For day three of ePathway Academy, we had the privilege of visiting Harris Construction. As a 102-year-old company, Harris is one of the largest construction companies in the central valley. They specialize in schools and food processing facilities, but also take on major commercial buildings, churches, and other large-scale projects.
Our tour at Harris started with Bill Bunch, the VP of Operations. Bill took us through the headquarters facility. He also talked about project management, the structure of operations, and how operations careers work (including his own). We finished our tour with Bill in the bidding office, where people from all over the company were assembled, taking bids from subcontractors in preparation for a bid Harris was preparing for a new school project. It was fascinating to watch the company executing its work on such an important day.
Later, CEO David Parkes gave an overview of the construction industry and shared Harris’s strategic plan.
VP of Business Development Mike Spencer talked about new business and the different delivery mechanisms Harris uses to serve customers.
During and after lunch, all three men talked with students about industry and company challenges, the company’s emphasis on serving customers, the value they place on employees and partners (CEO David Parkes said, “We don’t manage rebar and glass. We manage human beings.”), and the personal satisfaction they take in making structures that last and serve the public for decades. Students learned about value engineering, subcontracting, working with trade unions, and project management.
After the visit, students reported being impressed by the passion and caring that each of these three business leaders bring to their work. Thank you to Harris Construction for a wonderful visit!