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Calmes’ acquisition expands Consolidated Construction Co.’s services

Appleton contractor increases its carpentry capabilities

There’s no question the construction industry is facing a labor crunch. The industry will need to hire nearly 590,000 new workers nationally on top of normal hiring to meet industry demand in 2023, according to a survey by Associated Builders and Contractors.

Without enough skilled workers on staff, most construction companies need to increase their use of subcontractors, which can increase costs and lead to delays. Pamela Talavera, chief operating officer and largest shareholder for Consolidated Construction Co., Inc., recognized another option: expanding the full-service design/build contractor’s carpentry capacity by acquiring James J. Calmes and Sons Construction in Kaukauna.

Talavera, one of the few females to lead a major construction company, was key in the acquisition and integration of what’s now known as Calmes Construction Services, a Division of Consolidated Construction Co.

“Calmes is very versatile and works on a wide range of projects from small renovations to some of our most complex projects,” she said of the deal, which was completed in July. “Carpentry is a fundamental trade and can make or break the success of a project. It is a great asset to have carpenters of their caliber now on staff, and we want the new relationship to be mutually beneficial for them.”

Integrating the companies allowed both Calmes and Consolidated Construction to see multiple benefits, said Talavera.

“Uniting the two teams has advanced very favorably,” she said. “There’s been collaboration between mid-level managers that brings team members from the separate areas together and aligns skills and resources to benefit our customers.”

“From an HR perspective, bringing Calmes’ employees on board has also been very positive,” said Michelle Rueckl, Consolidated Construction’s director of human resources. “Calmes employees have the benefit of joining a larger company that provides them with additional benefits, along with a robust safety program.”

Prior to the acquisition, Calmes sometimes turned down jobs because they did not have enough capacity, Rueckl said. “They now can take on more jobs since they can tap into the resources of their Consolidated team members” she said.

“We brought back a skillset we needed (carpentry) and we’ve brought the business into the fold seamlessly,” Rueckl said. “Instead of building up our own carpentry unit, we were able to benefit from their people and talents.”

Talavera said bringing Calmes into the Consolidated Construction family expands the company’s service offerings with a complimentary trade.

“This will not only help us grow, but we’re able to manage availability, quality and price much more closely,” she said. “Our customers move to the head of the line in project delivery.”

Headquartered in Appleton, Consolidated Construction has several offices across Wisconsin as well as North Dakota and South Dakota. Calmes serves customers in the Fox Valley. The positive reputation of Calmes is a great asset in this area and will further strengthen Consolidated Construction’s commitment and ability to serve this market.

About Consolidated Construction
Consolidated Construction Co., Inc. consolidates architecture and construction into a single source to provide streamlined building services to commercial, hospitality, industrial and food industry clients throughout the country. The company has offices in Appleton, Wisconsin; Columbus, Wisconsin; Kaukauna, Wisconsin; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Bismarck, North Dakota. The company’s delivery model has resulted in national awards for safety, design/build ingenuity and cost-effective construction. Project information and company history can be viewed at www.1call2build.com.