The construction industry has been thrown many curves in recent years. From sudden slowdowns and cautiously optimistic upturns to transitions between hard-bid and design/build – many contractors have had to form new strategies to keep up with a dynamic market.
The Superior Court of Tulare County, Calif., had several problems with its branch courthouse in Porterville – it was old, energy-inefficient and too small for the area’s growing population. In 2007, the California Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) received authorization to build a new courthouse, funded by fees collected from court users statewide.
Chris LaFace, president of RIPA & Associates, credits the company’s hardworking employees for its ranking as one of the top-10 regional contractors by Gulf Coast Business Review. “We have a great group of employees,” LaFace says. “This award is the result of us over the past four and five years getting some of the best people out there. Some of them were the victims of layoffs or companies closing and we were able to bring them on, which has helped us sustain through this period. There is still work going on and we solidify our reputation by having great people.”
Pres-T-Con CEO Jan Landreth-Smith doesn’t mince words when describing the state of the industry on the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad. “The stagnation in the construction market has gone a lot longer than we thought it would, and it has impacted us quite a bit,” he says. “From 2010 to today, we have really had to batten down the hatches and hold on tightly, because it has been difficult.”
The world cheered the end of the Cold War, but major questions surrounded the disposal of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. Based on a recommendation by the National Academy of Science, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) decided to dispose of the plutonium by converting it into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors. NNSA entered into a contract with Shaw AREVA MOX Services LLC to design, build and operate a Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility based on facilities operating in France.
Houses may be where a city’s inhabitants sleep, but dams, bridges and roads are what keep the city going. As a heavy civil contractor, The Great Lakes Construction Co. has tossed its name into the hardhat of that effort since 1948.