The Association of General Contractors and Why We are Members

I have always told my children to be careful who you hang out with because your peers can be a good influence or a bad one.

This is good advice for all of us and we have followed that advice here at Harman.  Harman Construction Inc. has been a proud member of the Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) for nearly 30 years.

The (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 10,500 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC, all through a nationwide network of chapters.

Assosiated General Contractor logo

We believe the AGC makes us stronger in many ways:

  1. Networking – The ability to network with and learn from the best of the construction industry keeps us sharp and gives us a resource to bounce strategies and ideas off of.
  2. Training – Top rate instructional seminars and workshops are scheduled to keep our team up to date on trends in the industry and to give us tools to do our jobs better.
  3. Advocacy – together we can make our voice heard at the national and state level of government.  Laws are often made by well meaning (sometimes) politicians who simply do not understand the issues that we face in our industry.  It is critical that we do our part to support our industry and make our voice heard.
  4. Workforce development – Finding well qualified workers for the construction industry is likely the greatest challenge we face.  As our workforce has aged we have found that younger workers are often not choosing our industry.  The AGC is working tirelessly to get the word out and train our future workforce.  Often middle school and high school students are encouraged to go to college even when it may not be the right fit for the student.  There are many well-paying and rewarding careers in construction that require a college degree and many that do not.  Working with the AGC we can match these young people with a construction career that is right for them.
  5. Service – AGC members give back to their communities through charity and service projects.  The local Valley chapter has sponsored a blood drive in recent years that has contributed on average of 75-100 units of blood each year.

The friendships I have made in my years of serving the AGC in various roles have been fantastic and have made me a better person and professional.

I would encourage each of you to get engaged with and contribute to the associations and peer groups in your work place or areas of interest.  You will be part of making a difference in people lives and contributing to the building of better places to live and work.

~Wayne Witmer

President & COO – Harman Construction, Inc.

It’s All About The People

All About the People w logo

How would you describe the impact of being around really great people?

In today’s fast paced world the culture and business community are moving full speed toward communication almost exclusively through social media, email, and text. While this may create efficiency, it removes the joy of relating to people face-to-face. I believe that relating face-to-face allows us to leave a greater, more positive impact on people’s lives than social media sometimes allows.

As I think about the many great companies and organizations in the Shenandoah Valley I realize that what draws me in are the people in our local businesses and organizations. However, it’s not just about the business, but how my fellow entrepreneurs handle their business.

In the same way I am excited about the team of people we are building at Harman Construction!  Over the years many people have commented on the quality and character of our people. It really doesn’t matter how great a service you have if you don’t have the team of people to carry out the mission and vision of the organization.

In the same respect, I have had some wonderful experiences with sales representatives that genuinely care about me, our business, and our mutual benefit. They want to discover what we need and how they can help.

On the other hand there are those times someone calls you buddy and yet doesn’t really know you. I have even had one representative tell me an inappropriate joke….really?

Take a minute to ponder some of the qualities that you appreciate in the people you do business with or work alongside? 

Here are a few qualities I look for when working with others:

  • Can I trust them to follow through with commitments they have made?
  • Do they seem to bluff their way through an answer and skim over important details? I love when someone can answer a question by honestly saying, “I don’t know the answer, but I will research it and get back to you.”  Then do they follow through and get back to you without having to be reminded.
  • In conversation, do they talk more about themselves or do they listen and ask questions about you?
  • Do they speak highly of others and look for the best in people and situations?
  • Are they willing to speak the truth even if it is not what you want to hear?
  • Do they give of their time to help others in the community?
  • How do they handle criticism?

We don’t always live up to these standards, but I am confident that as we focus on doing these things well, we will grow as people and as a company.

I encourage you to take a few minutes and jot down what you like to see in the people that you interact with and ask yourself: what do others experience when they interact with me?

Let’s keep focused on leaving a positive impact on the people we encounter and our businesses and community will be a better place.