Nevada Business Magazine: Family Owned Business – The More the Merrier, Hirschi Masonry

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Nevada Business Magazine: SR Construction Accepts Awards from World Wide Safety

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SR Construction received four awards at the second annual World Wide Safety Awards held on January 25. This event recognizes construction organizations who uphold the highest standards in safety performance.

“I am honored to accept these awards in recognition of our team’s hard work to create a safe work environment,” said Bret Loughridge, vice president of operations at SR Construction. “Safety is our top priority, and I am humbled to know that our employees share this with us.”

SR Construction received the following awards: General Contractor – Reno and General Contractor Commercial. Michelle Cates was given the Safety Director Commercial award and Fred Kravetz was given the Superintendent Commercial award.

“SR Construction’s commitment and excitement towards safety is shown in all the work they do,” said Virginia Toalepai, founder and president of World Wide Safety. “I enjoyed working with SR, and sharing with them the importance of safety in the workplace and ensuring that all employees make it home to their families at night.”

To view on the Nevada Business Magazine website, please click here.

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Nevada Business Magazine: Building Nevada – We Need People Like You, Hirschi Masonry

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“I started working for our family business in 1973 and we’ve been through a lot of recessions, but none as long as the one that began in 2007,” said Bart Hiatt, president and general manager of A&K Earth Movers, Inc. “Our gross sales went from $50 million a year to less than $25 million. Although we had enough cash reserves to keep the doors open and hold onto our equipment, we lost about half our workforce.” His story is echoed by subcontractors across Nevada, who held on during the long recession but now face a different set of challenges. As the economy turned around and construction rebounded, the jobs returned but not the workers. “We have the equipment to take on more work,” said Hiatt, “but we don’t have the people to operate the equipment. With fewer workers, it would be difficult to complete a job on schedule, so we’re careful not to take on more work than we can handle. A contractor who can’t complete the work on time could be dinged with liquidated damages.” A general engineering contractor and subcontractor based in Fallon, A&K now has about 230 employees performing site work, gravel, asphalt and related jobs, even working in mines and out of state if that’s where jobs take them. Hiatt said business finally started to come back three or four years ago and, although they’re still not back to pre-recession levels, he estimates the company is on track to record about $40 million in sales for 2017. Chad Hirschi, president and CEO of Hirschi Masonry, said his Southern Nevada subcontracting business is also bouncing back from hard times. “Our company hasn’t fully recovered as far as size goes,” he said. “We were bigger before the crash when the volume of work was much larger but, as for the overall health of our business, we’re completely back. We have a larger share of the market than we previously had because the market is much smaller.” Specializing in retaining walls, block walls and other masonry jobs for commercial and residential contractors, his company employs more than 500 workers. Hirschi is also past president of the Nevada Subcontractors Association (NSA) and currently serves on its board. He said the organization’s members are “generally healthy and poised for growth.”

Originally formed to protect the rights of subcontractors during construction defect legislation, the group now provides support for members in several areas including legislative affairs, efforts to help the labor shortage and resources for members with issues relating to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Its 170-plus members include subcontracting companies in all facets of construction, as well as associate members providing materials or services to subcontractors.

Wanted: Skilled Workers

“Without a doubt, the biggest challenge for our members is finding skilled labor,” said Hirschi. “It’s more difficult to find skilled labor than it is to find skilled supervisors. That’s been one of our biggest obstacles for the last three years.” Hiatt agreed with that assessment, saying he has a harder time finding field workers and equipment operators than he does supervisors and superintendents, who can be recruited from out of state, especially from California. He added that subcontractors in Northern Nevada who managed to survive the recession can’t grow because they don’t have the people to take on new jobs.

