Gross Electric Inc.
- Written by: Erica Berry
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Gross Electric Inc. is a licensed electrical contractor serving New York and New England states. The company has experience in all facets of industrial and commercial electrical installations and maintenance, primarily in the health care, industrial and institutional sectors.
The company, founded in 1994 by Joe Gross, is headquartered in a 50,000-square-foot office and warehouse facility in Queensbury, New York. Over the last 20-plus years, the corporation has grown into one of the leading larger electrical contracting firms in the upstate New York area.
“We started 21 years ago, with absolutely nothing,” says Joe. “We went from the bottom to the second largest contractor in the area by volume, by concentrating on providing quality service to our customers. Our dedication to client satisfaction has directly impacted our growth and we have seen repeat business as a result.”
Whether a one man or 100-man project, Gross Electric has the experienced foremen and electricians to meet job requirements for clients throughout New York and New England.
Powering the North East
When Gross Electric first began, it worked exclusively in the industrial sector and has since become heavily involved in health care, institutional and commercial markets. The company, which now employs approximately 150 experienced electricians, project managers and foremen, are able to handle any project – regardless of scope.
Each project Gross Electric takes on is outfitted with the necessary materials, tools and manpower to complete it as required, and projects are monitored daily by assigned foremen to prevent delays and deficiencies. Additionally, Gross Electric’s safety director performs weekly inspections of worksites in order to provide the safest project possible.
“We take on crazy jobs because I know my team is skilled enough to handle it,” says Joe. “While I prefer to do bigger, industrial projects, we hardly ever say no to a client. It’s just not in our vocabulary.”
Among the company’s most memorable projects is work on Bellevue Hospital in New York City. After Superstorm Sandy hit the densely populated coastal city in 2012, Gross Electric was called to restore electrical stability to the 1,200-bed hospital. With a team of over 100 craftsmen, the company installed all new power distribution to Bellevue Hospital and also performed electric work at Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island in NYC and Albany Medical Center Hospital in Albany, New York, in tandem.
“Any other day it would have been a routine job, but completing within 100 calendar days was a challenge,” says Joe. “We sent out a large crew to help at Bellevue and it really felt good to be able to make a difference in such a devastating time.”
Another memorable project, according to Joe, was the wiring of The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), chip production of 450 millimeter diameter wafers. CNSE built the NanoFab Extension (NFX) to provide a cleanroom to support R&D and pilot production of ICs on 450mm wafers. The $365 million facility will be the research and development home for the Global 450 millimeter Consortium – a public-private partnership focused on fostering the development of 450 millimeter wafers and related semiconductor technology.
Gross Electric has also worked on several projects for Global Foundries, the world’s first full-service semiconductor foundry. The latest collaboration came as the company was looking to expand its Malta, New York site to include a new 221,000-square-foot administration facility. On this project, Gross Electric installed power distribution, branch circuits, lighting and cable tray systems to provide energy to the 450 administrative, engineering and research specialists that would eventually fill the space.
“This was a very fast track schedule consisting of a project manager, general foreman, five foremen, safety director and 40 electricians,” says Joe. “During construction we were also managing several other smaller contracts at the main fabrication facility, installing all of their variable frequency drives, feeder conduits and motor terminations.”
In the upcoming year, Gross Electric has a major project on the books for the College of Nanoscale Science’s Zero Energy Nanotechnology (ZEN) building in Albany. In its entirety, the project is a $191 million investment.
Gross Electric currently is wiring numerous tools in fabrication of semiconductors at The Global Foundries facility and completing additional power distribution projects throughout the facility.
As a leader in the electrical market, Gross Electric is an active member of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Albany Chapter and finds the resources and networking opportunities that spawn from membership invaluable.
“Communication is the biggest benefit,” Joe explains. “NECA offers a line of communications to the union and connects you with other industry leaders. Although we are competition, we can garner a lot of information from one another. It’s a lot like player poker, you’re friends enough to play but you still want to win the pot at the end of the day.”
When it comes to leadership Joe believes involvement is the key to success and has served the association as a board member, governor and treasurer.
“NECA gives me a chance to control my destiny,” says Joe. “As a younger contractor in this business, I think it’s very important to voice my opinion on topics that are going to affect me for years to come. NECA provides not only me, but other members, as well, the ability to make sure the good ideas and the effective programs keep flourishing so we can be prosperous.”
Gross Electric mans all projects from its internal team and IBEW union workers to outfit jobs, from heavy industrial, institutional to light commercial work and high-end residential projects.
“Gross Electric’s true success is from surrounding us with the best professionals and craftsmen in the area,” Joe says.
A bright future
While other businesses experienced hits during the recession, Gross Electric did not feel the economic pangs until after others had begun to recover. Although the company experienced a hard couple of years, it broadened its scope to include more commercial projects and filled its backlog with smaller scale jobs in order to keep its lights on.
“Most large-scale electrical work is planned far ahead of implementation so while others were suffering during the recession we were busy on pre-planned projects,” Joe explains. “But because companies were strapped for cash, no one planned any new construction and we were hit on the upswing. In hard times you have to work harder and do the best you can to make a margin and retain our proven work force.”
Despite the industry’s inevitable ebbs and flows, Gross Electric Inc. has been riding the wave to success thanks to its dedication to hiring only the highest quality craftsmen and delivering on its word to customers.
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