Blogs

Living our Company Values: Generosity

I get it. Every year at this time, there is an overload of blogs, tweets, essays and Hallmark movies feeding off the Scrooge and Christmas Carol theme. Ready for another one? Thanks – here is my spin on it all.

My problem with A Christmas Carol is that the tale is not possible without the premise that the “capitalist” (or capitalism in general), represented by Scrooge, is greedy, uncaring and lacks any sense of compassion. The truth is that corporations of all sizes and types, including and especially for-profit organizations, show compassion and caring for their employees and the communities they serve.

Companies are simply organizations made up of people established for a common purpose. I like to believe that organizations and the people that comprise them are, in the end, reflections of themselves. If the values of the organization and the values of its people don’t match, they will be limited in their ability to succeed since the people won’t stay.

Austin attends SelectUSA Investment Summit 2018

By Bonny Block, Director of Project Planning

“Bring your investment dollars!” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, addressing the international audience attending SelectUSA Investment Summit 2018.

An American government program under the umbrella of the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, SelectUSA’s goal is two-pronged:

  • To showcase the importance of foreign investment in the U.S. economy
  • To assist in job creation

Pursuing a Renewed Sense of Corporate Purpose

In a recent meeting with our Board of Directors, we were talking about a certain metric and how we use that data. A couple of our directors suggested a different, and more powerful way to use the data point in management. When asked why we didn’t do it the way some of our sister companies do, I had to answer with the dreaded, “because we’ve always done it that way.”  

Complacency. Accepting the status quo. Not looking deep enough to improve.

Getting Familiar with the New River Valley

By Kyle Johnson and Charles Slife, Location Consultants with Austin Consulting

Location consultants often participate in community familiarization (FAM) tours to be able to learn about local communities, their economies and the opportunities that they offer to prospective businesses. On May 23, 2018, we were invited to visit the New River Valley by Onward New River Valley and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

The geographic area of the New River Valley contains four counties and one independent city located in southwest Virginia, between Roanoke and Wytheville, that is bisected by Interstate 81. During the visit, we learned about available sites and buildings throughout the New River Valley, including the 1,000-acre New River Valley Commerce Park. This information helps Austin understand assets that communities offer and assist clients with unique needs.

It Doesn't Pay to be a Bluffer, and Other Philosophies on Success

Business Success

Samuel Austin, founder of The Austin Company, experienced great success in his career as he grew Austin to one of the most prominent contractors in the world. By the end of his career and life he was recognized as one of the most successful businessmen of his generation and he worked in the same circles as Henry Ford and other thriving industrial revolution visionaries.

What to do When ASHRAE Turns the Lights Off on You?

Impacts of ASHRAE 90.1 New Energy Code

By Jason Gergotz, Sr. Electrical Engineer

As we make our way through the remnants of a cold winter into spring and warmer weather, it is a good time to review updated building energy codes. What better way to think of warmer times ahead than by sitting down with a cup of coffee and a new code book? So, let’s sit back and conserve our energy by catching up on the standard for conserving energy – ASHRAE 90.1.

Celebrating Women in Construction

This week, March 4-10, is the week we celebrate Women in Construction. One of the traditional activities in any commemorative week is to recognize the contributions those being celebrated have made to the cause. In the design and construction industry, there are many contributions by women to recognize; however, you may have to look harder than you should need to.

5 Rules to Avoid Project Disaster - Part 2

In this two-part series, Brandon Davis offers five rules for capital project success. Part 1, published last week, includes the first three rules. Read Part 2 below for the remaining two rules.  

To recap, Part 1 included the first three rules:

5 Rules to Avoid Project Disaster - Part 1

In this two-part series, Brandon Davis offers five rules for capital project success. Part 1 below includes the first three rules. Watch for the remaining two rules in Part 2, which will be published next week.

Remembering Our Purpose

I recently had a discussion about a project we lost due to miscommunication about our estimate and what it meant. Performing a “lessons learned” about a painful lesson is always a bit of a roller coaster ride. Once you confront the pain of the loss, you begin to realize there is something you might gain from it, and growth appears at the doorstop of the loss.

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