the craft workforce, finding qualified craft workers is more challenging now than it has ever been.
What are the best ways for craft workers to get in touch with you to discuss job openings?
First, check the Sundt careers page. That’s the most accurate and up to date information on openings. If we have openings, they’ll be posted there. I can be reached at 480-293-3258 or via Facebook as HR Lou.
July 11, 2017
Sundt’s GO 10 project involves improvements to Interstate 10 in El Paso.
A U.S. Census Study last year showed Texas is the fastest-growing state in the country, adding an average of 1,183 residents each day. The need to keep up with infrastructure demand has the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) managing and providing more than $7 billion a year in transportation projects.
Sundt is performing one of those projects, GO 10 on the west side of El Paso. It extends 5.75 miles of Interstate 10 and includes construction of collector-distributor lanes through the corridor, improvement of I-10’s direct connection with Paisano Drive/Border West Expressway, addition of lanes to the interstate in both directions and reconfiguration of ramps and overpasses at three exits.
The project team is working at the most complex portions of the job on the project’s critical path. This work is key to meeting the goal of completing the project in December 2018, six months ahead of schedule.
“Each of these critical locations represents all of our trades simultaneously erecting bridge interchanges, installing retaining walls, connecting underground utilities and performing roadway grading operations,” Project Director Jason Esparza said.
The project team plans on resuming concrete paving by the end of July in an effort to finish nearly 40,000 square yards of the new collector-distributor lanes. Work is also being installed by subcontractors, including electrical infrastructure, asphalt pavement and steel girders.
The team set the stage for success by performing value engineering during the construction phase on the concrete paving. Substituting 9-inch pavement and eliminating 12-inch pavement on the widening of the I-10 main lanes created significant savings for TxDOT and us. The team also helped prioritize right-of-way acquisitions to open more work earlier for our crews.
“This approach allowed us to work in areas ahead of schedule,” Jason said.
July 7, 2017
Jennifer has undergone two double-lung transplants while living at the Ronald McDonald House in Tucson.
Jennifer is 19 and was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 6 months old. Her condition, a life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system, has caused her to undergo two double-lung transplants.
“She was doing better and hoping to start college but her lungs failed again,” Ronald McDonald House Tucson Chapter President & CEO Kate Jensen said of what brought about Jennifer’s second transplant.
Thanks to support from organizations such as the Sundt Foundation, which made a $2,500 grant to the Ronald McDonald House last year, Jennifer’s situation is getting better. The House used some of the money to help Jennifer’s father, who was driving back and forth to Tucson from the family home in Yuma, fix the air conditioning in his car.
Jennifer’s mother has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House with her daughter. Since officials at the Tucson Ronald McDonald House started keeping records in 2006, Jennifer has stayed there for 639 nights. Her longest stretch was 151 nights.
“She has literally grown up here,” Kate said.
The Ronald McDonald House also used the grant from Sundt to help a family after a bad car accident. Their car was totaled on a planned trip from California to Texas, their sons were taken to Banner-Diamond Children’s Medical Center and the mother and father hitched a ride to Tucson from someone they had never met.
Once they arrived in Tucson, they had little more than the clothing on their backs.
“We keep supplies of toothbrushes, soap and shampoo,” Kate said. “We used some of the money to help them buy clothes. Having that emergency fund available helps us meet families’ needs in ways we normally couldn’t.”
More of the Sundt Foundation grant was used to assist a high-school senior from Douglas, Arizona who had a premature baby. While the baby was hospitalized, the young woman stayed at the Ronald McDonald House to finish her senior year at Douglas High School. She was even asked to be the inspirational speaker at graduation this spring.
“We used the emergency fund to buy her a new dress for graduation,” Kate said.
Ronald McDonald House Charities provides resources and care to children and their families being served by leading hospitals worldwide. The Sundt Foundation is funded by employee-owner contributions that are matched by the company. Its mission is to assist underserved children and adults in the places we do business. Since it was formed in 1999, the foundation has made almost $8 million in grants.
July 6, 2017
Sundt Estimator Vijetha Shetty.
