Alcal Specialty Contracting Inc.
Darren Morris, president of Alcal Specialty Contracting Inc. (Alcal), says the California-based company’s longevity lies in its diversity and the quality of its people. “Alcal was established in 1971 as a roofing and insulation contractor in the Bay Area and now employs over 600 employees throughout the western United States,” Morris explains.
If strength in numbers wasn’t enough, Alcal also brings a range of specialty commercial and residential services to the table. “We’re a union contractor and have a highly trained and efficient workforce in each of our trades,” Morris continues. “This allows us to be competitive on the simple projects and among the few in our industry that can do the most complex projects. The complex projects are where our customers rely on us the most due to the depth of expertise from the many long-term employees we are blessed to have.”
According to Morris, Alcal has a large backlog of private work, including single-family homes, apartments, office buildings and hospitals. “We also perform federal, state and local government work; anything from university buildings to courthouses,” shares Morris. “We’ve survived and grown for more than 42 years in tough industry because of this diversity.”
Bundled, In-house Service
Alcal is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., and operates 13 branches throughout California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii, with the company’s largest markets being the Bay Area and southern California. “We’re a diversified specialty contractor,” continues Morris. “About two-thirds of our business is commercial and one-third residential. On the commercial side we serve as a subcontractor to national, regional and local general contractors, offering expert roofing, waterproofing, insulation, fire stopping, contract glazing, expansion joints and other related products.”
In the residential market, Alcal delivers a range of complimentary products, fiberglass and spray foam insulation, garage doors, fireplaces, mantels and others. “We offer certain complimentary products, because we have found that builders prefer to bundle services,” explains Morris. “Many of our trades are relatively small parts of building a home. By relying on one reputable trade partner to schedule and install four or five different products, it creates convenience and efficiency for the builder. These builders also appreciate that we have the resources to offer innovative new products, like polyurethane spray foam, that require special equipment and highly trained crews.
Partnering with Large-scale General Contractors
From state-of-the-art heath care facilities to Los Angeles landmarks, Alcal delivers dozens of sizable, high-profile projects every year. “During the recent recession we finished our largest airport job to-date at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas,” notes Morris. “We completed Terminal 3 and it was the largest commercial insulation project we’ve ever worked on. It was fun to be a part of.”
From Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Alcal has had a hand in many landmark developments. “In Los Angeles, right next door to the famous Staples Center where the L.A. Lakers and Clippers play, we insulated the Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriot at the L.A. Live development,” shares Morris. “The luxury hotel tower is part of a beautiful redevelopment effort that has transformed that area of town.”
The company is currently in the midst of its largest project to-date at the University of California San Francisco Mission Bay Hospital (Mission Bay). “We’re performing roofing, waterproofing, insulation and fire stopping for one of the largest, most innovative hospitals on the West Coast,” details Morris.
While Alcal specializes in large-scale development, Morris explains it’s the small community service-oriented projects that are sometimes the most rewarding. “We do a lot of community-driven projects,” he shares. “We recently reroofed a disabled veteran’s home free of charge so he could focus on taking care of his wife who is on dialysis. Out of all the great projects we are fortunate to work on, these types of jobs are among the most meaningful.”
Recruiting and Retaining High-quality People
Additionally, Alcal reaches out into the community to recruit new talent. “We have a great college recruitment internship and apprenticeship programs,” notes Morris. “We bring in construction management and business students from various universities for their energy and fresh outlook, and then pair them up with an Alcal veteran of 10, 20 or 30 years to act as a mentor. More often than not, we offer them a full-time position after graduation, because we’ve got to know them and trust that they are good people.”
Morris goes on to note that many of Alcal’s best crew members started in an entry-level warehouse position before being promoted into a union apprentice position and eventually becoming highly paid journeyman. “This allows us to get to know them, train them the right way and make sure their attitude toward customer service, quality and safety meets Alcal standards,” he continues.
Morris adds that one of Alcal’s biggest achievements is the company’s ability to retain a trusted team of talented professionals. “All businesses are people businesses, but ours is really about people, from our crews to our estimators to our project managers and everyone in between, what I’m most proud of is our people,” he explains. “We center everything on hiring, developing and retaining good people that exemplify our core values of respect, integrity, accountability, safety, customer service and innovation; that’s what our founders built this company around and we intend to stay true to it.”
After 43 years, Alcal Specialty Contracting Inc.’s pursuit of excellence is continued by constantly adapting to meet customer needs and finding new opportunities to expand product offerings and geographic reach.
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