During the 2023 HCSS User Group Meeting (UGM) this past February, HCSS unveiled the first annual HCSS Construction Awards to honor leaders in the construction industry that show excellence in areas of safety, efficiency, technology, people development, and much more. It is with this recognition, we hope to spread awareness of the extraordinary efforts that you make every day to build a better tomorrow, and hope that by telling more of your stories, others can find a similar path forward to success.
One thing is certain, interviewing each of the nominees, that in order to reach excellence and find success with technology, you have to be willing to invest in people.
E&B Paving, Inc. - Anderson, Indiana
With a rich history of public and private work that spans over five decades, E&B Paving has steadily embraced technological change over time, using it to better serve their customers and provide the most cost-effective solutions. Relying on their people to push technology forward has allowed the business to take control and thrive while keeping employees safer, more productive, and continuously improving.
"Without our people, we wouldn't have anything,” says Mark Jones, Construction Technology Manager, E&B Paving, Inc. “It's our people that made that major cultural shift to quit doing things the way that we always have, and to embrace a new idea and a new thought from the office all the way to the field to the shop. You know going down this journey, it's been consistent change and our people have adapted very well to that change.”
One way E&B Paving has improved employee retention and improved cost-effectiveness is by embracing GPS and Equipment360, which made their shop more efficient, effectively alleviating the previously unbalanced workload on each mechanic while improving equipment uptime.
HCSS Products: HeavyBid, HeavyJob, HCSS Plans, Equipment360, HCSS Telematics, and more.
Eclipse Co., LLC. - Chagrin Falls, Ohio
From the outside looking in, Eclipse could easily be described as one of the fastest-growing contractors in Ohio. But if you were to step inside the office of Tom Agresta, President of Eclipse Co., you’d see a methodically, carefully crafted discipline of listening, learning, and improving at all levels of the business that pushes the company forward regardless of what’s happening with the competition.
"What we've done over the last couple years, is take the data, and one, understand what it can do, and most importantly, two, what can we do with it?” says Agresta. “It doesn't matter what others may be doing, whether my competitors are doing anything else in the industry, It’s what can I do with that data to make us better? What's gonna make us safer? What's going to make us more productive and what's going to drive us on the bottom line to increase those benefits as well?”
Their curiosity to learn their business, be proactive with the data and the technology, and take steps to make things better keeps them focused at being the best version of themselves.
HCSS Products: HeavyBid, HeavyJob, Equipment360, HCSS Telematics, FuelerPlus, and more.
GradeX - Reno, Nevada
As a second-generation family business, GradeX has worked in over 11 states during its 50-year history, and through the years, has maintained a high retention of long-tenured foremen that are not afraid of adopting technology that makes sense to the business. “At the end of the day, I'm here because I enjoy what I do, working with the guys that I do, working with the products that we do,” says Chad Arterburn, Operations Manager, GradeX. “All I can do is say thank you at the end of the day. But, you know, my goal here is not to get awards, it's to build quality products for our customers.”
As construction has experienced a continued labor shortage, GradeX has had to look outside the box to fill their labor needs and serve the community, as a family would. As the family farming industry is crumbling, it has left hard working Americans without jobs in farming. GradeX has creatively been recruiting these family-minded farmers to build with them.
“We've spent a lot of time the last couple of years talking about our culture here at the company and what we wanted to do to build that family atmosphere that we've been used to, that we've grown up with,” says GradeX CEO, Jason Dapp. “We want to pass that along to the next generation. So we spent a lot of time talking about our core values and how we can help other families achieve their goals in their lives.”
HCSS Products: HeavyBid, HeavyJob, HCSS Forms, and more.
Jordan Foster Construction - El Paso, Texas
One theme is apparent with Jordan Foster, and that is there is a culture of care that puts an emphasis on the well-being of employees first. This Texas Contractor is known for their infrastructure, commercial and multi-family projects around the state, but from the laborer to the operator to the foreman on the jobsite, they are a family.
Recognizing that after morning meetings, the crews would crowd around certain natural leaders to reinforce what was said in the meeting, Jordan Foster started a program to give candidates in the field the same leadership training that supervisors and foremen received, as a way to give everyone the same language to help create a safer, more efficient work environment.
"There's not a lot of companies that set their people up on a pedestal and try to give them every opportunity to succeed that is available here,” says Clint Henson, Jordan Foster Operations Manager. “We have programs in place and we have management teams, and board members who want to see our people succeed; Not just for the company to succeed, but the people to succeed. And they have given us and the operations teams all of the tools we need to help our people succeed. And that's there is a lot to be said for a company these days.”
HCSS Products: HeavyBid, HeavyJob, HCSS Safety, Equipment360, and more.
MGE Underground - Paso Robles, California
As a company, MGE Underground started out digging swimming pools and doing sewer leach fields in Northern California, and from there, they have expanded to the customer-focused utility contractor they are today. They believe in safety, – first, – and continuous development while maintaining a fun family culture that has respect and integrity for the communities they serve and the people they work alongside.
“We work on building the people that we have and seeing the value in each and every one of our employees investing in them internally, promoting and making sure that everyone is given the best opportunity to further their career here at MGE,” says Malia Hager, Lead Project Manager, MGE. “And with that, we've been able to be successful in becoming one of our suppliers of choice for our customers.”
In this spirit of continuous development, MGE created an academy to promote learning that has helped with retention for union and non-union workers.
HCSS Products: HeavyBid, HeavyJob, HCSS Safety, Equipment360, and more.
WW Clyde - Orem, Utah
For a multigenerational family company that is nearly 100 years old, WW Clyde has grown and expanded to take on a diverse portfolio of public and private work across many industries without compromising a tight communication amongst employees. In order to ensure everyone gets home safely at the end of the day, they have prioritized communication and transparency across the board.
“For the last four years, we've really focused on trying to identify the leading indicators that result in our profitability and then our success on different projects,” says Dustin Olson, President WW Clyde. “We've tried to refine and figure out which of those metrics are the most important and communicate those often to our employees so they know. Because what we found is that when employees understand the keys to success, they go after them like crazy.”
Every day, WW Clyde leverages technology and improves communication internally to try to understand what goes into a number that can keep driving the business for generations to come. “We're on a journey to get better every single day,” says Olson, “and so for us to do that, we have to have the right tools to do that. We have to have the right people to do that.”
HCSS Products: HeavyBid, HeavyJob, HCSS Safety, HCSS Plans, and more.
Nominations for 2024 Awards
Does your company have what it takes to win in 2024? How are you pushing the industry forward? Do you want to win next year?
Sign up to be notified when the 2024 nominations open in Summer 2023.