Press Release
June 20, 2005

Graniterock’s Steadfast Commitment to the People-Driven Workplace

Local Firm Makes List for Eighth Year

In 1998, when Graniterock’s name first appeared on Fortune magazine’s ranking of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America,” the Company was thrilled that its workplace practices had placed it among such leaders as Marriott Hotels, Microsoft, J. M. Smucker, and Nordstrom. Graniterock is only one of thirty-seven companies to have appeared on that initial 1998 list that remains on the “Best Companies” ranking today—eight years later.

The announcement was made this morning at the Society for Human Resource Management Conference in San Diego that Graniterock had again been selected for national recognition, making the list of “Best Workplaces” at #19. There are 750 Graniterock Team Members working in heavy engineering construction, construction materials production including mining, and in manufacturing plants producing ready-mix concrete and hot mix asphalt, as well as operating retail landscaping supply stores.

Graniterock Team Members say they like the Company’s self-leadership approach in which each individual owns responsibility for deciding how to perform each job with a commitment to safety, quality and customer satisfaction, along with responsibility to make decisions about how the work should be changed or improved over the short- and long-term. No manager looks over someone’s shoulder to tell him or her how to perform or improve work. Training and career growth are also important to Graniterock Team Members. Although voluntary, 94% of Graniterock Team Members direct their own training programs, advancing skills in areas such as computers, materials science, and marketing. A number of Team Members are participating in Graniterock’s English as a second language (ESL) or Spanish language classes. Some have overcome reading and writing disabilities and improved basic math skills. Career advancement is supported by the Try-a-Job Program in which Team Members can try a new job for a day with pay to see if they might like it. If they do, the training program, called Individual Professional Development Plan, provides the knowledge and skills to prepare for career change or advancement.

Ryan Fontes, who works at Graniterock’s Monterey Peninsula Branch in Sand City, states, “I joined Graniterock as a mixer driver and saw endless opportunity for growth and advancement with the training and cross-training opportunities here. I am now working in Dispatch coordinating the delivery of concrete throughout the Monterey Peninsula. I realize it is all up to me, but there is still plenty of room for growth and advancement opportunities ahead.”

Surveys conducted by Graniterock, as well as national surveys conducted by others, have shown that career planning and advancement are very important to workers, particularly those now entering the workforce.

Javier “Nacho” Garcia, who resides in San Francisco, worked for a company that provided daily courier service to Graniterock for eight years. “When I delivered the mail to Graniterock, the people would ask me jokingly if I had brought their paychecks and I got to know them well. They encouraged me to become a commercial truck driver. I told them that their trucks are too big and I could never do that, but they kept encouraging me to grow. I joined Graniterock’s Driver Training Program and received very good training. I soon got my commercial driver’s license and was offered a job as a mixer driver at Graniterock’s Redwood City plant. This is the best job that I have ever had and, it’s been more than a job, it changed my life. I learned how to speak English better and have learned about the construction field. I like the work and the people that I work with,” said Nacho.

However, Graniterock Team Members quickly say that what they like best about the Company is its family environment. People look forward to coming to work and seeing friends, and when someone faces an emergency or crisis outside work, Team Members pull together providing needed help along with the Company. it’s a good family setting because people grow together and then support each other whenever life’s challenges occur.

“One gets the sense that Graniterock is a family early on, while interacting with panel members during the interview process,” says Tom McGuinness an Engineer from Alameda. “It seems more like a conversation around the kitchen table than a question and answer assessment. After joining the firm, this perception becomes reality during the orientation. It shows in the way Graniterock People support one another and in the ethical manner they conduct business. It is a good feeling at the end of the workday and more importantly, at the beginning of the next.”

The “Best Places to Work in America” listings are developed each year by the Great Places to Work Institute in San Francisco. The Institute produces three listings based on company size. Graniterock appears on the list of companies with 251–999 employees, that the Institute calls the “Best Medium Companies to Work for in America.” The Institute analyzed anonymous survey responses from Graniterock People, compared survey results with other leading firms, and then reviewed the Company’s human resource practices in order to develop the final ranking.

Mike Lineberry, who works for Graniterock at its Santa Cruz Building Materials store on Coral Street, finds the family environment at Graniterock to be exceptionally effective and supportive. “Graniterock People are supportive of each other’s professional and personal goals, it’s a positive, can-do place helping each person to achieve professional dreams and manage personal challenges. Our Branch is that way,” Mike continues, “the Company and my bosses have always been supportive of me and urge me to do things that will improve my performance and skill level. I like where I work, because that is the way we treat each other, like family.”

“I started with Graniterock as a mixer driver in Watsonville, and loved the work I was doing, but somehow I wanted to do something different that involved a more professional challenge. I’m now a dispatcher for Graniterock’s Transportation Division in which my truck cab has been replaced with a modular office, computer, and all kinds of wireless communications,” says Joe Antonetti. “Graniterock has given me the tools necessary to advance and better myself in whatever I wish to do throughout the Company. I know now that I could do whatever I wanted in this Company,” Joe added.

Graniterock was founded on Valentine’s Day, 1900, when its first operation, the A.R. Wilson Quarry, was opened in Aromas and soon became a heavy engineering contractor. Its California Contractor’s License—#22—demonstrates how long the Company has been in business. Graniterock will soon open a new Branch location in Cupertino on De Anza Boulevard supplying construction building and landscaping materials. There are already plant or branch locations in Aromas, Felton, Hollister, Monterey Peninsula, Oakland, Redwood City, Salinas, Santa Cruz, San Jose, and So. San Francisco. Graniterock’s Pavex Construction Division operates from area offices in Redwood City, San Jose, Oakland, and Watsonville, and performs large work such as highway or runway expansion projects, as well as commercial and residential projects. The Company’s Corporate Offices have been located in Watsonville since 1900.

Editor’s Note: Graniterock can send you high-quality photograph(s) in JPG format of the Graniterock Workplace, including some photos of the individuals quoted in this article. If you would like those e-mailed to you, contact Keith Severson at 831.768.2063 or e-mail [email protected].

For more information, contact:
Keith Severson, 831.768.2063
Bruce Woolpert, 831.768.2001