Despite industry-wide challenges from labor shortages and frustrating supply chain snags, most specialty contractors across the West Coast saw revenue gains in 2022. With strong backlogs heading into 2024, industry leaders are optimistic for a solid year ahead.

ENR California and Northwest’s 2023 Top Specialty Contractors rankings, compiled using 2022 financial data, show that the top 10 firms on the list reported combined revenue of $5.1 billion in 2022, down 13% from the top 10 in 2021. The top 10 firms on the Northwest Top Specialty Contractors ranking reported a combined $1.55 billion for 2022—a 19% increase over 2021.

Pacific Structures did well in 2022, posting $235.87 million in revenue for California and Hawaii, up about 20% from $196.7 million in 2021. The San Francisco-based firm focuses on structural concrete packages.

“Our year went very well,” says Kris Fahrion, Pacific Structures president, pointing to diversity in product type, geographical work locations and unique project participation. So far, 2023 has been “another solid year for us and the markets we participate in,” he says.

Electrical contracting giant Rosendin increased revenue in California and Hawaii for the third year in a row, says Mike Holmes, vice president of preconstruction at the San Jose, Calif.-based firm. Regionally, the firm ranked first, posting $1.39 billion in 2022 revenue for the two states, surpassing its 2021 total of $1.1 billion.

In the Northwest, performance was strong for Springfield, Ore.-based Olsson Industrial Electric, ranked fifth with revenue of $112.3 million across Washington, Oregon and Alaska, up from $101.5 million in 2021.

“It was a good year. There are ample opportunities in the marketplace, and we’ve been successful in building a good backlog while performing well on our existing contracts,” says Dustin Stapleton, Olsson’s CFO.

The firm’s core business is electrical construction, but the company also has in-house engineering, panel and fabrication shops and the ability to self-perform in a number of areas, he says, noting that it also participates in food processing and health care facilities and other projects.

“Barring economic pressures and constraints, we’re optimistic about next year.”
—Dustin Stapleton, CFO, Olsson Industrial Electric

Ascendent Demolition grew its regional revenue to $28.4 million, compared with $26 million in 2021. “We have had a lot of growth this year. We have secured an additional $22 million in backlog for upcoming projects,” says Jon Ross, senior project manager for the Puyallup, Wash.-based company. These include private multifamily projects, demolition on DOT projects and health care work.

Labor shortages, price fluctuations and long lead times—a stubborn carryover from the pandemic—have made estimating projects and maintaining timeliness and efficiency on projects difficult. Stapleton notes that the supply chain has begun to improve in certain areas, but challenges remain. “Barring economic pressures and constraints, we’re optimistic about the next year,” he says. “The markets we primarily operate in are looking to do capital projects or deferred maintenance coming out of the primary COVID period. Markets are soft in some of these areas, and they make for opportune times to do this work.”

Growing demand for innovative data centers, electric vehicle charging stations and renewable energy that will add resiliency to power grids will benefit electrical contractors, Rosendin’s Holmes says.