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Hager Construction: Survives, Then Thrives

Jaxport Magazine Winter 2019 - by Laura Jane Pittman - full article here

HAGER CONSTRUCTION: SURVIVES, THEN THRIVES Hager Construction Company recently completed its first Small and Emerging Business (SEB) project with JAXPORT – a roofing contract for AMPORTS terminal administration building at the port’s Blount Island Marine Terminal. This initial port partnership exceeded expectations and received a glowing report from port engineers. It also marks an amazing turnaround for the 20-year-old firm, which suffered major bumps during the recession a decade ago. Like many in the construction business, Hager Construction was hit hard when the economy took its downturn. At one point employing 20, the company let everyone go except for two employees. Revenue dropped dramatically. Business as they had known it came to a halt. Survival, however, was the only option for company President John W. Hager.  He stepped up to the plate, re-evaluated the company’s business plan and began to restructure, said Vice President Stephanie Ayers. 

“The first thing we did was create a new plan that was focused on federal work and increased management efforts such as proposal writing and searching out contracts,” said Ayers. “We also obtained HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) status. So when the economy started to come back, we were ready.” 

Hager Construction prioritized customer service, which included making sure it eliminated waste from jobs, managed response times and included preventative steps and training. One of the keys is Hager’s presence on job sites. “John is the superintendent for our work, and his involvement in the field sets us apart from other companies,” said Ayers. “He is present at the many client and employee meetings which helps keep our schedule intact and costs down, and clients know they can trust him to manage more complex projects. That reliability is essential to having successful working partnerships.” 

Hager Construction is now back up to 30 employees, and overall revenue for 2018 is set to exceed $3.5 million. The company also has positive relationships with the City of Jacksonville and the facilities management of Florida Department of Transportation. “We have been pleased working with JAXPORT’s Small and Emerging Business program and are grateful the AMPORTS project went well, with minimal disturbances to the occupants of the building during construction,” said Ayers. “We plan to continue cultivating our relationship with JAXPORT.”

Learn more about - Hager Construction here - hagerconstructioncompany.com

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The Clay Florida Economic Development Corporation provides concierge service for companies who want to re-invest in expansion in the county or relocate their companies to the region.

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