After 70 Years, Market & Johnson is Proud to Call Western Wisconsin Home
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Since 1948, Market & Johnson (M&J) has been serving western Wisconsin as the region's’ premier construction management and general contracting firm. Having built or managed the construction of hundreds of properties throughout the area, their work can be seen in civic and municipal buildings, healthcare and manufacturing facilities, mixed-use and commercial projects, and more than 100 local schools. They have had seventy years of success because of their people, the quality of their work, and ties to the local community. Ultimately though, their strategic advantage lies in their workforce. Market & Johnson employs over 350 construction experts, most of whom hail from western Wisconsin and our local technical college and university system.
In 2018 alone, M&J will complete over $400 million in builds. The company has expanded into Minnesota and their industrial division is making inroads throughout the country. Still, they have chosen to keep their primary focus and base of operations in western Wisconsin.
Western Wisconsin is the right location for Market & Johnson.
Market & Johnson is an established force in the community, and today much of their business comes through the referrals of previous clients or handling their repeat business. As they have expanded into various industries, that business has grown and so has their team. Not only is western Wisconsin where the company ownership group is from, it is a place where business has remained consistent in the face of decades of economic change. This can partially be attributed to the economic diversity of the region. The strength of the region was perhaps most profound during the recession. When some construction companies were downsizing or shutting their doors, Market & Johnson remained consistent and as the economy has grown, they have grown with it.
To facilitate this growth, Market & Johnson has expanded their internal team. When it comes to concrete, masonry or rough and finished carpentry, the company has focused on employing their own construction experts. These experts are highly skilled, trained, and know the area. The company is continuing to expand its workforce, something made possible by the strong relationship they have with the University of Wisconsin System and UW-Stout in particular. By working directly with the University, they have developed a feeder system of construction experts and project managers.
“We are very fortunate in our ability to develop a strong and very high-quality workforce. This is a substantial advantage, especially as we have seen the labor market tighten. We recruit heavily out of UW-Stout and UW-Platteville for project managers and field engineers. We start by looking for construction management students when they are sophomores and juniors in college, providing them with internship opportunities, and then hiring them straight out of college as field engineers. They can anticipate going through a two-year rotation with the special projects division, pre-construction and estimating department, shadowing other project managers on large scale projects, and then eventually, handling projects of their own” commented James Hanke, Business Development for Market & Johnson.
M & J’s partnership with the UW is clearly working. The company now has over 20 project managers and a steady pool of talent from which to hire from. This is an approach they encourage other companies taking as well.
Market & Johnson credits Dunn County and Western Wisconsin for contributing to their growth.
When asked why they have continued to keep their headquarters here, the response has been clear – western Wisconsin is home, but it is also a good place to do business. According to James Hanke, “The client base in western Wisconsin is phenomenal and the relationships we have established are incredibly valuable to us. We really like the Chippewa Valley and Momentum West region as a dynamic and diverse economy – we are benefiting as a result of that.”
The Momentum West region and Dunn County has also contributed to the company’s ability to expand into other markets. They are only an hour away from the Twin Cities, allowing them to expand their business into Minnesota while maintaining their base of operations and employment center in Wisconsin. The company sees opportunities for other firms looking to do the same, especially as real estate prices in the Twin Cities continue to rise. It is typically more economical for companies to build in western Wisconsin, especially since the cost of labor is lower. Those who choose to make the move may also benefit from Wisconsin’s tax incentives.
Some of M & J’s customers have taken advantage of the incentives found in western Wisconsin. They have constructed major projects for companies like Phillips Medisize, ConAgra, 3M and Anderson Logistics – all of whom have found a home in the Momentum West Region.
Learn more about the opportunities available in Dunn County.
With plenty of available land, a trained workforce coming out of UW, and a pro-business ecosystem in the Momentum West Region, Dunn County is an ideal location for any business to make their home. To learn more about the local assets discussed by M & J, available properties, or incentives, contact the Dunn County EDC today.