Lighting the Future

G.R. Noto Electrical Construction, Inc.
Written by Pauline Müller

Choosing an electrical contractor for any construction project can be risky. However, G.R. Noto Electrical Construction is steeped in generational knowledge with a reputation for excellence, and that is why its clients keep coming back. This unionized electrical contractor has over half a century’s industry expertise, spanning three generations.

After 54 years in the electrical contracting field, G.R. Noto Electrical Construction is the preferred service supplier of names like Procter & Gamble, Cargill, Sanofi Pasteur, Henkel, Bridon Bekaert, Kalahari Resorts, and Resorts World Casino in Monticello, New York, which all trust the company to deliver quality across the full range of its electrical contracting services. That includes power supply, lighting, fire alarm installation, and everything electrical needed to run sound, data, and communication facilities. In addition, it also installs security cameras and performs industrial equipment wiring and integration, control panel building, building information modeling, and much more.

Based in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, this company is always ready to serve clients with the best craftsmanship and customer care available today. With a twelve-member administrative team, four project managers, and one mechanic, the 80 to 100 field staff members have all the support they need.

“A company is only as good as the people in the field. Training and team building are essential to top-level success. Loyalty, customer service, and training separate [our people] from the rest,” says Vice President A.J. Palazzari.

The company serves a range of industries from hospitality to healthcare facilities like regional hospitals and the like. The latest addition to its services is entirely focused on securing sufficient training to handle the imminent electric vehicle (EV) market expansion. Consequently, the company has ten qualified people prepared to install planned charging stations across the area.

To be able to answer high-volume demands, the company’s facilities are thoroughly equipped and licensed. In 2021, its assembly facility was certified by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). It has also been proficient in building information modeling since 2019, while its prefabrication facility answers to a range of specialized site needs.

Due to the nature of G.R. Noto’s work, taking safety seriously is crucial. The level of excellence it has achieved in terms of regular and thorough safety training has won the company several awards over the years. That includes winning the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence (GASE) two times—once in 2016 for a banner year without a Lost Time Incident or a Recordable Injury, and again in 2022 for the company’s innovative approach to offsite prefabrication, using a portion of its warehouse to provide a stable and controlled environment to reduce injury and bolster safety. In 2019, it also received the District II Safety Achievement Award from the National Electrical Contractors Association’s Pen-Del-Jersey Chapter for clocking 150,001-300,000 safe labor hours.

One of the team’s most epic projects is the Resorts World Catskills casino in Monticello, New York with luxury suites, nearly a dozen dining establishments, and a sophisticated entertainment center that accommodates over 2000 people and was LEED-certified by the US Green Building Council.

G.R. Noto’s relationship with the Kalahari group has led to completing the Kalahari Resort and Convention Centre in 2015. The facility in Pennsylvania’s spellbinding Pocono Mountains features luxury accommodation and is famed for its indoor water park. Alongside this, guests enjoy access to the convention center, indoor theme park and arcade, plus shopping and restaurants. It is located two miles from the famous Mt. Airy Casino and Resort, another successful project completed in 2007 by a then-young management team at G.R. Noto.

Try as one may, however, it is not always possible to avoid challenges, and when there is no way around a problem, the only way is through it. That was exactly what the company did when COVID-19 restrictions arrived. As fortune would have it, one of its largest customers is in the toilet tissue industry, which helped save the day.

“There was a lot of uncertainty during that period. [This essential services client] allowed many of our employees to work staggered weeks to keep the business moving,” says Palazzari about the lockdown period.

The company approaches minimizing waste in the same can-do spirit. It reuses as many consumables and other components as possible. To do more to support the environment and lighten its carbon footprint, G.R. Noto Electrical Construction is looking into converting its current fleet into electric vehicles once the technology has evolved sufficiently to deliver further distances. It also ensures that all its lighting throughout its facilities is energy-efficient LED.

Becoming more environmentally responsible is not the only way in which it adjusts to the zeitgeist. In a continuously evolving industry, moving in step with technological developments is imperative and this approach has always been a part of the company.

Established in 1969 by Gabe Noto to complement an existing family business, the company grew into a robust organization by the eighties. Joining the company in their twenties, A.J. Palazzari’s father Armond Palazzari, Sr. and his friend—the owner’s son—Gabe Noto, Jr. would eventually become owners and take the company into the new millennium with Noto, Jr. as President and Palazzari, Sr. as Vice President in 1984.

Also in 1984, Gerard Nichols, Sr. joined the company as a highly talented apprentice, later becoming part of the leadership team, first as lead superintendent and later as an estimator and project manager. In 2012, Noto, Jr. stepped down, passing his shares in the business on to Palazzari, Sr. and Nichols, Sr.

A.J. Palazzari joined the company as an electrical apprentice in 1998 and worked his way up into his current position in the same way Nichols, Sr. did.

Nichols’ son, Gerard Nichols Jr., arrived in 2014 after working in education. He was promoted to the position of project manager and estimator in 2019. After decades of hard work and leadership, Armond Palazzari, Sr. left his executive seat. This month, Nichols, Sr. will pass the torch to third-generation leaders Gerard Nichols, Jr. and A.J. Palazzari who are committed to continuing their fathers’ legacy of excellence.

The leaders also leave behind a legacy of doing good, with several charities benefiting every year. Apart from giving materials to Habitat for Humanity, Little Leagues, and other groups, the company also provides infrastructure for temporary power and light supply at deserving events every year.

Palazzari envisions EV technology erupting into an entirely new field to include much more than transportation. “I see the technology changing to EV for more than just vehicles. [That] will create a fresh sector of our business with upgrading services and charging station installations,” he says.

Another forecast includes lighting based on power-over-Ethernet becoming a reality in as little as ten years. “This is a method used currently by electronic devices such as cameras, (wireless access points), and security devices by which power is derived from the headend tele-data rack in the millivolts category, not your standard 120/277v sources used currently,” Palazzari adds, highlighting that such technology is likely to change the industry completely. With this possibility in mind, the company will be ready by ensuring that it has enough technicians qualified in tele-data operations and the necessary equipment.

The good news for this team is that the company is poised to embrace market changes and modernity and is training its next generation of employees. Meanwhile, G.R. Noto Electrical Construction’s promise to customers of optimum quality, value for money, fairness, and continuous improvement remains the same.

Planning for its next era is proving to be as much of an adventure as its past 54 years. With its sights also set on adding another department to further improve service to existing clientele, the company’s next big goal is to expand its return business by a quarter of the existing volume. In addition, it plans to employ additional field foremen to expand its capabilities for completing large projects.

With its track record in business and staff retention, the mission is bound to be easy. “If that can be achieved it should propel us into retirement and make way for the next generation,” says Palazzari, who believes that continuous effort is vital to achieving the company’s potential.

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