Focus, Construction, and Human Resources

Local construction firm restructures to add more jobs

March 6, 2015
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For many employees who lost jobs during the Great Recession, the words “company restructuring” can hold unpleasant memories.

But for Grand Rapids-based construction firm Triangle Associates Inc., that term is used not as a diplomatic phrasing for “impending job losses” but as a description of job additions and growth.

Triangle recently announced it would reorganize and restructure to expand the company. The new system will integrate the company’s operations and support groups into one main team, said Craig Datema, chairman and CEO.

“We need to build a corporate culture that creates an engaging and collaborative environment while establishing a foundation of trust, flexibility and empowerment,” said Datema.

The model of the new structure is like a matrix, said Mitch Watt, Triangle’s president. The senior management team has been divided into market segment leaders and group managers.

Market segment leaders will be responsible for developing and executing Triangle’s business plans for defined market segments, and forming and maintaining client relations. Group managers will be responsible for supervising project assignments, the procedures and implementation of each project, and for training and assisting with the careers of associates.

“The company has been, for the last five years, looking at ways to significantly grow the organization’s top line revenue growth as well as net income,” Watt said. “The economic downtown forced us to put those plans on hold, but now with the economy rebounding, we’ve been able to pick up some strategic clients with national reach, and that made us need to re-energize the plan to grow the company both in terms of resources and overall volume.”

The new system, which Watt said will offer a better means for training and staff development, will allow some of Triangle’s current employees to take on new duties and fill new positions while also making room for new employees.

“This restructuring will allow us to have a diversity of markets, provide best-in-class service to and nurture strong relationships with our clients, and find and train the best possible people to join our team,” he said. “That said, we’ll continue to be faithful to our roots and family heritage by focusing on our role as a major player in the West Michigan construction market.”

The restructuring process has been in the works for about eight months and was launched in January, Watt said. So far, Triangle has hired about “half a dozen folks in the last month or so and (is) looking to hire another 20 folks … in the next six months.”

“If you’re not growing, you’re essentially dying,” Watt said. “This structure will allow us to cement the long-term viability of the company … and continue to add new roles and positions as the company does grow.”

Triangle’s new market segment leaders and their areas of responsibility are: James Conner, vice president — education, municipal/civic, business development; Brent Gibson, LEED AP, vice president— commercial, retail, multi-family; Paul Lemley, senior vice president — national accounts; and Jeff Scott, senior vice president — industrial, infrastructure, construction strategies and logistics.

Triangle’s new group managers and their areas of supervision are: Dustin Hemmes, LEED AP— field operations manager; and John Brondsema —national accounts general superintendent.

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