Case Studies

Vulcan Industrial Contractors: Leading the Way for Industrial Contracting

  • Written by: Vulcan Industrial Contractors: Leading the Way for Industrial Contracting
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Vulcan Industrial Contractors (VIC) was founded in 1949 and over the past 60 years has grown to become one of the largest industrial and specialty contractors in the southern United States. The company is a WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) Certified Women Owned Business Enterprise and had record breaking revenues in both 2009 and 2010.

Though the company’s headquarters are located in Birmingham, Ala., the company works throughout the Southeast and into Texas. The company offers commercial construction services, but specializes in heavy industrial construction and is also a full-scale industrial maintenance contractor. “We hardly sub out anything because we are the subcontractor,” explains Teresa Magnus, CEO. “When a general contractor needs specialty industrial work done, we offer a complete proposal.”

VIC employs certified energy appraisers and LEED Accredited Professionals to be able to work with clients not just on cost control, but also on scheduling, to ensure that projects are priced accurately according to time frames. The company’s extensive experience involves providing new construction, brownfield construction, facility expansions, environmental retrofits and general maintenance/operations services for clients such as Georgia Power, Alabama Power, Conoco-Phillips, Georgia Pacific, the Tennessee Valley Authority, NASA and more.

“We are very spread out, but we work primarily for power companies and petro chemical companies,” says Magnus, who joined VIC in 2008 and has since grown the company into one of Alabama’s largest privately held companies and specialty subcontractors, according to the Birmingham Business Journal.

“VIC recruited me to work here, but I have been in construction my entire career,” explains Magnus, a certified public accountant with a law degree from Samford University who was recently named one of Engineering News Record’s “Top 20 Under 40.”

Empowering Employees Through Safety Training

Quite possibly Magnus’ most important corporate initiative at VIC has been the implementation of a new safety philosophy, which has earned the firm not only reduced accident rates, but also the 2009 Theodore H. Brodie Safety Award from the National Insulation Association. The firm’s safety philosophy is firmly grounded in the belief that every accident is preventable and employees are actively encouraged to stop any task the employee feels holds inherent risks that cannot adequately be controlled. Safety has come to serve as one of VIC’s key indicators of success. “We have five basic criteria we are always looking at: safety, quality, schedule, budget, and customer satisfaction,” explains Magnus.

These days, the company is busy enacting those conditions keeping pace with some of the region’s largest power companies. “We’re in the middle of a lot of good projects,” says Magnus. VIC is currently working on a project with Georgia Power at the Bowen Energy plant in Euharlee, Ga. The Bowen Plant is the nation’s second largest coal-fired power plant in terms of capacity, and VIC has been involved in the plant’s renovations. According to the firm, VIC is installing a new wash down system with a dust free cute to minimize dust in the facility.

However, the firm’s most challenging project to date, according to Magnus, has been VIC’s work on the restart of a nuclear reactor for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). “We were working as subs for Stone and Webster on the restart of Unit 1 at TVA’s Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Plant, which has to be some of the more recent nuclear work out there,” explains Magnus.

The plant is located in Athens, Ala., and was TVA’s first nuclear power plant. Unit 1 had been inactive since 1985, and in 2002 the TVA Board voted to restart the reactor and expand its production capacity to help meet the needs of an increased and growing demands for electricity in the area. By May 2007 Unit 1 was back online and became the first nuclear generating unit to come into operation in the 21st century and the first in nearly a decade.

Preparing for New Growth

For VIC 2009 and 2010 have been years of fiscal growth, and Magnus maintains that the firm is focused on continuing that trend by concentrating on its core: a team that reinforces values that include integrity through an adherence to moral and ethical principles, a strong commitment to safety performance, quality assurance and sustainability, and the priority of providing customers with efficient service, process and product. This approach has long been the path to VIC’s success, which shows all signs of continuing. “I hope to continue to expand our service area and possibly grow into other areas of the industry,” says Magnus.

Though business has been slow in other regions, VIC is gearing up for more growth. “We are starting to see a lot of large industrial projects getting ready to move. For instance, in a Birmingham newspaper there was an announcement for a railcar wheel manufacturer to transport materials and heavy equipment, and for us transportation is an early sign that steel mills will begin to update their equipment,” asserts Magnus.

Using its extensive experience to offer value to any and all facility management or construction teams, Vulcan Industrial Contractors has what is needed to add decades more success throughout industrial projects nationwide.

Published on: March 10, 2013

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