Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 103
a 401(k) program, growth opportunities and an environment that
allows them to contribute.
"For the most part, people are allowed to use their knowledge in
their work as much as possible," Welch says. "There's some adult
supervision, of course, but you can be creative about getting the job
done on time and on budget."
'We have seasoned
people that know how
to project-manage and
keep the jobs going.'
BRB completed work at the
Topeka Water Treatment Plan
in Topeka, Kan.
BRB plans for continued but controlled growth, Laird says. As it has
focused on water and wastewater jobs, "We've seen somewhat of an
upturn in projects," he says. "We've been able to compete, but we're
not looking to take on more than we can successfully complete."
The company also has started a succession plan for when its
current leaders retire. "We're finding people and bringing them
up through the ranks," Welch says. "We've got the company set up
where we want it to continue with new blood."
Laird, who also has more than 30 years with BRB, agrees. "The people are key to getting anything built," he declares.
Up to Date
BRB continues to invest in its operations. "We try to keep up with
the latest technology, computers and software, and communications
media as far as the field is concerned," Welch says.
The company recently purchased a new excavator and loader, and
expects to buy more, based on the Trump administration's push to
update the infrastructure. "I'm enthusiastic about more infrastructure work coming along," Welch says.
"We do have a replacement policy for our equipment that gets us
the cleaner engines and creature comforts for the operators," Welch
says, adding that BRB also invests in its shop. "We try to give them
everything they need to maintain the equipment and keep it in
Like many, BRB is finding it challenging to hire new, qualified people. "The unemployment rate is pretty low right now and it's going
to get lower," Welch predicts. "There's going to be a fight for the best
people out there."
But the company's low turnover rate allows it to cope. "Retention
is something that we try to keep on the front burner," he says, noting
that the company keeps its employees loyal with benefits such as
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM