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“Together, we’re successfully delivering projects to our clients, while building for the future,” says Grant Beck, president and CEO of Graham Construction.
Photo by: Wil Andruschak, Postmedia Content Works

If you live on the prairies, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced first-hand the products of Graham Construction.

For more than 90 years the company has been involved with everything from small building renovations to some of the most complex design-build projects in North America, including schools and universities, hospitals, wastewater treatment plants, refineries, and major roads, bridges and light-rail transit.

So it might be surprising that such a prolific firm has such a dedication to small-town ethics and values.

“We were founded in central Saskatchewan in the heart of the prairies, and this created the core of our corporate culture which has always remained the same — believing in a strong work ethic and family values and knowing that the right thing to do is invest in the communities that trust us to build theirs,” says president and chief executive officer Grant Beck. “We rely on our neighbours and they can depend on us.”

Sometimes that means volunteering at hospitals at Christmas or raising money for cancer research. It also means helping keep people’s family members safe.

Graham holds an unwavering dedication to safety, which was highlighted last year when Graham earned the Canadian Construction Association National Safety Award.

Obviously the company is doing something right, and it is happy to help others.

“We share our best practices very openly within the industry when it comes to safety,” says Beck.

“We have some great, innovative tools when it comes to implementing best practices in safety, and if another company calls us and says, ‘Hey, can you tell us about what you are doing?’ We will say, ‘Actually, you can just take these tools and initiatives, because we are always willing to share if it’s going to make the industry safer.’ ”

In addition to making significant investments in health and safety, Graham has also been a leader in pioneering new project delivery models such as the integrated project delivery method, which it debuted with the construction of the $83.4-million Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital
in Moose Jaw, Sask.

“When you plan, design, build, construct and maintain, you are always looking at the project as a whole. And right from the design phase, you’re thinking about what it will take to operate and maintain what you build 30 years after it is completed, and that really benefits the owner,” says Beck.

The integrated project delivery method is a highly collaborative process that encourages all stakeholders to do what is best for the project, rather than what is best for them individually.

Working as a team with the big picture in mind is something that Graham has always done well, and today more than 1,100 employees at Graham Construction work in 17 major professional, technical and administrative departments in 13 offices across Canada and the United States.

Diversification in terms of industries, markets and geographic regions served the Calgary-based company well during the recent
Alberta economic downturn.

And, as an employee-owned company, it’s easier to keep the long-term strategy on course and at the forefront.

“Being employee-owned puts us in the wonderful position of knowing that everyone who works for and invests in our company has a passion for the sustainability of our organization, and will truly benefit from it for years to come,” says Beck.

“Together, we’re successfully delivering projects to our clients, while building for the future.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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