Sundt Estimator Vijetha Shetty is a native of India, born in Anand, a small city in the western part of the country. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from Gujarat Technological University and received her Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas, graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
She is interested in trenchless technologies and the pipeline industry. She has volunteered for the American Society of Construction Engineers Pipeline Conferences since starting work on her masters in January 2015.
What made you want to work for Sundt?
I was working as a Design Engineer with an engineering firm before joining Sundt. We collaborated with Sundt many times so I had an idea of Sundt’s reputation. I interviewed with Sundt on a Friday for the position of Estimator and the process was so quick that I was offered the job with an official offer letter the following Tuesday, which was really impressive. I met the whole team in Tempe and they were very welcoming and super friendly.
How do you spend a typical work day?
Lately, I am working on a project so we have a daily meeting early in the morning. I usually like to organize myself with the priority of work that I have to complete throughout the day and perform as needed. I usually like to complete my work and ask if anybody needs my help so that I can learn new things.
Where would you like your career to be in 10 years?
I would like to be in a successful managerial position.
Where’s your favorite place to travel?
I like going to theme parks. Sometimes, I just want to visit a pleasant place and read a book by the lake.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I do not have a hidden talent. I am just interested in playing badminton and doing crafts when I am free. I also like to volunteer in various places.
Jonathan Graham with his wife, Dana, and their 1-year-old daughter, Hadley, at a fireworks show in Heber, Arizona this week.
He’s known as “Unicorn” on Sundt’s University Square job site in Tempe, Arizona. The mythical name came about because Jonathan Graham’s safety badge features a photo of his 1-year-old daughter wearing a unicorn hat.
But the nickname could easily apply to Jonathan himself. Earlier this year, he made the unusual move of going from an office job, complete with air conditioning, to a construction site. He’s part of our concrete crew as a lead man form carpenter.
While he says he’s always been mechanically inclined, Jonathan’s career change was met with some skepticism. After all, it meant working outdoors in Tempe during the hottest time of year. Temperatures in June topped 120 degrees.
“The consensus was that I was crazy to do concrete work in the summer in Arizona,” said Jonathan, who has been married six years. “My family understood and they know the type of person I am.”
Jonathan’s path to Sundt started by working in sales for a social media and digital engagement company in Scottsdale. That’s where he met Jerrin Jaramillo, who’s now a Sundt recruiter. After leaving that company, Jerrin stayed in touch with Jonathan and encouraged him to apply at Sundt. Jonathan eventually did and started here this past February.
“(Jerrin) talked very highly about Sundt and the ESOP,” said Jonathan, who has a degree in business communications from Arizona State University. “I wanted to get back in the trades and use my degree in a different way.”
Jonathan’s father was a sheet metal worker in Michigan, so he grew up around the trades. When Jonathan moved to Arizona in 2007, he did facilities maintenance work for nine United Blood Systems buildings.
A move back to an office environment wasn’t what he wanted in the long run.
“When I got back in the office, I realized it wasn’t for me,” he said. “I didn’t want to sit in a cubicle and be attached to a phone.”
Getting back in the field has had its health advantages. Freed from cubicle life, Jonathan is feeling healthier than ever after “getting away from sodas and doughnuts.”
“Physically, it’s been kind of crazy,” he said. “I’ve lost 45 pounds. It’s good for me.”
He’s seen University Square, a residential and mixed-use development, go from the ground up. In late June, the crew was setting concrete on the sixth floor.
“Every day I come to work, something’s different, the site has changed, the building is growing,” Jonathan said.
Part of the draw of returning to craft work was a good change of pace: No sales calls, no boring meetings and plenty of pride in his work.
He also hopes to work his way up in the organization and there’s plenty of history of that at Sundt. Our two most recent President/CEOs started their careers as craft workers.
“I want to climb the ranks and become a foreman and supervisor,” he said. “I’m a totally different person than I was when I started.”
This blog is part of our series of posts about career-related subjects. For more information about opportunities with Sundt, please follow us on Twitter or visit our website.