While many specialty and trade contractors are dealing with the labor shortage, our Specialty Contractor of the Year is doing something about it.
Gaylor Electric is an Indianapolis-based electrical contractor that’s active in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan. They booked $122.28 million in regional revenue in 2018 compared to last year's $113.17 million, but what truly sets them apart is an innovative high school they've created with a private school partner that gives students both a high school curriculum and the beginning of an electrical contracting apprenticeship.
The Gaylor Electric Crossing School of Business & Entrepreneurship is a high school satellite campus located at Gaylor’s Noblesville, Ind., facility. The school has a classroom with computers for students to fulfill their academic needs as well as real-world electrical contracting work experience. Gaylor partnered with the Crossing Schools, based in South Bend, for the academic program. The school is a vocational institute that trains and teaches electrical contracting and engineering. It’s geared toward at-risk teenagers and the students spend half of their day engaged in the Crossing’s high-school curriculum and the other half learning the electrical trade in Gaylor’s fabrication production warehouse. Upon graduation, students leave with a high school diploma (not a GED) and hands-on experience in fabrication and production. So far, the school has graduated 22 students who have started careers in the field in the ABC’s electrical engineering apprentice program. Some of them are working toward their associate degree with the ABC and they get advanced placement in that program because of their work at the Gaylor Electric Crossing School. The company eventually wants to graduate 100 students a year from this program.
In 2020, Gaylor Electric will expand its footprint by opening an additional 50,000 sq-ft “Production Innovation Center,” located across from the existing Gaylor Electric facility in Noblesville. The new building will host three new classrooms for The Crossing High School and a 33,000-sq-ft fabrication and engineering innovation center, employee offices, and conference rooms. Part of the planned expansion is creating more space for the school.
Make sure to read the September issue of ENR Midwest for a full story on Gaylor Electric and its innovative campus as well as the complete list of ENR Midwest's 2019 Top Specialty Contractors.