With so many markets gaining momentum, specialty contractors are struggling to maintain a workforce of sufficient size to take advantage of the increased number of contract opportunities.

While noting that "margins on bid day haven't risen as quickly as we thought due to the competition's pricing," Cleveland says some projects "are requiring more labor than we feel comfortable to provide in light of the availability of good electricians."

"Finding good quality labor continues to be a challenge," adds Precision Concrete's Pierce. "The construction market has improved greatly in our region since the Great Recession and the supply of quality labor has been exhausted. I would anticipate the labor shortage to continue in some form for a number of years as the markets adjust to current construction levels."

For awhile now, many specialty contractors have sought to gain an edge by boosting their technology investment in tablets, laptops, BIM software, smartphones and other items.

"The use of new technology has progressed at a rapid rate since we came out" of the recession, says Pierce, adding that the company recently purchased its first drone.

About the Ranking

ENR Southeast's Top Specialty Contractor ranking is based on 2014 revenue generated from work performed in the four-state region of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The main ranking represents firms' total Southeast revenue, along with information about each firm's largest projects and top three market sectors. Additionally, breakout charts rank firms by state and work category revenue.

ENR Southeast invites readers to check out this year's rankings for more market insights.