Once again, Dan Vos Construction Company Inc. took home top honors at the 10th annual Michigan Contractor of the Year (MCOY) Awards, hosted by the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan (ASAM).
Held at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on Oct. 17, the MCOY Awards recognize the best practices, professionalism, and collaboration among Michigan’s general contractors and construction managers. This year’s theme, “One night, one award, one decade,” encapsulated how the industry’s evolved in 10 years and how it might look over the next 10.
For a fifth time, the Ada-based Dan Vos Construction Company won the 2019 MCOY Award, with Pioneer Construction (first runner up) and Elzinga & Volkers Construction Professionals (second runner up) also taking home awards during the event.
In all, the event showcased eight nominees from the state’s construction industry.
“Thanks to ASAM for 10 years of fantastic events, 10 years for raising the bar,” Dan Vos Construction Company President and CEO Dan Vos told a crowd of approximately 500 attendees, “(Keynote speaker) John Ratzenberger talked about essential workers, essential people, and (I) happen to have a lot of them here with me tonight.
“This award is for them.”
Dan Vos is a full-service construction firm offering design-build, general contracting and construction management services.
According to Steven Coates, president of ASAM, the company displayed an “exceptional level of professionalism and ethics.”
“Congratulations to their entire organization for promoting collaboration and teamwork, and setting the bar for other contractors to meet,” he said in a statement.
Each year, ASAM members judge general contractors and construction managers on ethics and practices, communication, quality workmanship, and other key industry standards. In an industry where the “stakes have never been higher,” Coates said companies must work together.
“Our success depends on one another,” Coates said during the presentation. “So, how can we work together to renew our awareness, create desirable career paths, foster training, and, more importantly, cultivate the culture that attracts talented individuals?”
According to ASAM Vice President and MCOY Chairman James Bockheim, it will happen by challenging current thought processes, including evolving apprentice training and improving leadership development.
“We’ve had the luxury of a sink-or-swim attitude with our young people,” Bockheim said. “All of us know that we don’t have that luxury anymore. … Career paths introduced at apprenticeships and training … can take our industry into the future.”
A similar point of navigating through a shrinking talent pool was made by keynote speaker and TV actor John Ratzenberger, who grew up in a factory town that “made everything.”
|John Ratzenberger, keynote speaker at the 10th annual Michigan Contractor of the Year (MCOY) Awards. COURTESY PHOTO|
An advocate of skilled trades, Ratzenberger said general contractors and construction managers are “essential workers,” not blue-collar individuals.
“Kids are graduating high school without knowing how to read a ruler,” said Ratzenberger, a star in “Cheers” and every Pixar movie. “Something’s got to be done; somebody’s got to sound the whistle. That’s why I’ve been making these speeches around the country. I grew up in a factory town, and I didn’t realize until later in life how fortunate I was (because) everybody was capable and self-reliant.”
Ratzenberger added in his keynote address that construction workers are indispensable, arguing that if all the actors in Hollywood disappeared tomorrow, the world would continue spinning.
For the skilled trades, however, it’s a different story, Ratzenberger said.
“What built our civilization are people making things, fixing things, creating things, and it doesn’t happen by itself,” he said. “Go to your school systems, principals, guidance counselors, state senators, mayors and say, ‘Look. Without shop classes teaching kids the fundamentals, we’re not going to have workers; we’re going to be a third-world country.”