Electrician Wires Variety of Structures
After 28 years in business, Gilliam Electric in Anderson has wired electricity for everything from apartment buildings to a casino.
Steve Gilliam is president and general manager. He started the business in
1989. He said he got into electrical work because his father was an electrician and had been an electrical contractor. Gilliam went through a five-year apprenticeship program and took two years of night classes for business and advanced electrical. After about five years of working in the field, he decided to get his master’s license. Then he went into business for himself.
“All I had was a drill and a bucket of tools and a real old van,” he said.
He started out wiring apartments, then went to wiring restaurants.
“It kept on growing. We kept getting a few more employees, going into more states, getting more licenses,” he said. “We’re licensed in five states now and in countless cities.”
He said the business has 50 employees and has a state-certified apprenticeship program.
Office manager Kim Banchi said the business offers 401K with matching up to 4 percent, fully paid health insurance for foremen, two weeks paid vacation after three years, paid holidays, job bonuses for foremen and tuition reimbursement for apprentices once they become a journeyman.
Estimator Alex Carlson said, “We have anywhere from 10 to 15 employees who have worked here for 10 years or longer. Usually in construction, there’s a high turnover rate, so that says something.”
Gilliam said the business has wired 20 Walmart remodels, six Walmart Express stores, six Walmart Neighborhood Markets, a new Sam’s Club, three or four Sam’s Club remodels, hotels, the new Holiday Inn in Joplin, the River Bend Casino in Wyandotte, Okla., and many restaurants
We try to stay within 100 miles of home, but whenever we have to travel outside of the 100 miles, we have four RVs that we set up.
Steve Gilliam President and General Manager, Gilliam Electric
including Chili’s, On the Border, Buffalo Wild Wings and Longhorn Steak House in Joplin in the last year. They have wired several Aldis and are now working on one in Neosho and one in Van Buren, Ark. They just finished a Menards store in Hollister and are about to start one in Springfield. They have wired doctor’s offices, dentist’s offices, schools, dorms, banks and the Love’s travel center in Neosho.
“We try to stay within 100 miles of home, but whenever we have to travel outside of the 100 miles, we have four RVs that we set up,” Gilliam said.
Asked why he enjoys his work, he said, “Probably because I’ve been around it all my life and it’s just what I do.”
He said he attributes his success to “the people that I have around me. All my employees and my office help. I’m fortunate to have a real good team here.”
As for the future, he said, “We’re just going to continue to grow at a steady pace.”
Office manager Kim Banchi, left, estimator Alex Carlson, president Steve Gilliam and inside project manager Shannon Freeman are pictured outside Gilliam Electric in Anderson.