Hiring a strong workforce traditionally follows a consistent structure for corporations across the region. But when it comes to finding invaluable skill sets for the team at RUSH Construction, Inc., it’s not exactly a textbook process. Instead, it’s a forward thinking mindset. When the opportunity exists, take it.
“Do we have to bring this person on? No. Could we get by without them for a little bit longer? Sure. Will they still be there two months from now? Definitely No.” says President and CEO William Chivers.
In the last 12 months, RUSH has grown its staff by over 50 percent, which, for a small business, is astronomical. In addition, a recent $38.6 million dollar contract secured by RUSH Marine means another 30 staff members will be added by the end of 2018, making their job growth even more astounding.
“Talent is very hard to find,” Chivers says. “We’ve been so fortunate and blessed that we have found some amazing people and some amazing people have found us, too!
Some would ask why we would bring people on when we already had enough staff to manage the current work. I always answer, “you can’t time opportunity.” We knew that if we didn’t grab these employees, someone else would.”
By doing it this way, it allows RUSH to get ahead of the curve, based on the vision of what they see happening in the future.
“We’re now starting to see that vision unfold with growth in our revenues and some additional backlog coming in,” Chivers says.
Additionally, RUSH is expanding toward other locations, picking up work in Orlando, Jacksonville and Daytona.
“It’s a tough business. If you don’t work hard, you’re not going to succeed,” Chivers says.
“When we hire, we look at succession,” says Executive Vice President Al Forbes. “This type of talent that we have here now, it’s hard to find and that’s why we don’t wait.”
One of RUSH’s recent hires, Ben Thornton, joined the team in March of this year after working for Embraer Aircraft Holdings as the liaison between contractor and business units.
“My long-term career goal has always been to work on the contractor’s side, and I knew it was time to make that transition,” Thornton says. “I was looking at RUSH’s website and I noticed an opening for a project manager position. What really drew me to RUSH was their reputation for being a company with such high integrity. They’re very catering to their clients. Anything to make the customer happy is what they are always striving towards and that’s my same mindset.”
With the level of experience and talent Thornton brings to the team, he sees great potential and growth and considers this to be his long-term career destination.
“One of the things we’ve recognized is knowing when revenue growth is about to occur,” Chivers says. “We don’t want to fail our clients by the revenues coming in the door and then us looking around saying, ‘We better go hire some people to implement this.’”
That’s why Karyn Barker, another new project manager on the RUSH team, joined the company in October of 2017. She brings years of design experience, including running her own construction company.
“I met RUSH’s Founder, Eduardo Rabel, at the 2017 Founders Forum, listened to him speak, and loved everything he had to say,” Barker says. “I realized this group had the same mindset as me. I introduced myself afterwards, and then I started meeting everybody and eventually was hired. It’s really like a family here. I know they are very careful about hiring the right people. They vet them very thoroughly.”
Barker recently finished working on the Legacy Academy, a charter school in Titusville, and also holds the title as the first female project manager at RUSH Construction. She, along with colleagues, enjoy the positive culture, as well as the employee-owned status of the business.
“We think that the opportunity to own a piece of the company is a big attraction, and it helps keep people here,” Chivers says.
A long-time, familiar face within the community, Steve Mundine, joined the RUSH team in July of this year, bringing a prominent drive to build greater things.
“I’ve been in construction all my life. I went to M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management, University of Florida, and then worked with my father on the commercial side,” Mundine says. “I eventually started my own business on the residential construction side, but wanted a change of that market.”
Mundine has known the RUSH team for years and was thrilled to join the company to focus more intently on commercial project management.
“In the commercial field you get a set of plans, you follow it and build it. If you do a job well, everyone is satisfied,” Mundine says. “Residential construction tends to be far more emotional than commercial construction and I wanted to step away from that to be able to move on to larger projects.”
With the amount of opportunity in the region, and this forward-thinking mindset, RUSH not only continues to flourish, but has set itself up with a strong support staff to handle the growth.
“We’re open for change and new ideas and don’t want to get stuck in the same box,” Al Forbes concluded. “That’s why we’re in the position we’re in, because we’re looking ahead of what’s happening in Brevard County, and positioning ourselves to meet the demands.”