MANHATTAN, IL — Manhattan Mechanical Services is celebrating its 10th year in operation, earning the title as Chicagoland’s largest merit shop mechanical services contractor. Manhattan Mechanical prides itself as a low-overhead, high-productivity company, providing clients with multi-craft professionals trained to maintain the highest safety, efficiency, integrity and quality standards. This team of highly skilled craftsmen offers services in industrial maintenance, process piping, structural steel, equipment installation, scaffolding, and insulation.
Manhattan Mechanical president Mike Uremovich had previously owned an international mechanical contracting company that served the oil industry, which he later sold in 2010. During what turned out to be a brief retirement, Uremovich volunteered to step into the role of national chairman for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21,000 members.
After spending a year as a leading spokesperson of merit shop construction, Uremovich hit upon the idea to establish a merit shop industrial mechanical contracting company in 2011. He and his team began shaping the company now known as Manhattan Mechanical Services.
The Key to Longevity
Since October 2011, Manhattan Mechanical has experienced astronomical growth. From a mere 15 employees, the merit shop contractor now consists of almost 200 personnel, ranging from support staff to multi-skilled craftsmen. However, according to Uremovich, the growth of the company is reflected not only in its business endeavors, but also in the camaraderie of the Manhattan Mechanical team.
“I believe the key to our success and longevity is that our company is a big family and a cohesive team,” explains Uremovich, “Everybody is pulling for the common good of the team as a whole. Manhattan Mechanical invests in its people with our NCCER apprenticeship program and leadership-development programs. We invest more in our people than any other contractor in our industry.”
The quality of leadership is reflected in the quality of the team Manhattan Mechanical has built. “We have some of the best craft workers in the area working for Manhattan Mechanical,” he continues. “Because of their dedication to safety and quality, as well as their extra effort toward career development and education, many entry-level employees grow their skill sets and flourish throughout the company.”
Uremovich firmly believes that Manhattan Mechanical’s outstanding reputation is a direct reflection of each team member. “Ten years ago, we were just an idea. Today, we have almost 200 employees in the field,” he notes. “We got that reputation because of the performance of our employees. It’s a full-circle moment.”
As loyalty among employees grows with company size, Manhattan Mechanical prides itself in providing its team with many benefit opportunities, excellent health insurance, and profit-sharing. Other benefits include disability insurance, discounts in retail and travel, a health advocate medical assistance program, a 401k, and more.
Human resources manager and social director Melynie Wagner enjoys coordinating events for employees and their families, including the annual company picnic. “It’s the highlight of our year,” she says. “We love seeing our employees come with their families, have fun, bond, and then talk about it afterward.”
The loyalty and highly valued relationships that the Manhattan Mechanical’s team members share with each other parallels the equally strong relationships that the merit shop contractor has forged with its clients.
“We are focused on building long-term relationships,” says Uremovich, “Many of our clients have been with us for five or more years.”
East Chicago Expansion
The facility brings key fabrication services and training classes closer to Manhattan Mechanical’s Indiana customer base, while providing additional warehouse space. In addition, the East Chicago location bolsters the company’s commitment to positively impact the surrounding communities by creating training and career opportunities for area residents.
“Mike was very invested and involved in trying to recruit and develop more employees from that part of the Chicago market,” explains Wagner, “He wanted to give them opportunities and provide them with a career path for continued personal growth.”
Merit Shop Advantage
Manhattan Mechanical’s success also demonstrates the high demand for merit shop contractors in the Chicagoland area. Where clients frequently need three or more different unions to complete a project, Manhattan Mechanical’s multi-craft workforce can successfully complete the identical work faster and with a smaller crew. Studies show that employing merit shop contractors can save up to 25 percent on labor costs.
Manhattan Mechanical also brings additional value by offering a team of multi-crafted professionals trained in-house. “Our team consists of men and women who work for us every day,” explains Uremovich, “That merit-shop advantage deepens client confidence in our team’s capabilities, because they know our crews aren’t random people pulled from a pool.”
The Next Decade
For the first eight years in business, Manhattan Mechanical specialized in the oil refinery and petrochemical industries. However, the COVID pandemic has caused a drastic shift in pace for these industries, forcing a redirection to other markets. Fortunately, this redirection contributed to the growth of the company. Expanding into the ethanol industry and into agricultural-chemical plants birthed a plethora of opportunities in nontraditional markets.
In addition, according to LeQue, ever-changing technology along with innovative tools and equipment will continue to keep Manhattan Mechanical one step ahead.
Also on the horizon: Manhattan Mechanical will soon reach the end of its third consecutive year of zero OSHA-recordable injuries. Worker safety is a paramount for the company, and this core value reflects in its culture.
“Our No. 1 priority is making sure our employees work in total safety, so they can return home in the same or better condition than when they came to work,” says Wagner.
Manhattan Mechanical Services continues to strive for excellence. With their skilled team of multi-craft professionals as the driving force, this mechanical services contractor remains committed to achieving another decade of growth and success.