Case Studies

McGarvin-Moberly Construction Co.

Building Wyoming’s highways with integrity

Helping to build a better highway system for the traveling public is a team effort and the primary focus of McGarvin-Moberly Construction Co. Located in Worland, Wyoming, McGarvin-Moberly leverages its relationship with other contractors throughout the state on highway rehabilitation, maintenance and reconstruction. The company is able to take on projects of all sizes and scopes as it operates two mobile paving divisions a portable aggregate crushing division, and profile/grinding subsidiary, Robinson Grinding & Profiling LLC.

McGarvin-Moberly Construction Co. incorporated in the State of Wyoming May 23, 1963. Founded by Harry Moberly, Dale McGarvin and his father, Gordon McGarvin, the company began as a small parking lot paving and gravel-crushing contractor, working in the Bighorn Basin area. Through disciplined, steady growth, McGarvin-Moberly entered the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) highway asphalt paving market in the late ‘60s. Continuing its progressive trends, the company’s crushing and paving assets have been continuously upgraded over the last four decades in order to compete in the WYDOT market.

McGarvin-Moberly Construction Co.In 1989, McGarvin-Moberly became an employee-owned company by implementing an employee stock option plan (ESOP). This helped to facilitate the impending retirement of Dale and Harry, while providing for the continued operations of the company. In 1989, Charles Gilmore, Roy Schneider and Dave Christy purchased minority interests in the company from Dale.

As part of its corporate succession plan, McGarvin-Moberly has transitioned into its current board of directors, consisting of shareholders Phillip Caines, who serves as president of the company, Gary Bertsch, executive vice president, Ernie Skretteberg, vice president, and Kevin Craft, vice president of operations.

Standing out in the industry

McGarvin-Moberly has been able to carve out a niche in the WYDOT market as a top-tier crushing and paving contractor. “We have worked very hard to maintain the company’s reputation for having exceptional skill, integrity and pride in all of our operations,” says Skretteberg. “We strive to increase efficiency by internal personal development and management at all levels, while constantly exploring opportunities for new markets for our services.”

A majority of McGarvin-Moberly’s work consists of WYDOT contracts. While the company prefers to bid on projects that allow it to act as the general contractor, the company performs some work as an aggregate crushing and/or asphalt-paving subcontractor. Its market consists primarily of the entire state of Wyoming with Robinson Grinding concentrated in the Rocky Mountain States.

All members of the management team at McGarvin-Moberly wear numerous hats throughout the bidding and construction process. “Kevin and I typically tour a project with the resident engineer and report back to the rest of the team regarding any unusual characteristics that could potentially affect pricing,” Skretteberg explains. “We all work up our own estimates of the project and convene before a bid opening to compare notes, agree on pricing and production to close out and present to the owner.”

Reaping rewards

The biggest challenge facing McGarvin-Moberly is common to other sectors of the construction industry: an aging workforce. It is becoming more difficult for companies to find qualified and motivated employees to join their teams and advance through the ranks utilizing their talent, education and desire. As an ESOP company, succession planning remains on the forefront, especially with management transition. “We do have a young man in place named Bryan Barthelmess that will be part of that transition,” says Skretteberg. “We also have some field supervisors who will play a part in sustaining the company’s future.”

Skretteberg finds many rewarding aspects of working for McGarvin-Moberly. But the opportunity to work and interact with dynamic, motivated and professional men and women stands out the most in his mind. “Heavy highway construction is an industry fraught with peril and risk,” he says. “The rewards of completing a successful, profitable project through the commitment of everyone involved results in a huge return on investment.”

McGarvin-Moberly is a member of the Wyoming Contractor’s Association (WCA), which Skretteberg feels has been a true advocate to the horizontal and vertical construction industry in Wyoming. The company’s membership has paid off both professionally and personally. “Our involvement in policymaking and the political process through our membership with WCA truly afford us a better picture of present and future market conditions in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain Region,” says Skretteberg.

With Wyoming’s economy still in recovery, McGarvin-Moberly can enjoy some sense of security not only for its solid portfolio, but the promising future of the industry. With the passing of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) bill, the federal government will provide $271 million to Wyoming annually through 2020.

With a rich history and strong reputation, the leadership of McGarvin-Moberly Construction Co. remains cautiously optimistic that the state of Wyoming will recognize the importance of investing in the state’s vast infrastructure.

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Spring 2018



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