April 15, 2016
March 25, 2016
Sundt employee-owners help kids build toolboxes during Arizona Construction Career Days last year.
The country’s lack of skilled trade workers is a hot topic, even reaching the editorial pages of the hallowed New York Times.
It’s a challenge that all contractors face as lost jobs begin coming back after the Great Recession. Fortunately, Sundt is making efforts and building projects to get more young people into the trades.
We opened the Center for Craft Excellence in Phoenix last year for those who are just getting started or are a little further along in their careers. The Center offers training and certification in a number of disciplines, from equipment operator and mechanic to industrial carpentry, pipefitting, ironworking, electrical, welding and millwright.
Our company’s recent donation to the East Valley Institute of Technology in Arizona and sponsorship of Arizona Construction Career Days has enabled our employee-owners to connect with high-school students who are considering construction careers. Getting recent graduates into the business is critical; the average trade worker is in his or her late 40s.
We work in partnership with school districts to construct career and technical education centers that offer high schoolers the chance to get a head start on a trades career. We have one under way in Wichita Falls and have completed three in San Antonio.
Speaking of Texas, one of our employee-owners there regularly makes presentations to elementary school children about the profession. You’re never too young to start dreaming about a career.
For more information about a career with Sundt, please visit our website or Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages. We’re always on the lookout for great talent to fill positions both on jobsites and off.
February 11, 2016
Sundt’s John Carlson speaks to a class of fourth graders at Blattman Elementary in San Antonio.
Sundt employee-owners believe in the importance of being engaged in our communities. We are committed to improving and inspiring the cities and towns where we work.
Some of that outreach is made to younger generations who will eventually be community leaders. For example, Corporate Strategic Business Officer John Carlson recently spoke to four classes of fourth graders at Blattman Elementary in San Antonio. John is based out of our San Antonio office, where he will assist with strategic projects for building, heavy civil and industrial work throughout Texas and nationwide. Additionally, he will continue to educate and advocate for the use of alternate project delivery methods as a national leader in this area, including public-private partnerships, design-build and construction manager at risk. He will also focus his efforts on national industry organizational involvement.
John Carlson and his daughter, a student at Blattman Elementary.
During John’s classroom visit he explained the positive impacts the construction industry has on everyone’s lives and how rewarding it is to be in a line of work that improves our communities. He also showed the kids a video on Sundt’s 125-year history and the global impacts the company has made. He gave them a quiz about the company’s history and correct answers were rewarded with Sundt solar powered calculators and beanie hats. The prizes were great motivators, encouraging the kids to ask more questions about Sundt and its many positive impacts.
John took a few minutes to tell us about his experience and the importance of getting children interested in the construction industry or any career.
How did this opportunity arise?
My daughter approached me about the opportunity to present to four fourth-grade classes on Career Day at her school.
What did you tell the kids in your presentation?
I talked about what construction is and how the schools, houses, roads, bridges, water and electricity they use every day came as a result of a general contractor constructing those facilities. I told them it is an engineering-based field for the management in construction and that there are architects and engineers who design facilities we build. We also discussed the skilled trades, including carpenters, laborers and equipment operators who are the people who actually to build these facilities.
What was the biggest piece of advice you wanted to get across to the classes?
I told them the most important skill to have in any profession is good communication. In construction, we’re always reading contracts and plans, writing letters and proposals, speaking and listening to people inside and outside the organization. It’s extremely important if you want to be a leader for people to follow and understand what you are trying to get across.
How important is it to get youngsters interested in the construction industry?
Extremely important. We have a craft and engineering shortage in our industry and these are our future employees. If we don’t get them interested in our industry early, others will.
How much did you enjoy speaking to the classes?
I love having a chance to interact with kids at all levels. They are future leaders in our communities and difference-makers. Kids need opportunities to be exposed to different careers so they can find their passions and be the best people they can be in life. I love to tell kids there are several reasons I am passionate about the construction industry: the chance to make tangible, lasting improvements our communities that change people’s lives for the better.
February 10, 2016
Kids Excel El Paso, one of the grant recipients in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016, uses dance to teach students how to work hard, strive for their personal best and never give up.
Sundt’s employee-owners and company have a long-standing tradition of caring about their communities. It’s one of the reasons the Sundt Foundation was formed in 1999.
That tradition of giving back was going strong in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016, when the Foundation awarded 47 grants totaling $111,921.88. The money was raised through donations by employee-owners and matching contributions by the company.
Over its lifetime, the Sundt Foundation has given more than $7 million in grants to non-profits that help disadvantaged adults and children. Most of that support went to organizations in Arizona, California and Texas.