Jim Miller, COO of United Construction, said his company works with subcontractors in all phases of its large-scale projects – everything from earthwork, concrete and structural steel, to electric, plumbing, drywall and painting. The Reno-based company provides design-build construction management services for large commercial projects like distribution centers and bigbox stores. “The number one challenge for our subs is a shortage of skilled labor,” he said. “People are entering the workforce because the construction sector is growing and is lucrative, but they lack experience.” Miller explained that the lack of skilled labor can affect the schedule for projects in two ways. There often aren’t enough people to get the job done on time and there’s also a concern about quality because of inexperienced workers. “As a construction manager, we have to make sure that the work performed conforms to the job requirements and s acceptable to the owner,” he explained. Subcontractors using inexperienced workers make that more difficult, he added.

Solving the Labor Shortage

“It’s definitely an employees’ market,” said Miller. “Benefit packages and wages have been going up to keep folks aboard and bring in new people.” Hiatt said his company tries to be a step above what the market offers for wages and benefits in order to keep its employees. Branching out into different types of projects and a variety of locations in both urban and rural areas and even going out of state when necessary is also an advantage. If jobs dry up in one area, he can shift people somewhere else and keep them on the payroll. Hirschi said his company amped up its benefits package, offering dental and vision insurance coverage, a 401(k) program and paid time off for all team members, even general laborers. They also began a formal apprenticeship program to develop skilled stone masons and block masons. In addition to on-the-job training, the company offers three months of classroom training they call their School of Masonry. “We’ve had great success in moving people into skilled positions,” said Hirschi. “We’ve been able to increase compensation for some people as much as 75 percent in less than 18 months. After that, it’s important that we keep these people so our investment in training pays off.” The current worker shortage is not likely to improve any time soon, according to Hiatt. “A lot of vocational training has gone away, even though there’s good money in construction and people can earn up to $50,000 a year right out of high school,” he said. “We need hands-on construction people, and we’ll continue to need them. Our infrastructure must be maintained and updated and new infrastructure has to be built. Where do we get the people to do that?” To help recruit high school students and young adults considering their career choices, the NSA recently produced a TV commercial funded by a grant from the Nevada Contractors Board. The ad promotes construction industry jobs and the salaries, benefits and growth opportunities they offer. The NSA is also working with local vocational schools and technical academies, providing support and information for students interested in construction as a career.

Prices on the Rise

Another challenge for Nevada subcontractors is price increases for the materials they need to complete their jobs. “Our members are all seeing price increases due to rising demand,” said Hirschi. “In some cases, they are incremental increases, but other prices are skyrocketing. Getting price increases into bids in a timely manner and planning accordingly is a challenge all subcontractors face. Prices are an ever-moving target.” Hiatt explained that prices were held down while business was slow because suppliers wanted to hold on to their customers. Now they’re rising again due to increased demand, not only locally, but from other states, especially in locations that need to rebuild after natural disasters such as the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas and the fires in Northern California.

Safety Concerns

An adjunct to the shortage of skilled workers is that inexperienced workers may not be fully aware of the dangers at job sites where equipment, tools and environmental hazards all present opportunities for injury. “Safety is a big issue for NSA members,” said Hirschi. “The risk involved in hiring inexperienced people is obviously greater than it is in hiring someone who has been in the field for years. All workers have to undergo a 10- hour OSHA safety training class and be certified, but inexperienced workers still need to be trained and coached on the job site.” Hirschi said the NSA has a “very aggressive” safety committee that helps members deal with workplace safety issues. “Our association works to develop a strong working relationship with Nevada’s OSHA so we can provide information and resources to help our members meet OSHA’s ever-increasing demands,” he stated.

