Private sector growth spurs record business volumes, hiring spurt at Plano-Coudon Construction

Sustained growth in private-sector construction projects in the Baltimore region has triggered a hiring spurt, operational upgrades and record-high business volumes at Plano-Coudon Construction.

“There are more cranes in Baltimore today than there have been for several years,” said Brett Plano, co-founder and co-owner of the Baltimore City-based company. “We are seeing more private-developer and commercial work, including new office towers and senior living facilities. Unlike the temporary volume increase we saw in prior years, this increase seems more consistent and sustainable. We continue to get positive indications from this market.”

At Plano-Coudon, that market trend has produced heightened calls from returning clients and expanded opportunities to bid on projects for new clients.

The company, Plano said, strategically positioned itself over the last few years to take advantage of such opportunities. In particular, Plano-Coudon executed business development efforts to more equally distribute its portfolio of projects between public and private clients. The company also created a Small Projects Division which specializes in applying Plano-Coudon’s big-company processes and expertise to construction projects valued at $500,000 or less.

“As a result of our development efforts and the improving market conditions, this year will be our largest year volume-wise to date,” Plano said. “We also have our largest backlog ever and it spreads out over multiple years.”

To address current work volumes and future growth, Plano-Coudon is upgrading company infrastructure. Expanded accounting, estimating and project management services will provide clients with faster and more efficient service. In addition, the company has adopted new technologies, including a Citrix platform, mobile devices and project-management applications.

“We are constantly in process-improvement mode so we are putting technologies in place that create more seamless communication flow with our clients and our subcontractors,” Plano said. “By equipping all of our superintendents with iPads for example, our field staff can now handle project updates and punch lists more efficiently, which improves quality control and a timely project close out.”

The company has also hired eight new staff members in recent months, pushing the company’s total workforce over 50 people. Plano-Coudon is pleased to welcome:

* Project Manager Nick Funk, an experienced estimator and project manager;

* Project Engineer Tim Shaw, a recent graduate of the Industrial Engineering Management program at Elizabethtown College;

* Accounting Manager Jane Cantor, a successful controller and executive in the construction industry for more than 15 years;

* Proposal Writer Kyle Polasko, an English graduate of the University of Maryland College Park and experienced proposal writer;

* Project Manager Milan Devon, whose eight years of project management experience include numerous projects in New York and California;

* Project Superintendent Kurt Kongsted, a 27-year veteran of the construction industry whose experience ranges from multi-million-dollar healthcare renovations to ground-up multi-family projects to historic restorations;

* Carpenter/Foreman Tito Mejia, a bilingual commercial carpentry/drywall construction foreman with more than 15 years experience.

* Laborer Nick McNary, a recent community college graduate working to build upon his previous customer service experience and provide quality workmanship in his craft.

Despite the construction industry’s tight labor market, Plano-Coudon Construction continues to attract highly talented individuals, Plano said. “We are a relatively young company. We are vibrant and growing and fun. We give people many different opportunities to build a career here, and we are very serious about giving back to the community. People get excited about being part of a Baltimore company that has aspirations for growth and to do more good things in our community.”

About Plano-Coudon Construction

Based in Baltimore City, Plano-Coudon Construction brings big-company sophistication, small-company flexibility, an engineer’s mindset and unparalleled enthusiasm to a broad range of construction projects. Since opening in 1998, we have developed deep expertise in multiple construction sectors, including education, healthcare, life sciences, mission critical, industrial, commercial, residential, religious/nonprofit and sustainable construction. We live by the motto: Your vision is our mission. Determined to be a trusted construction advisor and a best-in-class contractor, we work to fully understand – and meet – each client’s goals.