J.S. VIG CONSTRUCTION
The guiding philosophy of Joseph Vig, Sr. when he established J.S. Vig Construction in 1965: Integrity, responsibility and hard work are vitally important business values; that the true bottom line is not measured in dollars and cents, but in people and relationships.
The company believes in a ‘family principle’: employees and subcontractors are treated like family.
Joe Vig Jr.
Built on that core belief and with the high value they place on project safety, quality, and customer satisfaction, the company has thrived. The founder’s legacy is carried on by his son, Joseph Vig, Jr. (CEO), and daughter, Valerie Vig (President).
Vig Jr. says, “The company believes in a ‘family principle’: employees and subcontractors are treated like family.”
Vig Jr. notes the company’s safety record, “Our first priority is a safe site. In 53 years we have not had a serious injury,” he says. “It takes an extensive amount of planning and staffing, but when you focus on safety, the quality ends up better.” Although that seems counterintuitive the results speak for themselves.
The company began in Lincoln Park, moved to Taylor in 1972, and recently expanded to Plymouth. They also have an office in Ann Arbor.
Since its founding, the company has completed more than 1,600 projects: municipal buildings including the Allen Park City Hall and Police Station; Wayne County Community College District – Downriver Campus; Romulus Athletic Center; auto dealerships, like Gorno Ford; as well as the 555 Old Woodward project in Birmingham, and many more. They are also entering a niche market in the biotech field, completing projects for this developing market.
J.S. Vig handles many projects for the University of Michigan. Their largest current effort is the Schembechler Hall Football Performance Center, which will include physical therapy, conditioning, and team rooms. Other projects in Ann Arbor include buildings for the U of M Health System and the new Hyatt Place Hotel.
Their projects range from smaller repurposing, or upgrading of previously completed jobs in the $100,000 range, to their largest, the 255,000 square foot Citi Bank headquarters. No matter the size of the job, the guiding principle is the relationship with the client.
The company is very responsive to current business trends, including the effect that Amazon.com and other web-based businesses have had on local retail. Repurposing older retail stores has become one of their latest efforts. As many retail properties have become vacant, J.S. Vig has helped transform those buildings into useful, vibrant places once again. Stores like Sears and Kmart have been affected by this trend. “We have transformed them into ‘mixed use’ centers” according to Joe, “with restaurants and entertainment to complement the retail that’s left.” The benefit is that old buildings, which would otherwise have been left vacant or torn down, are now useful and busy.
Vig notes, “My dad was very focused on giving back to the community and served as president of the Lincoln Park Rotary.” Current management continues this vision: Joseph Vig, Jr., served as president of the Taylor Rotary and the Southern Wayne County Chamber of Commerce; Dennis Levko is a longtime Trenton Rotarian; and Valerie Vig is very involved with the Penrickton Center for Blind Children, based in Taylor.
J.S. Vig also works closely with the Archdiocese of Detroit that oversees all Roman Catholic parishes, schools and communities in southeast Michigan. One of their recent projects is Our Lady of Hope Cemetery at Sibley and Allen Roads in Brownstown, redoing the mausoleum and chapel.
On average, the company manages 10 to 15 projects at any given time. They have 30 employees, not including sub-contractors. Vig emphasizes the importance of the sub-contractors and the growing need for skilled trades.
J.S. Vig’s upper management is actively involved in every project, often visiting the sites to make sure all is going according to plan and schedule (duration of work ranges from two months to two years).
Ten years ago, J.S. Vig created Project Green, a new division in Ann Arbor, that emphasizes best practices in sustainable, commercial construction. Their mission is to develop and implement relevent and practical green building strategies for both new construction and existing building projects.
Keeping to their original values, and adding up-to-date practices, and giving back to the community, has been a successful recipe for this forward-looking company.