Construction Today - October 2016 - 75

and concrete trails and lighting for the project. The company is
also working on a streetscape improvements project for City of
Iowa City.

Self-Performers
The creek restoration and streetscape are just two of the nearly 50
projects Portzen Construction has underway. Coordinating that
workload requires self-management among Portzen Construction's leaders. The company holds weekly meetings to check
in on all its jobs, but puts its trust in its staff to see each project
through. "We have project managers and superintendents on all
the projects," Controller Jayme Kluesner says. "They kind of run
their own projects."
Although most general contractors subcontract out the majority of their work to local trades, Portzen Construction takes pride
in self-performing a large portion of each job. The company's inhouse services include demolition; site clearing; excavation; site
utilities; concrete (walls, paving and flatwork), precast and tilt-up
construction; carpentry; PVC roofing and drywall.
Additionally, Dubuque Plumbing & Heating, a division of
Portzen Construction, installs plumbing, boilers and piping.
Portzen Construction is a union contractor for all of those trades,
helping it to secure jobs and ensure a high quality of life for its
workers. "Since we can self-perform most of that work it helps us
get jobs and make money on jobs," Kluesner says.
For those trades Portzen Construction doesn't cover, the company builds and maintains relationships with reliable subcontractors. Although cost is a primary consideration, Portzen knows
there are times when putting quality first requires using a more
expensive subcontractor to ensure the job is done on time and
up to specifications. "That is part of how you build your reputation," Portzen explains. "We're dependable, we have high-quality
work and we feel we do things on-time," Kluesner adds.

Finding Employees
After more than 30 years of building a reputation, Portzen Construction is now putting its efforts toward building a workforce
to support its growth. The company's biggest challenge today is
finding good employees, according to Portzen.
Parents and guidance counselors tend to push students toward
college, even though the construction industry can provide
well-paying jobs without the need to go into debt. Portzen is
getting that message out by working with high schools and the
Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council, an educational organization committed to cultivating relationships between labor
and management to drive the local business market.
The company is also developing an in-house program that will
reach out to students. The details of that program are still in the
early stages, but it will likely be geared toward showing students,
their parents and school officials about the value of a career in
construction. "We're trying to do a little bit more because that
[the job pool] will be the biggest hindrance toward growing our
company," Kluesner says.

75

OCTOBER 2016 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - October 2016

Contents
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover1
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover2
Construction Today - October 2016 - 1
Construction Today - October 2016 - Contents
Construction Today - October 2016 - 3
Construction Today - October 2016 - 4
Construction Today - October 2016 - 5
Construction Today - October 2016 - 6
Construction Today - October 2016 - 7
Construction Today - October 2016 - 8
Construction Today - October 2016 - 9
Construction Today - October 2016 - 10
Construction Today - October 2016 - 11
Construction Today - October 2016 - 12
Construction Today - October 2016 - 13
Construction Today - October 2016 - 14
Construction Today - October 2016 - 15
Construction Today - October 2016 - 16
Construction Today - October 2016 - 17
Construction Today - October 2016 - 18
Construction Today - October 2016 - 19
Construction Today - October 2016 - 20
Construction Today - October 2016 - 21
Construction Today - October 2016 - 22
Construction Today - October 2016 - 23
Construction Today - October 2016 - 24
Construction Today - October 2016 - 25
Construction Today - October 2016 - 26
Construction Today - October 2016 - 27
Construction Today - October 2016 - 28
Construction Today - October 2016 - 29
Construction Today - October 2016 - 30
Construction Today - October 2016 - 31
Construction Today - October 2016 - 32
Construction Today - October 2016 - 33
Construction Today - October 2016 - 34
Construction Today - October 2016 - 35
Construction Today - October 2016 - 36
Construction Today - October 2016 - 37
Construction Today - October 2016 - 38
Construction Today - October 2016 - 39
Construction Today - October 2016 - 40
Construction Today - October 2016 - 41
Construction Today - October 2016 - 42
Construction Today - October 2016 - 43
Construction Today - October 2016 - 44
Construction Today - October 2016 - 45
Construction Today - October 2016 - 46
Construction Today - October 2016 - 47
Construction Today - October 2016 - 48
Construction Today - October 2016 - 49
Construction Today - October 2016 - 50
Construction Today - October 2016 - 51
Construction Today - October 2016 - 52
Construction Today - October 2016 - 53
Construction Today - October 2016 - 54
Construction Today - October 2016 - 55
Construction Today - October 2016 - 56
Construction Today - October 2016 - 57
Construction Today - October 2016 - 58
Construction Today - October 2016 - 59
Construction Today - October 2016 - 60
Construction Today - October 2016 - 61
Construction Today - October 2016 - 62
Construction Today - October 2016 - 63
Construction Today - October 2016 - 64
Construction Today - October 2016 - 65
Construction Today - October 2016 - 66
Construction Today - October 2016 - 67
Construction Today - October 2016 - 68
Construction Today - October 2016 - 69
Construction Today - October 2016 - 70
Construction Today - October 2016 - 71
Construction Today - October 2016 - 72
Construction Today - October 2016 - 73
Construction Today - October 2016 - 74
Construction Today - October 2016 - 75
Construction Today - October 2016 - 76
Construction Today - October 2016 - 77
Construction Today - October 2016 - 78
Construction Today - October 2016 - 79
Construction Today - October 2016 - 80
Construction Today - October 2016 - 81
Construction Today - October 2016 - 82
Construction Today - October 2016 - 83
Construction Today - October 2016 - 84
Construction Today - October 2016 - 85
Construction Today - October 2016 - 86
Construction Today - October 2016 - 87
Construction Today - October 2016 - 88
Construction Today - October 2016 - 89
Construction Today - October 2016 - 90
Construction Today - October 2016 - 91
Construction Today - October 2016 - 92
Construction Today - October 2016 - 93
Construction Today - October 2016 - 94
Construction Today - October 2016 - 95
Construction Today - October 2016 - 96
Construction Today - October 2016 - 97
Construction Today - October 2016 - 98
Construction Today - October 2016 - 99
Construction Today - October 2016 - 100
Construction Today - October 2016 - 101
Construction Today - October 2016 - 102
Construction Today - October 2016 - 103
Construction Today - October 2016 - 104
Construction Today - October 2016 - 105
Construction Today - October 2016 - 106
Construction Today - October 2016 - 107
Construction Today - October 2016 - 108
Construction Today - October 2016 - 109
Construction Today - October 2016 - 110
Construction Today - October 2016 - 111
Construction Today - October 2016 - 112
Construction Today - October 2016 - 113
Construction Today - October 2016 - 114
Construction Today - October 2016 - 115
Construction Today - October 2016 - 116
Construction Today - October 2016 - 117
Construction Today - October 2016 - 118
Construction Today - October 2016 - 119
Construction Today - October 2016 - 120
Construction Today - October 2016 - 121
Construction Today - October 2016 - 122
Construction Today - October 2016 - 123
Construction Today - October 2016 - 124
Construction Today - October 2016 - 125
Construction Today - October 2016 - 126
Construction Today - October 2016 - 127
Construction Today - October 2016 - 128
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover3
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover4
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http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_20130102
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_20121112
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_20120910
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_201208
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_201207
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_201206
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_201205
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http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_201203
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_201202
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_201201
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http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_201109
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/ct_201108
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/ct_201107
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