Business Spotlight on the Ballston Spa-Based W.M. Schultz Construction
Which local company has an impressive number of long-term employees and has worked on a local project or two you might recognize, like the roundabout near SUNY Albany? It’s W.M. Schultz Construction, a safety-focused, civil construction company that happens to be hiring right now. To learn more about the business and what it’s like to work for them, we spoke with President and Founder William M. Schultz along with Payroll Benefits & Administrator Tracy DeMarco.
A Construction Company Built From the Ground Up Embraces Challenging Projects
When asked how his business got started, Schultz said simply, “I needed a job.” He’d worked for his father’s construction business for 20 years, and when he decided to close the business, Schultz started a new one from scratch. W.M. Schultz Construction was founded in 2000.
The company ended 2001 with nine employees, and they’ve been expanding ever since. Today, W.M. Schultz is a moderate-sized company whose marketing strategy is “complex and demanding.”
This Small, Local Company Focuses on Culture & Team Efforts
“Culture is important and screened for at interviews,” Tracy DeMarco told us. The company searches for dependable and motivated people who are ready to be part of a team. W.M. Schultz has around 30 office employees and 50 workers out in the field, and they offer 401(k), health insurance, and other perks that prospective employees look for. Whether you’re processing payroll or installing a pipe, everyone does their part.
Furthermore, W.M. Schultz works to bridge the gap between employees in the office and those out in the field. “People in upper management often visit job sites, and to really interact with the tradespeople, not just watch what they’re doing,” Schultz told us. “Some go out two times a month, some three times a month.” This also allows for an opportunity for those on the job sites to learn about what the business leaders in the company do.
A Long-Term Relationship With Both Employees & Clients
DeMarco has been with W.M. Schultz for 13 years; this is not uncommon at this construction business. Altogether there are 30 employees who have been with the company longer than 5 years, and 15 who have been there longer than 10. Similar to the company’s relationship with employees, they also have many long-term clients, with projects typically spanning years.
Pictured above are two W.M. Schultz projects: an energy recovery project at the Niskayuna Wastewater Treatment Plant, and a new construction Wastewater Treatment Plant in Corinth, respectively. W.M. Schultz partnered with Energy Systems Group to bring the existing plant at Niskayuna up to code by expanding capacity and modernizing equipment.
The added value to taxpayers at the Niskayuna facility was installing a system that would utilize the gas byproduct of the treatment process to fuel a generator, in order to supply the facility’s significant electricity needs. The new facility at Corinth required extensive coordination with two hydroelectric dams up and down stream to install 140 feet of 24” diameter outflow piping into the middle of the Hudson River.
The Wastewater Treatment Niche & Why It’s Important
As W.M. Schultz works on publicly funded projects, they follow the funding. Previously, the company engaged in a lot of road work, completing impressive projects like the traffic circle by SUNY Albany and the bridge at Marist College. Now, there is a stronger focus on wastewater treatment, as many local systems were built in the 1950s and 60s and now need to be upgraded.
With a growing demand for clean water and stricter regulations surrounding wastewater treatment, wastewater treatment is a vital process for many different kinds of businesses. W.M. Schultz employees can take satisfaction in knowing they’re helping to prevent damage to local ecosystems by treating wastewater, which is one of the most common forms of pollution control.
Although wastewater treatment is the niche of the moment, W.M. Schultz looks for any and all kinds of work from pipeline work to waterline work to bridge installations – as long as it’s complex and demanding!
Safety: It’s Not Just One of the Core Values
W.M. Schultz prides itself on “World Class Safety.” But what does that mean? “I used to define World Class Safety as being one of few in the world that is that safe,” Schultz told us. “But then I realized there are others in industries like petroleum or electricity that need to be even safer than us. So now I define it as, a group of few in our industry in our geographical footprint.”
“Safety is ingrained in them,” DeMarco added. On the occasion when an employee has moved on from W.M. Schultz to work for a different construction company and has ended up returning “home” so to speak, they comment on how hyper-focused W.M. Schultz is on safety – even when compared to others in the industry.
W.M. Schultz conducts a five-minute safety meeting each morning, they hold a more comprehensive annual safety meeting, and safety is one of their three core values. Specifically, the three values are World Class Safety, Pride in Our Work, and Be Respectful & Fair.
Here’s What They’re Hiring for Right Now
W.M. Schultz is currently hiring for the following positions: Project Manager, Estimator, Assistant Superintendent, Foreman, Carpenter, Operator, Laborer, Pipefitter, Millwright, and more.
“We try to keep the limit for projects to 1.5 to 2 hours from Albany,” DeMarco said. “Employees are in that range as well. We are seeking new hires from the Capital & Hudson Valley regions to support our ongoing work in this area, specifically between the Latham and Saugerties corridor.”