Concrete Path to Success
Speedy Concrete Cutting eyes strong future
While Speedy Concrete Cutting, Inc. (Speedy) has been sawcutting, coring and removing structures for the last three decades, it’s also been working to build things up for its team.
Leaders at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based firm don’t just want their employees to have jobs, they want them to have careers.
For this concrete sawing and drilling company, employees are as valuable as the clients who use its selective demolition services. Speedy has made it a priority to train, reward and promote its workforce.
President Todd Barna recognizes the value in retaining qualified, dedicated employees at Speedy, knowing that doing so benefits the workforce as well as customers.
“In our industry, and the construction industry in general, skilled labor is the greatest need,” he says. “Skilled, talented people are at a premium, and we have to make it clear to them that we can provide a future, a career path and long-term financial stability.” Barna himself has been with Speedy for 28 years.
Paving the Way Toward Success
The family-owned-and-operated business is working to change that. Speedy previously offered the nation’s first sawing and drilling training facility and has plans to restart that program. Barna says that by 2019, Speedy’s training facility will once again be feeding the workforce pipeline by providing responsible, qualified and experienced workers.
The firm’s education center in Fort Lauderdale will provide not only on-the-job training, but also housing, he says. By the time participants complete the program, which includes eight months at the training facility and six months in the field, they will be able to add operations, safety, maintenance and driving school experience to their resumes, as well as OSHA qualifications.
“We are paying them to learn a viable skill that they can then take anywhere and make a very nice living,” Barna says.
Of course, Barna hopes they stay on with Speedy. That is, after all, why the company started the training program: so that it could expand. And after the economic downturn forced the company to hit pause on the training center in 2009, it is eager to once again offer it a decade later.
It’s not just new employees who Speedy is focused on. It values experience and relies on internal promotions to fill sales and manager positions. Those jobs are all currently held by people who have been working in the field. “Our industry is so specialized and that means that you have to actually do the work to be considered an expert,” Barna says.
Because the Speedy team—which is made up of more than 100 full-time employees, including 65 field operators—provides such specialized services, the company has always been seen as a leader.
“From the beginning, we’ve been a niche service firm. We noticed other companies couldn’t provide the quality and quick response that we could,” Barna said of the company’s early days. “Over the years, our focus has shifted to improved technology and equipment to give us even greater capabilities.”
One Impressive Fleet
Speedy has made reinvesting profits back into its fleet a priority, adding equipment, trucks and technology at every turn.
“One thing we’ve made sure to do is put all types of equipment on one truck—it’s more expensive for us initially, but it helps the customer save time and money,” says Barna.
“Speedy has the largest fleet among concrete sawing and drilling contractors in the southeastern United States, allowing us to meet the demands of the fast-paced construction industry,” adds Barna. “We are the largest drilling and sawing company in the Southeast. Size is a huge factor in what makes us more capable.”
But what matters most to its customers, which include those in both the public and private sectors, is finding solutions to demanding projects and getting the job done.
Scope of Work
From warehouses and multifamily housing to military bases and bridges, Speedy works on any facility or job site that needs large, heavy concrete altered.
Speedy has completed thousands of projects in the last three decades in Florida, the eastern U.S. and the Caribbean. Some of the biggest and most challenging Florida jobs include: the Friendship Trail and Gandy Bridge in Tampa; Jane Green retention dam in western Brevard County; the Hard Rock Stadium just north of Miami; the Sisters Creek Bridge in Jacksonville; as well as the Duke Energy Crystal River Nuclear Plant.
The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spanning Tampa Bay, has been, by far, the largest venture performed by Speedy, totaling more than $2.5 million in saw cutting. The project involved the reinforcement of the segmented, precast concrete piers after a container ship collision, and after the bridge was identified as a top 10 terrorist target in 2009. The project posed challenges for both equipment and operators who cored and extracted more than 1,200 holes from 7 to 15 feet deep and 128 holes at 62 feet deep. The holes were drilled on working surfaces up to 80 feet deep within the concrete piers, in a space smaller than a minivan.
Safety above All
Regardless of what type of work its employees are doing, Barna says that safety is always priority No.1. All of Speedy’s operators are required to have earned safety certifications.
And as part of its commitment to accident- and injury-free work sites, Speedy has empowered all employees to issue an “all-stop” order that halts any work until safety concerns have been addressed and rectified, Barna says.
Speedy’s size and way of doing business may have evolved since it was founded in 1988, but its focus on safety has not. Neither has its drive to exceed customer expectations.
The leadership team wants to make sure the next generation of Speedy employees has the same desire to satisfy customers, perform exceptionally and adopt a “whatever-it-takes” mindset.
“From day one,” Barna says, “we’re always making a huge effort to fulfill and instill those core values.”