Brasfield & Gorrie employees say “family atmosphere” important

(left to right) Portrait of Jim Sexton, Wes Murrell, Keith Johnson & Victor Saldana of Brasfield & Gorrie Construction at the Thyssen Krupp elevator test tower site in Atlanta on Friday January 22, 2021. For a story on the Top Workplace large category.PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

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(left to right) Portrait of Jim Sexton, Wes Murrell, Keith Johnson & Victor Saldana of Brasfield & Gorrie Construction at the Thyssen Krupp elevator test tower site in Atlanta on Friday January 22, 2021. For a story on the Top Workplace large category.PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Brasfield & Gorrie was founded in 1964 and is one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms. The company, which is headquartered in Birmingham, has 3,000 employees across the nation, 542 in metro Atlanta. It is the AJC Top Workplace in the large-size category for 2021.

We asked three employees who have worked for the firm for at least 10 years why it is a great place to work.

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Victor M. Saldana Jr.

Victor M. Saldana Jr.

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Victor M. Saldana Jr.

Victor M. Saldaña Jr., corporate safety trainer

Victor M. Saldaña Jr., 41, has been with the company since 2010.

Why did you join Brasfield & Gorrie?

“I was drawn to the great reputation Brasfield & Gorrie has in the Atlanta metro area, based on the sheer quantity of projects and the high-profile projects we oversee. I knew those were not easy achievements, and it spoke highly of the company’s character and influence. As I progressed through the interview process and learned of the company’s current projects, I envisioned how I could align my talents and my passion for safety in our industry and also grow in leadership within the company. The family-oriented approach made it very easy to see myself having a successful career here, and, being bilingual and Mexican American, I knew I could help extend that family culture to our Hispanic colleagues in the field.”

What makes the company stand out from your previous employers?

“There is no greater feeling than knowing you are a part of an awesome group of leaders who understand that it is in their best interest that you succeed and that it’s in your best interest that they succeed. You’re not left to fend for yourself whenever you’re stressed or feeling pressure. There is a true show of support and guidance.”

What makes it a great place to work?

“We are constantly visiting and exploring new resources, and there’s solid collaboration across many areas of our work, ensuring that we are all well-equipped to perform at our best.”

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Jim Sexton

Jim Sexton

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Jim Sexton

Jim Sexton, vice president and regional operations manager

Jim Sexton, 45, has been with the company since 2000.

What brought you to Brasfield & Gorrie?

“I grew up in Birmingham, so I’ve seen and known the company name for a long time. Brasfield & Gorrie is very involved in the School of Building Science at Auburn University, my alma mater, and students always saw it as a viable career opportunity. So, when I found myself back in the job market in 2000, I seriously needed a job. A good friend from college helped me make a connection, which landed me an interview.”

What makes Brasfield & Gorrie stand out from your previous employers?

“My previous firm did mostly hard-bid work, looking at the bottom line first — and definitely not through the lens of being long-term partners. Brasfield & Gorrie is very different in the way that we treat our clients and our trade contractor partners. Our company genuinely cares about making our clients and our trade contractors successful, which ultimately results in trusted relationships and repeat, sustained business.”

What makes it a great place to work?

“No doubt, it’s our culture and the people I get to work with. I interview a good number of candidates and interns for our firm, and I often tell them: ‘I don’t always like what I do every day, but I love the people I get to do it with.’ Many of my colleagues have become my best friends, which is also true for many of our spouses. It sounds foreign to some, but for many of us, we simply enjoy doing life together. We have a personal development director on staff, and we really support each other, both inside and outside of work. Some of us are neighbors, some are involved in the same community and faith-based organizations, and many of us are connected on social media. We’re more than just co-workers. We’re family.”

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Wes Murrell

Wes Murrell

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Wes Murrell

Wes Murrell, general superintendent

Wes Murrell, 42, started with the company in 2001.

Why did you come to work for Brasfield & Gorrie?

“I came to work at Brasfield & Gorrie based on its strong reputation of being a leader throughout the construction industry. I believed Brasfield & Gorrie would provide the clearest path toward reaching my career goals.”

What makes Brasfield & Gorrie stand out from your previous employers?

“Since graduating from Auburn, I have only been employed by Brasfield & Gorrie.”

What makes it a great place to work?

“The people: Brasfield & Gorrie feels very much like a family. Our project teams form close connections that often become lasting friendships. Brasfield & Gorrie encourages the deepening of these relationships, and this even extends into our families. Some of my best friends and closest family friends are Brasfield & Gorrie co-workers.

“A culture of teamwork: At Brasfield & Gorrie, there is an overwhelming sense of being a part of a team. Responsibilities and expectations are clear within our project teams, and, as an employee, there is a great deal of commitment to fully contributing to the project’s success. Brasfield & Gorrie allows each project team to take ownership of their projects, which fosters independence and accountability among the team.”