January 22, 2016
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow could stop the Sundt team from completing the US Highway 84 and bridge reconstruction project ahead of time.
Despite weather issues on the site near Abilene, including rain totals that once measured eight inches in 48 hours, we reached substantial completion on the heavy civil project in late December, 33 working days ahead of schedule.
Work included demolition and reconstruction of a 530-foot bridge over Union Pacific Railroad tracks, reconstruction of US 84 and new lighting and roadway barrier improvements. The US 84 project included around half a mile of roadway that was fully reconstructed and installation of 40,000 cubic yards of embankment used to bring the grade up to match the finish slab elevation of the new bridge, which was built by Sundt’s Concrete Division.
“This project was successful due to hard-working and talented Sundt superintendents and craft employees who helped construct the new bridge and roadways,” said Project Manager Cade Reddig. “Having their experience and outstanding team communication set us up for exceptional coordinated efforts with the owner to get the work done safely and ahead of schedule.”
As a result, the team received 100 percent of the Texas Department of Transportation’s No Excuse Incentive built into the contract for early substantial completion and the community had a new bridge and roadway finished more than a month ahead of expectations.
Dave Fleming, Sundt’s Vice President and Corporate Director of Dispute Resolution and Corporate Director of Ethics and Compliance, recently earned the American Institute of Constructors Stephen P. Byrne Award. The honor is given annually to an individual who supports the advancement of constructor certification.
Dave’s primary responsibilities at Sundt are contract oversight and strategic support for the company’s operating divisions. Prior to his current position, he served as Operations Manager for the company’s Texas and Federal projects. He has worked at Sundt since 2003 and prior to that spent eight years consulting for the company. Before joining Sundt, Dave was Executive Vice President of Operations for a Texas-based contractor.
Dave has spent 40 years in the industry and holds a bachelor’s degree in Building Construction from Texas A&M University.
How surprised were you to win the award?
This award was a total surprise to me when I was informed by AIC. I never expected the award because I was just doing what was right and helpful to the industry and for student-level certification of construction graduates.
What do you believe were your best qualifications to be considered for the award?
I had been working very hard on transforming the student AIC testing, called the AC or Associate Certification, which is given twice annually at more than 75 colleges and universities within the U.S. and in the past was given internationally at universities with Construction Education programs. The testing helps universities obtain their certification requirements for higher education.
You knew Stephen Byrne. How much more meaningful does that make this honor?
Steve and I were classmates at Texas A&M in the mid-’70s. We knew each other a long, long time. Steve was a very big advocate of AIC and the certification of construction programs. He sat on certification reviews for many colleges in his years of service. He understood clearly that students in construction were the first level on making our industry a professional level of membership. He taught at A&M for many years after a successful business career in the Austin area. Steve talked me into becoming involved with AIC at a national level and I am a better person for his leadership in this area. We lost Steve suddenly three years ago and AIC and I lost a great friend. To have been named to receive this award given in Steve’s name is a great honor, and I hope to live up to helping more construction students and professionals achieve their personal goals as a result.
While this is an individual award, it also says something about the team with which you work. How much did having great co-workers assist you in winning?
It starts, as it should, at the top. CEO Dave Crawford and former CEO Doug Pruitt promoted professionalism in the company. They have encouraged all employees to advance their careers by obtaining more education and professional certifications. Sundt has led the nation in numbers of people who have obtained their AIC Certified Professional Constructor designation. If you’re a builder, you should want to achieve the CPC, just like Engineers want to be Professional Engineers or Architects want to be Registered Architects. Many Sundt employees have obtained this level of designation, and many of them started in field operations and are now superintendents. The CPC is for any industry person willing to study and pass a CPC exam. I am very proud of the professional builders at Sundt who elected to obtain CPCs and have taken the time to obtain those personal credentials they will carry for their entire careers.
How much does winning an award like this inspire you to keep doing what you’re doing?
Being nationally recognized as a leader in our industry is a rare event and makes me want to leave this place better than when I came. I will continue to work to improve the industry and Sundt in this area until I am done and sit down to toast a drink and look back at all the years of trying to help improve the program, the industry and Sundt as a company.
How much pride do you take in representing Sundt as the Stephen P. Byrne Industry Achievement Award winner?
I am just the representative of all Sundt CPCs who have been on this journey. I thank Doug and Dave for the motivation for every Sundt person who has obtained certification and look forward to our current President, Mike Hoover, and others continuing the effort in education and personal excellence in the future. Sundt is a great place to be. Having helped Sundt since 1991, it shows that my 20-plus years of consulting and as an employee has been a great journey. Learning from good people is a lifelong adventure at Sundt.