A Bright Future

“The economy is showing signs of great opportunity in the future,” said Hirschi. “We’re on pace for 15 to 18 percent growth in the residential market for 2017, and a lot of homebuilders believe we’re set for 20 to 25 percent growth in 2018. I believe there’s also a good five to six years of great projects on the Strip and elsewhere. If Nevada can get the contract for the Amazon headquarters, that will be a real boost to construction. In the next 24 months, we’re poised for a really healthy economy in Southern Nevada and in the state as a whole.” Hiatt also expects continuing improvement in the market. He projected that A&K will see 2018 sales of around $45 million, compared to $50 million before the recession. “Nevada’s in a very good place, barring some major national event,” he said. “I predict two to four years of good progress.” As a design-build contractor, Miller thinks the market will continue to expand for several years since his company has many different types of projects in the design phase, from industrial and distribution projects to work for government agencies including K-12 schools and higher education. He said economic diversification, moving away from gaming and tourism into areas like distribution and technology, will help lessen the impact if the market does slow down. These new and ongoing projects are good news for Nevada subcontractors looking to rebuild their companies, but they’ll also create more challenges as competition for labor puts pressure on wages and increased demand for materials leads to more price increases. Nevada subcontractors have had to be resilient and resourceful to survive the ups and downs of a volatile market. They’re now facing the future with optimism and with plans to overcome their challenges and find new ways to succeed.

To view on the Nevada Business Magazine website, please click here.

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Nevada Business Magazine: Industry Focus – Marketing

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Nevada Business Magazine: City of Henderson Ward II Councilman Dan Shaw Wins Award from Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association

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Dan Shaw, City of Henderson Ward II councilman, was awarded the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association’s DeBoer Award forDistinguished Leadership

as a Citizen Planner at the annual State Planning Conference in Carson City, Nev. The Citizen Planner Award is given to an individual who has advanced or promoted the cause of planning in the public arena.

With nearly 30 years of volunteer service as a citizen planner on the Planning Commission for the City of Henderson and Clark County, as well as a City of Henderson Parks and Recreation Board member, Councilman Shaw has been instrumental in shaping the built environment and raising the bar on the quality of life in southern Nevada.

In addition to his volunteer service, Councilman Shaw has directly impacted the development of the high quality of life for Henderson residents. During his tenure as chairman of the Henderson Planning Commission, Councilman Shaw worked to implement a new development code, increasing the standards to the City of Henderson. During his time with the county as chairman of the Clark County Planning Commission, he worked to facilitate increased planning coordination between local municipalities through adoption and early implementation of regional planning efforts such as the Southern Nevada Strong Regional Plan.

Councilman Shaw has greatly impacted the growth in southern Nevada during his 33-year Henderson residency. He has made various efforts to contribute his time and expertise to help steer the development in the city of Henderson. He was responsible for the construction of multi-family housing units, as well as shopping centers, office parks and industrial improvements.

The Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association serves to promote public involvement and excellence in planning and to improve the quality of life in the State of Nevada through professional development and education.

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Nevada Business Magazine: Foundation Assisting Seniors Hosts Basket Raffle

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The Foundation Assisting Seniors is set to hold their Basket Raffle at 2:30 p.m., with doors opening at 1:30 p.m., on Sunday, October 29 in the Ballroom at Green Valley Ranch Resort.

This is the third annual raffle and the first time the Foundation Assisting Seniors will be hosting the event at Green Valley Ranch Resort. All proceeds benefiting the Foundation and their ongoing programs and services. The basket raffle will also include an auction, themed baskets and a gift card grab.

“We are happy to be able to host another basket raffle this year and know the community enjoys seeing all the baskets our volunteers have put together,” said Phyllis Washburn, Chairman of the Foundation Assisting Seniors Basket Raffle. “It’s a great opportunity not only to raise money for the Foundation Assisting Seniors but to get the senior community together in a fun and interactive atmosphere.”

The Foundation Assisting Seniors was founded with the mission of improving the quality of life for the senior community by assisting them in times of illness, recovery, confinement at home, coping with the loss of a loved one and other senior challenges, as well as to provide assistance with everyday tasks such as household maintenance and transportation. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has responded to more than 100,000 requests for assistance services.

For more information on the event or for tickets, please call 725-244-4200 or visit FoundationAssistingSeniors.org.

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Nevada Business Magazine: Hirschi Masonry Announces Construction Underway for Residential Project

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Axis by Pardee Homes Debuts Model Homes

Hirschi Masonry, a premier masonry contractor in southern Nevada, is proud to announce their recent construction on Axis by Pardee Homes. Hirschi was contracted for both the rock walls and stone veneer on the new homes in the Axis community.

