A. Lee Graham
CEC Electrical Inc. of Fort Worth has achieved success the old-fashioned way: one job at a time. From Whole Foods Market in Addison to One City Place in downtown Fort Worth, the electrical contractor has tackled jobs big and small. And work shows no signs of slowing. “It’s a very competitive market,” said Ray Waddell, who founded the firm in 2009 after working as director of business development for W.G. Yates & Sons Construction. Aiming to build his own company, Waddell founded a firm adept in engineering, build-design construction, pre-construction and assistance with technological upgrades. Personalized attention also helps CEC stand out, Waddell said. “We’re probably more responsive and pay a little bit more attention to our clients. We understand their expectations and what it takes to be successful and really being committed to your client and trying to deliver,” Waddell said. Equally important is building a staff with not only engineering skills but also people skills. “My role is to hire good people, surround myself with talented and successful guys and give them the right resources and tools to be successful,” Waddell said. Having built a successful career with W.G. Yates, Waddell yearned to strike out on his own. So he assembled a team eager to tackle electrical construction projects and leased 25,000 square feet at CentrePort office park just south of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The staff has taken on a number of diverse projects such as data centers, manufacturing facilities and health care centers. Whether providing electrical engineering services to new or renovated buildings, Waddell said he and his team give their all to every project. “We certainly do all of it and do it well,” he said. Among the $30 million in electrical construction projects the firm is currently handling are helping renovate the 19-floor One City Place tower and a Flextronics facility at Fort Worth Alliance Airport and a FedEx expansion project in the city of Hutchins. In addition to operating an Austin office, which serves as a central location for projects in that area, the company plans to relocate its Fort Worth office to a 40,000-square-foot space near its current location in the near future. Asked whether the expansion could mean new jobs, Waddell said, “We hope so. As long as we continue to grow, we’ll have to add to our team.”
A ‘C’ but that’s a good thing… Texas’s civil engineers awarded the state’s infrastructure system a “C” grade last year due to a significant lack of both long-term maintenance planning and sustainable funding. Released by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Texas Section in Fort Worth, the 2012 Report Card for Texas’s Infrastructure (Report Card) evaluates the state’s infrastructure systems by categories, assigning individual sectors letter grades. Texas has many areas of concern. The infrastructure categories with the lowest grades were Dams, Schools and Drinking Water. All three were awarded a “D-”due to capacity and funding issues representing a significant concern that attention to current and future issues are not being addressed. Other category grades include: Aviation (C+), Bridges (B-), Dams (D-), Drinking Water (D-), Energy (B+), Flood Control (D), Inland Waterways (C), Roads (D), Schools (D-), Solid Waste (B+), Transit (C+), and Wastewater (C-). The U.S. as a whole received a D+.