CANTON, MA—When one of the premier news outlets in the country recognizes you as one of the best places to work for, you must be doing a lot of things right. Recently, in its “Top Places To Work” report, the Boston Globe selected E.M. Duggan, Canton, sixth in the large group category as Top Places To Work In Massachusetts for its Boston Globe Magazine.
“It is an extremely humbling, exciting and validating honor to receive such a prestigious award. It will and has always been or focus to create and maintain a family atmosphere, making sure that all of our employees feel valued and know that they are part of the Duggan family,” says Len Monfredo, executive vice president, E.M. Duggan.
Valued employees: this is just one of the reasons that E.M. Duggan has been selected for CONTRACTOR’s Contractor of the Year award. The “team” concept resonates throughout the company. “When we hire people, the qualifications are obviously important, but the chemistry, the way they handle themselves is also important,” says Vincent Petroni, president, CEO, CFO. Ultimately, “you treat people with respect, the way that you’d like to be treated,” says Petroni.
Monfredo maintains that the reputation of Duggan has always been one quality work, “but the biggest thing Duggan has done over the years is that it has treated employees right. That’s why the company has been around for as long as it has—because your employees being happy is what makes you successful.
In 1891, E.M. Duggan started out as a mom-and-pop shop, which now operates out of three massive buildings in Canton, and another in Boston. Their drive and perseverance makes them one of the oldest family-run HVAC, plumbing, fire protection and BIM coordination companies in the country. In addition, E.M. Duggan has both a 24-hour service group and a special projects division in downtown Boston. All of these teams allow the company to provide full service to the life cycle of a developer’s building. Today, E.M. Duggan fluctuates between 450-600 employees in any given year.
Although a company that started more than a century ago, Duggan embraces new technology, trends, etc. “We have an innovation and technology group that focuses on programming and improving the functionality and productivity of our CAD, design, accounting and operational software,” says Monfredo.
Also, in 1967, Duggan was one of the first contracting companies to add a prefabrication shop—to foster a safer way for workers to assemble parts rather than being subjected to outside elements at a job site. Duggan now has two prefab shops spanning 120,000-sq. ft. These prefab shops are state-of-the-art and are constantly updated with the latest technology and equipment.
“We are actually heavily invested in software—writing our own software—because we feel that’s the foundation for the prefab that we’re doing to be correct,” says Mofredo.
“Many of the ideas for logistics, efficiency and productivity come from the men and women working in the shops. To keep us ahead of the industry, we are always improving our processes throughout the entire organization,” says Monfredo.
Handing Down the ‘Duggan Way’
Defining multi-generational family leadership, Petroni joined the company in 1979 and Monfredo joined the company in 2009, representing the fifth generation. Currently, Petroni and Monfredo, along with their executive team consisting of Rick Dorci and Kevin Walsh, continue the Duggan way by maintaining and fostering relationships with employees, clients and outside vendors.
Part of that “Duggan way” is giving back to the community, and another reason for the Contractor of the Year nod. As highlighted in last month’s issue of CONTRACTOR, E.M. Duggan does a lot of philanthropic work, including the Jackets for a Cause campaign, among many others.
‘We, as a country, need to focus on having more vocational schools.’
“As a company we feel very blessed to have had so many successes and we feel it is our responsibility to give back, especially in the communities in which we work and live,” says Monfredo. “We encourage our employees to let us know about causes they are a part of so that we can help contribute to what they feel strongly about. We firmly believe in spreading good fortune to others because that makes for a better world for everyone,” continues Monfredo.
Toward the Future
The current—and future—state of E.M. Duggan looks healthy. In fact, according the Monfredo, the backlog of work is very strong and the company already knows it has work through 2021, and it has the capacity to take on future jobs.
Working together for a common goal is key, as collaboration is the hallmark of E.M. Duggan; without it the company might not be as successful as it is today. “We encourage and value communication from all levels of our organization; all ideas are considered and our culture fosters an open line of communication and working together as a team,” says Monfredo.
Further, Duggan is aware of some of the obstacles facing the industry and is aggressive in its approach to tackling them head on. For instance, the skilled labor shortage and closing the gender gap are just two issues that Duggan is continuously addressing.
“We, as a country, need to focus on having more vocational schools and giving our youth the knowledge and opportunity to get into the trades. As an organization, E.M. Duggan provides numerous paid internships for students enrolled in college so they can experience the mechanical contracting industry.
While the industry is predominately male represented, E.M. Duggan has been working on closing the gender gap for some time. The company works closely with organizations like Building Pathways—and many others—that focus on hiring women and minorities into the trades. And ultimately, it circles back to Duggan’s corporate values and an emphasis on treating its employees right.
“As an organization, we welcome diversity and offer training to help bridge any gaps. We also have created a corporate culture where everyone belongs and knows that they are valued,” says Monfredo.