- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: John Carioti
- Estimated reading time: 6 mins
After 60 years as one of the largest and most recognized specialty contractors in central Pennsylvania, Gettle Incorporated (Gettle) understands that staying on top of its game is not an option, but a necessity.
“Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” questions Michael Walburn, director of business development for Gettle. “We are one of the old dogs, but we continue to learn new tricks every day to meet our customers’ needs in today’s ever-changing construction service industry.”
Since 1954, Gettle delivers comprehensive interior and exterior electrical design and installation, fire and security systems, data communications (datacom), automation and design-build service, supporting businesses of all shapes and sizes across the Mid-Atlantic and beyond. From commercial to industrial, health care to retail, manufacturing to mining and power generation, Gettle offers clients the convenience of a one-stop shop in any sector with the ability to manage all aspects of a project.
“There are other companies out there getting turnkey contracts, but most of them have to sub out work, whereas we do it all in-house, from the service installation, including the electrical installation for the building, down to datacom and fire and security,” reveals Walburn. “We even provide our own central station services. The majority of what we do is also design-build. Gettle has a full engineering staff and professional engineers on-site. We’re drawing, modeling and building with 3-D rendering, which gives us the ability to coordinate with other systems such as HVAC and plumbing.”
Diversify and specialize
Gettle has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1955. “We started as a small company with just a couple of guys doing electrical work,” says Walburn. “In the 1980s Gettle was purchased by a larger construction group and since then we’ve been growing at a steady pace.”
The company has diversified and specialized over the years. “We’re no longer just an electrical contractor,” explains Walburn. “We’re a specialized provider, delivering commercial and industrial electrical projects, medium voltage work and we have a separately trained data communications team, along with a fire and security team and a closed-circuit television group.”
Walburn joined Gettle in 1992 as an industrial electrician. “When I started, Gettle had just 25 people in the field doing electrical and data work,” he details. “Now we average 160 people in the field and close to 60 in the office. I helped start our industrial group to get that side up and running, but I have taken over a new role as the head of business development. I find this to be very exciting as our growth potential seems endless.”
Gettle remains headquartered in York, Pa., but the contractor is licensed in 17 states. “We work in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio and New York, by customer request,” notes Walburn. “We have traveled as far as Texas in the past. With the recent addition of a Maryland office, our day to day geographic area almost doubled immediately.”
Basing business on relationships
No matter the project’s location or the size and scope of the job, Walburn says it’s about building repeat relationships. “Gettle wants to be the company that clients call the first time, every time,” he asserts. “Even if it means we have to refer them to someone else who is better suited for a particular task. We’re looking for customers, not just projects.”
Gettle is dedicated to offering the best and most long-term efficient designs and installations for all of the markets it serves. “Our customers are part of our team and thus, we continue to put resources into place to allow the customer to address any concerns they have at any point in the project, along with providing client management processes long after the project is completed,” adds Walburn.
United divisions delivering on time, on budget
Gettle’s extensive range of in-house service allows the company to better serve clients and build the longstanding relationships so crucial to the business. More often than not, the company’s various divisions collaborate to deliver one point of project contact.
In Hanover, Pa., Gettle’s electrical, fire and security and datacom arms joined forces to deliver a new office and warehouse space for Clarks North America. Gettle partnered with Gray Construction on the comprehensive LEED-certified project. Gettle’s project engineers delivered a design-build 451,000-square-foot automated warehouse with corporate office space, maximizing communications and resources to ensure the project could remain on schedule and budget.
“We are regularly on health care jobs, as well, because Gettle has the experience and training to work in an occupied fully operational facility and meet a strict schedule,” reveals Walburn. “WellSpan Health [WellSpan] is a major health care provider in our area and we greatly value our relationship with them. Health care projects are always interesting and we take great pride in our ability to perform in this area.”
Additionally, Gettle was a vital player in WellSpan’s surgery and rehabilitation hospital project in York, Pa. “As part of this large, highly-technical project, Gettle worked with the owner, construction manager and electrical engineers from day one to establish a feasible project budget,” recalls Walburn. “All three divisions worked together on this project: datacom, fire and security, as well as electrical, delivering 3-D Revit drawings for the projects coordination.”
The project also involved a range of datacom work with the installation of 3,000 CAT6 cables and 48-strand single mode backbone cables through three telecommunication rooms. Gettle installed single mode, fiber optic cables to connect the next hospital to the existing facility and offered assistance with the installation of the distributed antenna system.
“Our crews performed CATV wiring and flat-screen TV installation for 75 patient rooms,” adds Walburn. “Throughout the project, our experienced team of datacom experts attended project coordination meetings and stayed in constant contact with the project’s construction manager.” Working on a defined timeline, Gettle’s multidivisional capabilities were a key part of maximizing project efficiency in order hit the desired schedule.
Change is the name of the game
Although Gettle is about as diversified as a contractor can get, Walburn says the company continues to look for ways to stay ahead in the industry. “At Gettle, we know that change is part of everything we do,” he explains. “Over the last several months, we have taken on some monumental tasks to stay on top of our game. We’ve made some changes in our look, which were necessary to distinguish who we are today, but we’re still committed to the long-term, core values of customer service and satisfaction.”
Walburn says Gettle has taken great strides to further its engineering and design division, advancing in the areas of computer-aided drafting. “Our datacom division continues to advance in the field with the most updated installation and testing equipment for existing and new systems in wired and wireless technology,” he adds. “And our electrical branch offers systems for energy savings and longevity.”
According to Walburn, it is about growing alongside the many markets the company serves. “Gettle is truly a company dedicated to offering the best and most long-term efficient designs and installations for all markets we serve,” he continues. “Our customers are part of our team and thus, we continue to put resources into place to allow the customer to address any concerns they have at any point in the project, along with providing client management processes long after the project is completed.”
At the end of the day, the goal is to foster a long-term relationship. “We want to do what’s best for our customers,” ensures Walburn. “We have their best interest in mind at all times. We want them to benefit as much from us as we do from them. We offer 24/7/365 service for our customers in all our areas of expertise for that exact reason.”
By embracing an ever-changing construction world, Gettle Incorporated remains at the forefront of comprehensive electrical, engineering and design, datacom, automation and fire and security solutions with a 60-yearlong reputation and long-standing clientele.
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