Lawson Electric Co.
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Since 1925, Lawson Electric Co. has been a fixture in the Southeast electrical contracting industry. Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Lawson Electric performs installation and service work for industrial, institutional, commercial and residential clients. With approximately 450 employees, the company’s team includes professional engineers, project managers, designers, industrial automation professionals, management and clerical staff.
“We’re a well-financed and well-structured company,” says Ryan Crimmins, president of Lawson Electric. “Our goal is to treat each customer like we would want to be treated.” Providing exceptional quality, performance, safety and value at a fair price are top priorities for Lawson Electric.
Working in all aspects of the industry, the company performs bid, negotiated, design-assist and design-build work. “We do whatever best suits the customer’s needs,” adds Crimmins.
With one of the strongest Experience Modification Ratings (EMR) in the country, Lawson Electric takes pride in the quality of its employees. “We think that we have the best workforce in our area,” says Mark Fullam, vice president of Lawson Electric. “We strive to be the best at everything we do and we treat our customers like they are our family. This philosophy has created numerous repeat clients for the company.”
East Tennessee NECA
In addition to holding the position of vice president of Lawson Electric, Fullam is also a board member of the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (ETNECA). While being the vice president of a company involves multiple responsibilities, Fullam feels it is worthwhile and important to be involved with ETNECA. “It’s important for the networking aspect and to be consistently updated about what’s happening in the marketplace,” Fullam explains. “We feel it’s part of our duty to be involved in the system. We’ve always been heavily involved in NECA meetings and events. Our former vice president of Lawson Electric, Charlie Ewton, was a board member of ETNECA for 46 years, and was inducted into the NECA Academy for his service.”
Fullam also believes that it is important for Lawson Electric to have its voice heard in the association. “Since we’re the largest contractor in the area we want to be a part of every discussion that takes place,” says Fullam.
Lawson Electric has utilized the NECA CW/CE program. “We’ve had about four or five CE’s on the payroll, and three of them have gone into the apprenticeship program and become journeymen electricians,” says Crimmins. “We have a bunch of CW’s because that is now the new entry-level classification.”
With approximately 52 CW’s on board Crimmins’ goal is for all of them to apply to and enter the apprenticeship program. “We want people who want to excel in their life and career.”
A majority of the project managers at Lawson Electric began their careers in the apprenticeship program. While working as journeymen, many displayed additional talents, such as the ability to manage at a professional level, which launched them into project management positions. “The drive and ambition of these guys causes them to have high standards,” says Crimmins. “At the end of the day a customer is willing to pay a little more to the company that delivers quality, productivity and safety on the job every day versus a company that just tries to get the job done as quickly as possible.”
A growing portfolio
A showcase of Lawson Electric’s recent work in 2014 is the Memorial Hospital expansion in Chattanooga. The job included a new central energy plant featuring five, 2-megawatt generators. The accompanying infrastructure included six, 15kV substations, which feed the entire hospital campus. “We completely wired a five-story surgical suite,” says Crimmins. “It was really a marquee project for us.”
Other clients that the company has completed work for recently include Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee, Wacker Chemical and Volkswagen. For Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee, Lawson Electric was involved in the construction of the insurance company’s corporate headquarters in Chattanooga which is the largest single project to date completed by Lawson Electric.
The company was also involved in the construction of the only Volkswagen plant in the United States. Due to the success of this job, Lawson Electric was invited back to complete construction on an expansion to the factory.
The company continues to rely on its safety record and reputation to spark growth and garner new customers. Exceptional customer service, delivering top-quality products and services to clients, while remaining on schedule and budget all remain the top priorities for Lawson Electric Co.
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