Top Company 2021: Construction & Engineering
These three companies are shaking up the world of construction and engineering
In its 34th year, ColoradoBiz‘s Top Company honors the Colorado companies that have drive, determination, a vision and a plan and are ultimately making the state a better place to live and work. These three companies – one winner and two finalists –represent the 2021 Top Companies in Construction and Engineering.
As a leader in the construction, manufacturing, fabrication and facilities-services industries, RK brings customer visions to life across the Mountain West region, calling on decades of experience and specialized teams within the organization to bring the highest quality service to every project. The firm’s work and expertise across multiple industries allows it to be a premier partner, creating and executing specialty professional solutions from start to finish.
Like most companies, RK faced unforeseen difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between transitioning a completely non-remote workforce to remote in two short days and dealing with supply-chain delays and project shutdowns, RK had to find innovative ways to keep employees working safely while also helping to quickly develop health-care products to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. RK’s IT team was able to implement various technology programs like Microsoft 365/Teams to keep employees connected while working virtually. These programs permitted teams to collaborate as if they never left the office, which has allowed its workforce to become more flexible.
In March 2020, a team from CU Anschutz approached RK Mission Critical to help manufacture emergency field ventilators that could support 12 patients at one time. The RK Mission Critical team began developing a prototype that was then tested by UCHealth and the University of Colorado Medicine. Although it was a new product, these ventilators were quickly approved for use by the FDA as it modified its guidelines to allow for these life-saving devices. The 12-patient ventilator became vital in helping to ease the ventilator shortage as it can easily be deployed in the field and can be used on multiple patients at a time, making it cost-effective and efficient.
RK strives to maintain a culture where employees feel heard, valued and fulfilled. Employee-focused activities like its employee and officer listening tours allow RK team members the opportunity to directly influence the company’s culture. Events like the annual company picnic, team-building golf outings, jobsite BBQs and years-of-service celebrations offer fun social opportunities for employees to get to know one another as people rather than just co-workers.
Designscapes Colorado is a landscape design, construction and maintenance firm serving both residential and commercial properties across the Front Range. Since 1992, its mission has been simple: to offer high-quality, competitively priced residential and commercial landscapes and maintenance.
Designscapes Colorado believes what sets it apart is its full suite of offerings from landscape design to construction and maintenance, including snow removal services. “There are very few companies that specialize in residential design and construction, commercial landscape construction – parks, playgrounds and athletic fields – as well as maintenance in both residential and commercial,” the company says. “Basically, we touch all areas of the landscape industry. Our hands-on approach through all phases of design, construction and maintenance has allowed us to build long-term relationships with our clients and our community.”
I-kota is an award-winning general contractor that specializes in the construction of multi-family affordable housing. CEO Riley McLaughlin, who grew up on a farm in rural North Dakota, founded I-kota in 2010.
Among its goals, the company says it strives “to build a team of highly motivated achievers who have grit, humility and will to complete difficult projects that provide a home for people to live in.”
“We look to provide opportunity for our team members that challenge them in their growth, provide them with training and allow them to make mistakes,” a company spokesperson said. “Mistakes are ‘tuition,’ and big lessons can be expensive. We want to provide a safe environment for our team members to feel they are respected, and their opinion matters. Their creativity and idea generation are pivotal to helping I-kota maintain a leading edge in a rapidly changing market.”