Elec­tri­cian Wires Va­ri­ety of Struc­tures

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel Dick­er­son

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.”

RACHEL DICK­ER­SON/MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

Of­fice man­ager Kim Banchi, left, estimator Alex Carl­son, pres­i­dent Steve Gil­liam and in­side project man­ager Shan­non Free­man are pic­tured out­side Gil­liam Elec­tric in An­der­son.

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