Manny Mendoza is a superintendent for Energy Erectors in Las Vegas, Nev. He began his career at Energy Erectors as an equipment operator in May 2006. Before Energy Erectors, Manny worked as a foreman for a contractor specializing in pre-cast concrete.
What are some interesting projects you’ve worked on while at Energy Erectors?
We had a job in Maupin, Oregon, near Mt. Hood National Forest, building series capacitor banks, which increase power flow by reducing line impedance. The project was in the mountains, an isolated area. We were there six months, driving an hour to work each day. Some employees camped out at a campground 15 minutes from the job. Once the team poured the foundation to support the platforms, we did conduit and grounding work and began erecting the platform, setting universal joints and leveling them up. Then we installed the capacitor rack, metal oxide varistor (MOV), trigger gap and more. For this job, we brought in an all-terrain mobile crane that had a lift capacity of 250- to 350-tons. Being in this terrain, on an elevated platform in the mountains, it was a unique job.
What’s a typical day like?
I’m responsible for anywhere from four to 20 people ranging from journeymen and groundmen to welders, substation technicians and leadmen. We’ll start with a tailboard and safety meeting. We go through equipment inspections and a job-site analysis and fire up the equipment. I deliver the different crews their tasks for the day. Throughout the day, I’m communicating with crews about progress or a workaround for a challenge like getting a transformer delivered that’s the wrong voltage for an application and figuring out how to get a new one, while keeping the job on track. There might be changing weather conditions, so we’ll talk about how to reposition a crane or taking extra time to climb.
Have you had offers to work for other companies?
I’m the kind of person that won’t quit in the middle of a project and leave a company in a bad situation. I just recently turned down a job offer from another company; they wanted me to accept the work and leave the next day.
But Energy Erectors has been loyal to me and my family. My daughter was born five years ago, and, even though we bid on jobs all over the country, Energy Erectors made it a priority to get me closer to home, near my kids, for the past two years.
What makes Energy Erectors a unique place to work?
Beyond the projects, we work in interesting places. If we’re working near a lake or river, I’ll go fishing after work. I’ve seen alligator gar four feet long, caught red drum, black drum. We might rent a cabin to be close to a remote jobsite, and we’ll have a barbeque after work.
How is Energy Erectors’ approach different from other companies?
I’ve never been laid off here. Some of our people have left, but they end up coming back because other businesses can’t keep them working like we do. The wages and the benefits are great; people don’t always think about those things together. Some companies will make you wait a year to accrue vacation; here, a person begins accumulating vacation time on day one. We can also choose from a variety of health plans. And we’re offered retirement programs and stock because our parent company, MasTec, is publicly traded.
What one thing would you tell someone to convince him or her to work for Energy Erectors?
I went from being an equipment operator to a superintendent because my supervisors saw my potential. I received training for my crane license; there was schooling to get me certified in other areas, too. If a person wants, for example, to be a welder, Energy Erectors will put them with a certified welder as a helper. Within three months, we’ve had people become top-notch welders. They get on-site training and then go on to a class or school. Energy Erectors is all about opportunities.