C Charles Jergens Construction Inc. has been helping build the Dayton area for 45 years, occasionally shifting its service mix to meet market demands. Phil Jergens, president, represents the third generation of his family to run a construction company. His grand- father, Henry Jergens, started a construction company in the 1960s. Henry’s son Charles started his own company in 1972, which Phil now heads. At the start, the company “did sitework, utilities, footers for local general contractors,” Phil Jergens said. Then the company started removing and installing underground storage tanks for gas stations. “At one time, we did the vast majority” of that work in the area, until regulations changed and gas stations switched to fiberglass tanks instead of steel ones. “They last forever now, and the work dried up.” The company also went through a period where it focused on demolition work, thanks to the Clean Ohio program that provided funding to clean up and revitalize old factories and foundries. “You almost couldn’t bid all the demolition work there was,” Jergens said, but when the program ended, demolition work became scarce and the company refocused on excavation. Current projects include $3 million in sitework for the Bethel School District and sitework and a utilities project at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Jergens likes to make sure his employees always have work, so he also takes on small jobs employees can do when it’s too wet for sitework, such as interior demolition. The company has 25 to 30 employees, and in 2014 had record sales of more than $12 million. Jergens attributes the growth in sales, in part, to equipment choices. The company has purchased some larger equipment, and it has also concentrated on labor-saving equipment. “If there’s a machine made that does the work, I buy it rather than use a laborer. It’s cheaper to buy a machine that does it, for example a mini excavator with a hoe ram versus a guy with a jackhammer.” It’s also easier to use machinery than recruit new, younger employees, he noted. “Young people see this as a dirty job, so you have to do more work with less people.” Most of his current employees have at least a Charles Jergens (right) founded the company in 1972. His father, Henry, entered the construction industry in the 1960s, and his son, Phil (left), runs the company today. CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT Charles Jergens Construction Inc.: ABILITY TO ADAPT DEFINES 45-YEAR JOURNEY Phil Jergens, president, represents the third generation of his family to run a construction company. “I can take a guy who wants to work hard, put him in the D51i, and he will perform like my best operator.” Phil Jergens; President, Charles Jergens Construction Inc. 5