Located in the hills above Henderson, Pardee offers the most prestigious homes yet! Axis consists of 78 exquisite contemporary homes. The community consists of six collections of homes that receive upwards of 2,800 square-feet of stone and precast veneer by Hirschi. Each model home is a masterpiece and has been recognized for several national awards.

Currently, Hirschi Masonry is putting the final touches to the 70,000 square-feet of rock walls throughout the community. The rock walls help create views of the entire city from almost every house pad.

“We are happy to be a part of the growth and development of the housing community in Southern Nevada,” said Brett Hales, Vice President at Hirschi Masonry. “It is also an honor to provide value to our customers by showcasing our talents of building rock walls and providing veneer for the new Axis homes in Henderson.”

 

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Nevada Business Magazine: SR Construction Names Bob Cunningham as Vice President of Business Development and Marketing

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Scott Loughridge, founder, and president of SR Construction is proud to announce the hiring of Bob Cunningham as the vice president of business development and marketing.

“We are proud to welcome Bob Cunningham to our team,” said Bret Loughridge, vice president of operations. “With decades of experience and a passion for excellence, I have no doubt that he will accomplish great things within our company.”

Cunningham brings more than 18 years of experience managing sales and 33 years of progressive experience in the business development and sales field. In this role, Bob brings the ability to branch out into new territories and divisions of the construction industry, and to provide insight for building key customer relationships, identifying business opportunities, negotiating and closing business deals, and maintaining knowledge of current market conditions.

Bob was previously the business development manager over the course of 11 years between Robinson Construction and Helitech Civil Construction, where he spent much of his construction career in the Commercial and Industrial Processing industries. He possesses vast knowledge in both the general contractor and subcontractor divisions. Bob has also held positions such as national sales manager and sales manager throughout his professional tenure.

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Nevada Business Magazine: Hirschi Masonry Announces Work on Large-Scale Residential Project

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Reverence by Pulte Homes Debuts Model Homes

Hirschi Masonry, a premier masonry contractor in southern Nevada is proud to announce its recent work on Reverence by Pulte Homes. Hirschi began work on Reverence in September 2016 and initiated the second phase in April 2017.

Pulte Homes exclusively developed Reverence, which features nine neighborhoods on 300 acres. The neighborhood is located on an elevated ridgeline that overlooks the Las Vegas Valley and is adjacent to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Plans for Reverence include six collections of homes featuring 23 consumer-inspired floor plans.

Hirschi Masonry serves as the exclusive masonry subcontractor, building all of the masonry retaining walls, masonry screen walls, stone veneer & brick veneer on the homes. Estimated completion for Reverence is Spring 2018.

“It is an honor to be a part of one of the largest residential developments in southern Nevada,” said Brett Hales, Vice President at Hirschi Masonry. “We are committed to excellence for our clients and are excited to be a part of a monumental project that will provide housing options for the individuals and families in Las Vegas.”

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Nevada Business Magazine: Neighbors Assisting Neighbors to Host 5th Annual Pancake Breakfast

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Neighbors Assisting Neighbors (NAN) in Solera at Anthem will be hosting a pancake breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, October 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at 2401 Somersworth St. in Henderson, Nev.

The cost of the breakfast is a $6.00 donation. All proceeds raised at the event will benefit the Foundation Assisting Seniors and their ongoing programs and services. Tickets are on sale in the Encore Lounge on Friday, Sept. 15, at 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“What better way to raise money than to host a pancake breakfast,” said Favil West, president of the Foundation Assisting Seniors. “This event shows our community how much our seniors mean to us and we are happy to come together to support them.”

Tickets for a 50/50 raffle will only be sold on Oct. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Twenty tickets are $5.00. The drawing will take place at 11:00 a.m. The gift card and merchandise live auction will be held at 11:30 a.m. All auction participants must be present to win. For more information, please call 725-244-4200 or visit www.FoundationAssistingSeniors.org.

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