Case Studies

Vause Mechanical Contracting Inc.

Family business thrives on reputation

Based on commitment, trust and integrity, Vause Mechanical Contracting Inc. (VMC) has built lasting relationships with its clients for more than 28 years. Located in Tallahassee, Florida, VMC is a full-service mechanical contracting firm serving heavy commercial and industrial markets. With a dedication to building partnerships, VMC communicates openly and honestly with its clients to achieve their goals.

Established in 1988 by D.R. Vause, VMC has been built on the belief that a company could be a financial success based on common ethical values. After 23 years with a private mechanical contracting firm, D.R. gained the knowledge and expertise that has earned him a respectable reputation in the industry. Today D.R.’s son, Keith Vause, is secretary and treasurer of the company and runs the day-to-day operations. Services that VMC provides include HVAC, plumbing, underground utilities, chiller installation, steam piping, chilled-water piping, fire protection and turnkey design-build.

Vause Mechanical Contracting Inc.

A staple in the community

Working in the public sector, VMC completes numerous projects for public universities such as   Florida State University. This has created a challenge for VMC to overcome as the recession has limited the budget of public education institutions. The diversity of services that VMC is capable of providing has proven to be an asset in overcoming tough economic times. As a mechanical contractor with construction management experience, VMC holds state licenses in general contracting, mechanical, plumbing, underground utilities and fire protection services. The company also maintains the ability to respond to emergency situations.

VMC has been able to remain up to date with the latest technological advances in the industry. The company is currently involved in a project with Florida State University, installing 850-ton chillers in Doak Campbell Stadium. “These chillers are on the cutting edge of technology,” says Vause. While the company self-performs the majority of its work, VMC turns to subcontractors for installing the controls on the project.

For many years, VMC has maintained a strategic partnership with Trane HVAC equipment. While VMC does not exclusively deal with Trane equipment, there are less than 150 HVAC companies internationally that are secure partners with Trane.

As many companies in the construction are experiencing, Vause says one of the biggest challenges his company faces is manpower. With the millennial generation entering the workforce and the baby-boom generation on the verge of retirement, the construction industry is witnessing a lack of interest in the trades as careers for young people. “Many young folks don’t see construction as a glamorous job,” says Vause. “It’s a career where you can learn and maintain skills throughout your lifetime and can also make a decent living.”

While VMC looks for skilled workers in pipefitting and welding, the company is also willing to work with folks who are willing to be trained in new aspects of the trade. “The key to that is the fact that those new skills will stay with that person for the rest of their life,” says Vause. “Everything is comprehensive. We’re really looking for folks who want to establish a career in the industry.”

VMC remains involved with a local technical school to not only recruit workers, but also educate and maintain interest in the industry. “It helps to find new people but we need to get them into the field to gain experience,” Vause explains. “Once they have a year or two under their belt they become very valuable to us.”

Strength in numbers

With approximately 35 employees, the staff at VMC averages more than 40 years’ experience in technical installation. With knowledge and expertise, VMC maintains the ability to meet aggressive schedules and complete every project according to each client’s timeline. With licenses in Florida and Georgia, VMC tends to work within a 150-mile radius of its headquarters in Tallahassee.

Growing up surrounded by the family business, Vause has been involved with VMC for his entire life. Becoming a certified welder when he was still just a child, Vause began working for the company during the summer and school breaks at the age of 14, transitioning to full-time employment as an adult.

In measuring the success of his company, Vause says the most important thing is the ability to continue to provide work for his employees. “35 to 40 families depend on this company for an income,” he says. “We strive to ensure that they will always be able to make a living with us.”

The reputation and relationships that VMC has established will prove to be strong enough to propel the company into the future. Vause Mechanical Contracting Inc. is a mechanical contracting company with the professionalism to communicate and complete its customers’ goals in a timely manner with concern and integrity, which continues to build confidence and trust.

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