How Pinkard Invests in People
In Colorado, the construction industry is facing a historic and problematic worker shortage, and Pinkard is focused on attracting top-tier talent through a focus on employee development, staying local, and a focus building high-performing teams over profits.
"Pinkard is just the right size; I like that I make it home to eat dinner with my family every night," said Stephen vonDreele, a Project manager. "Pinkard doesn't just uproot you to work on a remote jobsite. They focus on winning work in our own backyard."
For 60 years, Pinkard has built exclusively along the Colorado Front Range, and there are no plans to change that. Tony Burke, Pinkard's President, says that keeping its employees local is a high priority, and the overall direction he sees for the company is one of "controlled growth."
"Pinkard is a Colorado company; we build projects for Colorado institutions Like CSU (Colorado State University) and School of Mines and affordable and senior housing that has a positive impact on this community," said Burke. "As many companies grow and branch out, they send crews out and their employees live in hotels; that is not us. We want our people to be with their families and enjoy living in this great state."
In terms of community involvement, it is not rare to see several Pinkard employees in their bright pink "PinkCrew" shirts spending some of their provided VTO (volunteer time off) working together on Habitat for Humanity builds, homeless youth outreach or paint-a-thons for elderly people in our local community.
"The Pink Crew is an important part of the Pinkard culture," said Kristen Rebmann, a Payroll/Staff accountant who helps organize these events. "Being part of the Pink Crew not only helps build a strong community, but it also helps us create lasting bonds with each other, and it helps us grow as individuals."
In addition to this opportunity to give back, Pinkard employees work in an environment where the company invests heavily in developing their skills and diversifying project experience. Promotions are frequently made from within, and most employees start in rotational positions.
When recruiting construction-focused graduates, Pinkard allows them to “try out” each of the three main career paths in Operations: Construction Management, Field Operations, and Preconstruction Services. This allows everyone to find where they will be the most successful and creates a greater understanding (for both individual employees and for the entire organization) about how each division interacts to serve the client.
Leighton Neff, a current senior preconstruction manager, discussed how shortly after graduating from Colorado State University in 2006, he joined Pinkard and has since held Project management, field operations, and preconstruction roles.
"I really enjoy that I got to work on different project types and try out the different parts of the organization," said Neff. "Pinkard has such a diversity of project types and sizes. I like that, unlike other contractors, I will not be locked into one project type for the rest of my career at the company. I get to explore a bit."
Pinkard's controlled growth strategy is what makes this approach possible. Because Pinkard is mindful of matching its pursuits and workload to its staffing levels, it creates an environment where work-life balance and its employees' wellbeing are prioritized.
"We have a unique culture here and are protective of it. It is why we do extensive strategic alignment interviews and communication and work preference assessments that we use to shape our interviews and even after an employee is hired to build high-functioning work teams.," said Jeff Kessler, Director of Human Resources. "We ask a lot of our employees in terms of professionalism and technical skills. So, we work hard to ensure that they are supported, developed, and have balance."