Salt Lake City Electrical Contractor Earns Industry Respect
About half of CVE's work is in Utah, but it has also gone global with projects in Thailand and Puerto Rico.
Clients include Nucor Corp., one of the nation's largest steel producers, sports-apparel giant Nike Inc., AT&T Inc. and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Projects range from Severstal North America's 1-million-sq-ft steel plant in Columbus, Miss., to ATK Aerospace Structures' $100-million, 615,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility in Clearfield, Utah, which makes parts for the Airbus A350 airliner.
CVE had roughly $185 million in 2010 revenue, down about 5% from $195 million in 2009. Profits, though, were about the same, Laub says.
He expects 2011 revenue to be about the same as in 2010. "It'll be kind of flat, but we're pretty optimistic about 2012," he says.
The homegrown business has survived the recent economic downturn because of the diversification strategy it instituted in the early 2000s, Laub adds.
That expansion involved acquiring Avtec Corp., a Salt Lake City-based security company that's now a CVE division; the terms of the 2004 deal were not disclosed. CVE created other divisions as well, including its teledata, design-build, wireless communications and network services components.
"I can't say enough good about Avtec," says Ken Shields, asset manager for developer Hamilton Partners of Chicago. "It's the best security integrator I've had a chance to work with."
Hamilton Partners has teamed with both CVE and Avtec on its 222 South Main office building in downtown Salt Lake City. Completed in 2009, the 460,600-sq-ft, LEED-Gold high-rise is a signature building for the city. Avtec is currently working on security upgrades there.
"We have very high standards, and it pays because we get repeat business," says Carl Hipwell, CVE's vice president of field operations and a 28-year veteran of the company. "Jack Laub once told me whatever work we do, we want you to be proud of it. Never cut corners. I've never forgotten that."
As diverse as Cache Valley Electric has become, the contractor still sees itself as a Utah company first and as a solid corporate citizen that supports local charities and institutions.
The Laub family, for example, has long supported Utah State University; Jim Laub currently serves on the school's National Advisory Board for Aggie Athletics.
He also helped fund the Jim and Carol Laub Athletics-Academics Complex, which the university calls "a monument to progress."