A Solid Reputation
Jackson Industries builds business by capitalizing on its strong reputation and broad services
When a client needs a contractor that can handle both site preparation and concrete work, Jackson Industries can meet and exceed the job requirements. The company is based in the Cornelius area of Oregon and self-performs land clearing and demolition along with excavation and utilities. And when the site is ready, Jackson Industries can handle various scopes of work at an expert, professional level in structural and site concrete work as well.
“We are able to provide services that most people would have to hire two or three companies to complete the same project. We self-perform our own excavation and concrete work. You’re not having to manage several subs,” explains Owner and President Chad Jackson. Because his company does both the site preparation and the concrete work, he knows when the materials have to be ready. “It impacts the costs when you are able to manage the materials. That work goes hand in hand.”
Among the biggest projects managed by Jackson Industries in recent months are solar plants, primarily in Oregon. The work required includes underground dry conduit pipelines, utilities, grading and concrete work. The plants range from 2 to 30 megawatts and cover from 40 to 300 acres, according to Jackson.
His business has worked on solar projects for Sterling and Wilson, a major energy company based in India, and DEPCOM Power, which builds utility-scale solar projects and has been named a top solar contractor by Solar Power World.
Jackson expects this sector of his business to keep growing as power companies turn their focus to renewables.
Public works is a major part of Jackson Industries’ services, from sidewalks to street improvements. The company has completed parking lot construction and renovation for Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, and roadwork for the Oregon Department of Transportation.
“Chad comes up with solutions when we find ourselves facing a situation we have never encountered,” says Mike Graser, Operations Manager. “He might have to determine how to build something we have never built before.”
An example is a concrete tool Jackson and his fabricator designed to mold a specific curb profile for a traffic separator on Oregon Route 8, also known as Oregon Highway 8, which serves the western suburbs of Portland. Jackson gave the design drawings to the fabricator, who came up with the tool to match the profile of the curb.
“We did very well,” Jackson notes. “We got done on time because of this tool, and even considering the fabrication cost we made more money.”
Beyond solar projects and sidewalks, Jackson Industries is able to handle specialized work for manufacturers. In 2017, the company put in a new structural foundation for heavy machine tooling equipment when Compass Aerospace Northwest in Puyallup, Washington, moved its plant to combine with another owned by PCC Aerostructures. PCC is a worldwide manufacturer of complex metal components and products for industrial and aerospace applications.
Jackson Industries, which does contract work in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, is structured well as an agile company, says Graser. “Based on the skill sets we have, we can shift people around as needed,” he adds.
Known for its top-quality work, Jackson Industries has defined its position in the industry, with many repeat customers, Graser says. “The majority of our business comes from our reputation for being reliable, cost-effective, efficient and able to consistently deliver high-quality output,” he says.
Growing Up in the Business
Jackson has deep roots in the construction business. His parents were in general contracting for 35 years and his father had been a carpenter before starting his own business. Jackson and his brother worked for their parents while growing up and now both have their own businesses.
Jackson Industries was founded in 2007. Since then, the company has expanded to provide the capabilities to meet a diverse range of construction needs. Jackson has more than 18 years of experience as a project manager. Now he is bringing up three sons and a daughter (ages 8, 11, 12 and 15) in the business. “They come with me on the jobs and help however they can,” Jackson says. Jackson recently hired Graser as Operations Manager and Mike Garcia as Chief Estimator to keep the projects and office responsibilities going while he troubleshoots as General Superintendent in the field.
The company employs 20, including its own fabricators as part of its welding and fabrication services. When the workload requires, managers bring in additional experts. The small staff is close-knit and extremely agile with a spirit of trust and good communication, Graser says. “They learn from each other and grasp the concept of constructive criticism,” he notes.
In a constant state of learning, employees are sent for training “anywhere we know we have a need,” Jackson says. Staff are encouraged to take classes and go to professional conferences to further the value of the company.
On-the-Job Training for Apprentices
In addition, Jackson Industries works with the apprenticeship program at Northwest College of Construction. “On-the-job training with us goes toward their certification,” Jackson explains.
As a provider, the company helps train students in fields such as concrete finishing, masonry and heavy equipment operation. It’s a win-win for both sides, as the students get credit on their three-year apprenticeships while Jackson Industries has a source of readily available trained workers.
Employee Recognition & Philanthropy
To recognize its employees for their good work, Jackson Industries gives awards at its year-end holiday party. Recognition goes for Employee of the Year, Years of Service and Most Improved. The awards include having the honoree’s name added to a plaque and a financial contribution to the team member. As a proactive leader, Jackson verbally commends his team and conveys his gratitude consistently for the dedication and hard work his staff puts forward.
In the community, Jackson Industries sponsors school baseball teams in Forest Grove and Hillsboro, Oregon. The company also supports the Oregon Timber Beasts, a BB gun club that teaches young people about operating and handling different types of guns, with a focus on safety, Jackson says. This program includes a competitive team with the top 10 shooters going to national matches. Looking to the years ahead, Jackson and Graser expect Jackson Industries to leverage its niche as a full-service site preparation and concrete contractor to perform more solar projects and infrastructure construction, with a continuing commitment to high-quality work.