A lot can be said about a family-owned and operated company that has spanned six decades in the construction industry, but as Glover Construction Company demonstrates, quality and safety in performance speak for themselves.
Glover Construction was founded in the early-1950s by John M. Glover who, through hard work, determination, honesty and integrity got his start during the Great Depression hauling sand for a penny a load using nothing but a goat-drawn cart. This was only a stepping stone to earthwork and logging, at which point, he purchased his first piece of equipment and laid the foundation for Glover Construction.
Mr. Glover was joined in the family business by his two sons, Matt & Mark Glover, both of whom are vice presidents. His granddaughter, Catherine Glover, human resources coordinator, is part of the third generation to join the company.
Throughout the years, Glover Construction continued to grow, as did its reputation, as word spread of its ability to undertake challenging projects while consistently delivering quality results safely, on time, within budget and to specification.
Glover Construction has benefitted from outstanding leadership, the hard work of dedicated employees and the support of its extensive fleet and in-house resources. The size of its projects continued to grow with its operations, and as a result, it has become one of the largest firms of its kind in the southeastern United States.
To this day, Mr. Glover, the founder and president, remains intimately involved in the company’s operations. At the age of 84, soon to be 85, “he talks to the superintendents every day, finding out what’s going on on each job, how the schedule is progressing, and finding out what resources are needed, whether that’s physical resources that can be ordered, equipment from the fleet, additional labor or anything else that is vital in getting the project done,” Catherine Glover explained.
Glover Construction’s corporate office and shop is located in Pleasant Hill, North Carolina. It also has a secondary office in Raleigh which helps it to support its market from Maryland to Florida and across to Tennessee. “We primarily work in the ten southeastern states,” explained Ms. Glover.
She attributed its capacity to, “a combination of our loyal employees – those who have stayed here consistently and grown with the company – as well as a reputation for getting things done on time, in a quality manner and on budget also.”
“The fleet, in particular, is something that brings a lot of resources, not only to us as a company but also to the clients, because it helps us better evaluate our costs during the bidding process and consistently perform in a productive manner during projects because we own this equipment. If something breaks down or we need additional support, we can call up pieces from our fleet to keep the project running smoothly,” Glover said.
Glover Construction has its own shop where it can maintain and repair its fleet of over five hundred pieces of equipment. From excavators to bulldozers, articulated trucks and tractors and more, having the right equipment for the right project at the right time is crucial. This also helps to reduce change orders and delays throughout a project’s lifecycle.
Glover Construction’s abilities have been demonstrated in every project it undertakes. In the fall of 2010, it was selected to complete the grading and site work for Project ASAP, an effort of Hamilton County, Tennessee to entice Amazon to build its fulfillment center near Chattanooga. The area would accommodate a building with a footprint equivalent to seventeen football fields.
The project, valued at $8.14 million, was completed for Barge, Waggoner, Sumner, & Connon, Inc. and entailed moving 895,000 cubic yards of material which included 500,000 cubic yards of rock and snow as, unfortunately, the project was executed during a season with less than ideal weather conditions.
The project also required the installation of over two miles of pipe to support infrastructure, and a special condition had to be met: during the blasting and clearing process, Glover Construction was to prevent any residual dust from impacting the site’s neighbors which included a Volkswagen facility.
Project ASAP was completed in three phases and required over fifty employees operating twenty off-road dump trucks, a pair of 385 Caterpillar excavators and other heavy equipment. Work occurred fourteen hours a day, six or seven days a week to meet timelines and avoid late penalties.
Glover Construction was also selected to work on the $8.1 million, Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project – Anacostia East Wetland Mitigation for Maryland’s Department of Transportation, in Prince George’s County. Trash was buried in an unlined area in an unlicensed and abandoned landfill located in a tidal flat, and as a result, leachate contaminated the Anacostia River.
For this reclamation project, Glover Construction removed the trash for relocation in a newly-constructed landfill and rebuilt the wetland channel using synthetic materials to build roads through the marsh to reach the affected area. The project was completed on time, and the company received bonuses for doing so. The project also received the 2009 Globe Award for Environmental Excellence by the Transportation Development Foundation.
Another project that exemplifies the quality of its work is the Dona Bay Watershed Restoration Program for Sarasota County, Florida, in accordance with the Dona Bay Watershed Management Plan that was developed in 2007. Glover Construction was enlisted to help address the freshwater inflow imbalances caused by the construction of the Cow Pen Slough Canal in the 1960s. The canal system resulted in excessive amounts of freshwater which enlarged Dona Bay and had severe environmental implications for decades.
The watershed grew from fifteen square miles to nearly seventy-five square miles. The excess freshwater flow decreased the salinity levels that were necessary for the indigenous flora and fauna in that region, disrupting the estuary and the natural balance.
Phase one of the project was completed ahead of schedule despite the unique challenges presented by the above average rainfall and impacts of Tropical Storm Hermine. These issues were mitigated by Glover Construction, and as a result, the Dona Bay Watershed Restoration Project was a success and received a nomination for the 2017 American Public Works Association award for project of the year ($5–$25 million).
For Glover Construction, only complete customer satisfaction will suffice. Its customers need infrastructure for commercial, residential, highway, airport, dams, landfills and energy sectors. In fact, because of its demonstrated capacity with landfills, it has naturally progressed into the energy sector.
“As the markets have transitioned, and as the work we have done has evolved, the environmental health and safety piece continues to be at the forefront,” Ms. Glover noted. “It’s important for us that every one of our employees goes home safely each night, every day,” which is achieved through training, education and a culture that is safety-centric and operates as an extension of the family.”
Glover believes that “the work culture here is really centered around family. We average around two hundred full-time employees, and of those, there is a quarter who have been here more than ten years, so they range in years of service from ten years to forty-five years.”
Glover Construction is proud of its culture and its ability to attract and retain employees who remain devoted to the company’s success. “Every time we hire a new employee, it’s with the intention that they will stay here and retire here and will be happy,” said Ms. Glover. “If we hire somebody, we hire them with the intention of them being a long-time employee.”
This is demonstrably true at Glover Construction where you will not only find three generations of Glovers behind the scenes, but there are also many father and son duos who have chosen Glover Construction. The goal is to sustain and develop the business to continue to support the livelihoods of these people and their families.
“For us, it’s really about staying loyal to the employee and reminding them of the value they bring to this company, whether that is through benefits or that is through our payroll structure, we believe that everyone’s livelihoods are both necessary and important as well,” Glover said.
Finding a workforce is a challenge, especially in the construction industry, which Glover referred to as an employee’s market. However, Glover Construction has achieved a long-standing, dedicated employee base.
The outlook looks bright, especially as infrastructure spending has been promised to be bolstered. This is the ‘bread and butter’ market segment of the company.
Glover Construction is well prepared for the future as it has the resources to grow with the market. “You can grow too fast, and you can not grow enough to keep up with the times and changes, therefore strategic growth is important,” said Glover.