The greatest challenge facing us today is a qualified work force. I believe there is a shortage of skilled labor in our industry presently and a lack of interest in joining the construction industry.
One of the things Bracken Paving is doing to cope with this challenge is to invest more time and money into employee training and development. We have weekly meetings where we discuss teamwork, leadership, and basic relationship principles that help our people perform and relate more effectively at work and at home. The emphasis on excellence and personal growth attracts and keeps the best and brightest people while the whiners eliminate themselves.
Our growth is directly related to, not only my personal leadership development, but also to the leadership development of our team leaders. In the first 10 years of business, our growth was attributed to hard work & long hours. I was basically on every job trying to do it all myself. However, within the past 7 years, I have learned that everything rises and falls on leadership. So when I began to grow as a leader, Bracken Paving also began to grow. As I have learned to be a better leader, our team leaders have been more effective (and they have grown and developed as leaders as well), so this requires me to be on very few jobs now. Leadership training and development has allowed us to have several crews that are providing an excellent customer experience, along with an exceptional product and service, while maintaining exemplary production and performance.
I believe what makes us successful today is the value we put on excellence for our customers and the investments we make in the lives of our employees. Satisfied customers keep us in business and our skilled work force maintains customer satisfaction. Another thing that I believe helps make us successful is our generosity. We are a company that loves to give and help others in the community. In the past year we have donated grading and paving for 3 Habitat for Humanity driveways, 2 basketball courts for non profit organizations that help young people, and a long driveway for a handicap 3yr old girl so an ambulance can get to her house once a week for treatments. We also help other organizations every year financially. We are very grateful that we get the opportunity and have the resources to add value to others. The community around us recognizes this and they come to us knowing that we are a caring and reputable business in whom they can trust.