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Episode 11 - Jesco Construction Transcript


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Welcome to this episode of Next Move Group’s We Are Jobs podcast. This is Chad Chancellor, the co-founder of Next Move Group. Today we've got a team from JESCO Construction with us; Sid McMillan and Tim Weston and Melisa Horton. Welcome to the team. Thank you all for being down here with us.

Sid McMillan: Thank you for inviting us. Thank you for having us. It’s always good to do something positive with this organization--

Chad Chancellor: All right. Well, thank you.

Sid McMillan: --Next Move.

Chad Chancellor: Thank you very much. I’ve known Tim the longest I guess. I mean not Tim; I’ve known Sid the longest. So, we're going to start off with Sid. Sid, just tell us a little bit about JESCO Construction.

Sid McMillan: All right. JESCO is a 78-year-old design build industrial construction company. We are-- not only do we perform general construction but also mechanical, electrical design, and construction. We have a millwright division, equipment moving setting division and what we call our industrial services, which is more of an aggregate conveying auguring of materials; that sort of thing.

Chad Chancellor: You guys really do business all over. So, talk about your geographic footprint.

Sid McMillan: Well, we've worked in I guess about 48 of the states or 40-some-odd, but the vast majority of what we do is in the southeast. That's our major footprint area and that-- even being more specific I would say Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, where we have our offices as well as Arkansas and then, of course, we get into Kentucky, Georgia, some of the other southeastern states as well.

Chad Chancellor: So, we got economic developers and manufacturers that will hear this, but for the economic developers, Sid McMillan knows where every project is going a year before the company decides where it's going. So, he is the man. How did you get into this field knowing all the stuff you know?

Sid McMillan: Totally by mistake. I was applying for a job with the Department of Education, believe it or not, in the state of Tennessee to shape the young minds of Tennessee and luckily Tennesseans-- luckily I did not get that job, so they were safe. I ended up with the Tennessee Department of Economic Community Development. I worked there for about 10 years and have gone on to other enterprises; TVA for a short stint, Allen & Hoshall Engineers, and then JESCO for a lot number of years now.

Chad Chancellor: Well, I’m telling you if you want to know where a project is going you find Sid McMillan. We’ll transition now to Tim Weston who I’ve known for a while. Tim was with TVA at one time when I did economic development in one of their communities. An economic developer here on JESCO's team that really has a marketing mind.

Tim, why don’t you talk a little bit about what you do with JESCO and some of the marketing initiatives that you guys work with to help these small to midsized communities. Not only do you build a plan if it goes there, but help them compete and really pursue projects.

Tim Weston: Yes. Sid, Melissa, and myself we primarily are working with economic development folks. We partner with them at every level. Like you said with Sid, telling them where projects are looking and what kind of projects, what's important to a project while the site location process is going on all the way back to helping on the preparedness efforts.

We primarily just go focus on building manufacturing facilities. That means that we primarily work with economic developers at every community in the southeast and not just to chase them when they've got a project but really trying to work with them day in and day out to help them prepare their product, to help them prepare their marketing efforts and then just any chance we get to try to help put them in front of clients. It’s just been a really important part of what JESCO’s done for 78 years.

Chad Chancellor: Next Move Group has partnered with Younger Associates who’s helping put these podcasts on and JESCO to come out with a virtual building program where-- in the old days, you had to go build a spec building and you hoped to goodness you’d fill it and build it to the right size. We’ve really worked together to come up with an interactive solution that will help communities. Tim, why don't you talk about what you think that helps communities do from your perspective?

Tim Weston: Yes and just even going back, Chad I guess when you were at the local level and probably I guess maybe Lawrenceburg and I was at TVA we were really focused on trying to help rural communities. Those communities are smaller and they are sometimes off the beaten path and quite frankly they don't have the ability to spend millions of dollars in product. That conversation was being kicked around back then.

Fast forward to the last couple of years and you’re doing what you're doing and I’m in construction. We had the opportunity to put together the virtual spec building. Really it’s just a great tool to help a client reduce their time and risk and also on a marketing side to really visualize what they might want in a facility.

Those two things, product preparedness is about reducing time and risk. Whether, that's a site to a graded site to concrete slabs. This does that too. It helps kind of move it along that timeline. The second thing it helps a client when they are in the throes of site location. They've got a lot of information being thrown at them.

They are probably having trouble understanding one community is different from the other. You put a virtual spec building in front of them and they can really visualize where they want to be and what kind of building they want to be in. I just think it makes all the difference in the world.

Chad Chancellor: Like me, Tim is a Mississippi State fan. So, these are pretty good times for athletics pro. We're not winning championships, but we're competing in everything. It beats 15 years ago, doesn't it? Our baseball team is pretty good. The basketball team is pretty good.

Tim Weston: JESCO builds manufacturing, but we also I guess for fun built a $68 million new baseball stadium; Dudy Noble Field. We just opened about a few-- two-three weeks ago and it's exciting times. Basketball is doing well. Now we just need to do a little bit better in football. Catch up with Alabama. We beat Ole Miss.

Chad Chancellor: That's right. We beat Ole Miss. All right, Melissa, tell me your story. I know these other two cats, but I really never got to know you very well. So, how in the world did you end up with JESCO Construction?

Melissa Horton: Well, I’ve been with JESCO for almost 13 years. I’m the newest to the business development team and our full-time job is keeping these two out of trouble.

Chad Chancellor: And New Orleans, Louisiana today. You got a job…

Melissa Horton: Yes, say a little prayer for me. I have a project management background. I’ve built projects for JESCO all over Mobile. We've done a parking deck downtown on the Grand Hotel. That’s my story. That’s how I got here.

Chad Chancellor: Sounds great. Well, thank you all for being with us and for being good partners of ours. We really appreciate it, participate in this event and everything you have done to help us. We appreciate it.

Melissa Horton: Thank you.

Chad Chancellor: Thank you.


Chad Chancellor: A special thank you to Younger Associates for recording, editing, and publishing this podcast for us. I encourage you to visit their website at younger-associates.com.


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