DCK Pacific Guam LLC

Award-winning dck pacific guam LLC helps to build up American territory. The diversified group of professionals at DCK Pacific Guam LLC have experience on Guam and Micronesia in new and renovated institutional, retail, hotel, recreational, offices and industrial facilities. Since 1985, its employees have been recognized as leaders in the local economy, the firm says.

The company has steadily expanded to meet the growing construction needs of military and private clients. An integral part of the team includes subcontractor Bishman Continental Services, whose services include electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, fire protection and pipe fitting for federal, commercial and industrial projects.

Owned by dck worldwide, dck pacific guam LLC provides program management, construction management, design/build, general construction and global project development services to corporations, developers and government entities. When Louis DeMaria, general manager of dck pacific guam LLC, took the position three-and-a-half years ago, he was the right man for the job. For more than half his career, he worked in remote locations, providing him with experience managing foreign work forces.

“I have a flexible, well-rounded background,” DeMaria says. “I have experience in self-performed construction, program management and federally funded projects.”

The company is well versed in federal, industrial and commercial projects on the island. As it stands now, about 60 percent of dck pacific guam LLC’s construction projects are federal, but DeMaria says that number is down from a few years ago.

“We’re kind of like a chameleon,” DeMaria says. “We can move with the market. If the industrial market is down, we’ll pick up in the federal and commercial sectors.”

However, competition has been tough as of late. DeMaria says more and more U.S. construction companies have descended to the island of Guam and the company has seen several Asian firms arrive on the scene. However, he believes that dck pacific guam LLC, is well equipped to handle any threats to the company’s market share and its bottom line.

“We’ve used the local work force for a long time and, as a result, the company has a thorough understanding of working in Guam,” DeMaria notes. Additionally, almost all of the company’s construction projects use concrete, De Maria says.

“Owners have to make sure [the buildings] can handle the severe storms we get here,” he states. Making sure dck pacific guam LLC has that concrete and other construction materials to complete the projects on budget and on time is sometimes the hard part. “It takes a lot of advance planning to make sure the materials are ready when you need them,” he adds.

The Guam Work Force

The island of Guam is home to several ethnic groups, including Chamorros, Filipinos, Pacific Islanders, Caucasians and Asians. According to DeMaria, Chamorros make up a large part of the work force. He says the project managers and engineers are kept on as their expertise can be moved from project to project. However, the craft workers come and go depending on the amount of projects in the company backlog.

Experienced field supervisors also are kept on staff to maintain company’s competitive advantage in construction productivity. “We hire in lumps,” DeMaria explains. “We went through a phase where we were hiring 15 to 20 people a month. Sometimes, depending on the complexities of the project, we’ll hire up to 100 people in two weeks.”

Safety is No. 1

No matter how many employees dck pacific guam LLC hires, safety is always a top priority. The company believes there are four essential, consistent characteristics of safety excellence: management leadership and commitment; meaningful employee involvement; measurement systems; and safety improvement process.

DeMaria says training includes all OSHA requirements and specialized competent personnel training programs such as crane safety training. The company has gone almost four years without a lost time injury – around 2.1 million man-hours, including subcontractors.

“We have daily huddles where we identify any type of specific hazard on the site,” he says. “If something does happen, we have stand-downs where we talk about what happened and discuss ways to avoid that particular problem in the future. We discuss what is expected from each supervisory and leadership level and make sure the craft workers are being properly advised on recent issues.”

Award Winners

The FENA Water Treatment Plant Upgrade project earned dck pacific guam LLC the 2007 Contractor of the Year award from the Guam Contractors Association. But the project was not without its challenges, DeMaria says.

To upgrade the facility, the company and client had to coordinate up to 80 water supply outages with the local residents. The outages ranged from hours to up to a day – which, if not managed properly, had the potential for causing an uproar from residents affected by the outages. Fortunately, the outage planning process was successful there in minimizing impacts on the local communities. “We had a very detailed outage schedule and made sure everybody understood the job,” DeMaria explains.

The FENA water treatment plant project also gave dck pacific guam LLC the chance to win the Guam Contractor Association Contractor of the Year award in 2007. It also won the Contractor of the Year award in 2008 for their work on the William C. McCool Elementary/Middle Schools for the Naval Forces Marianas, and again in 2009 under a new set of criteria that includes safety, small business programs, community involvement and general project construction activities.

All of these awards were the result of efforts by the same group of employees and management team. However, dck pacific guam LLC isn’t out there seeking awards. Instead the company focuses on quality products for its clients. DeMaria says he feels the company is in a good position to win larger projects because of its commitment to a local work force, the company’s present backlog and its teaming partners.

With more than 8,000 U.S. Marines and their 17,000 dependents scheduled to be based on the island in the next six years, dck pacific guam LLC is looking to be a participant in any construction projects the military buildup brings. DeMaria says dck pacific guam LLC will continue to pursue contracts in the commercial and industrial markets, too. “We’ll keep our hands in all three sectors [including federal] of the construction industry,” he says.

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