Hi Dan! Why is it important for you guys to give back?
You know, I think it goes back to the very beginning. Giving back to the local community and being there for others. I think it’s important to give back to the community and in return the community improves.You can never give back too much.
How did Young Construction start to give back?
We started giving back, to the local area we’re at. The biggest thing is, supporting organizations that help some of the same people that worked for us. And that helped me when I was younger.
Yeah, because when Young Construction started 20 years ago, this year, you didn’t start with this. You didn’t start with 20 something employees, you didn’t have three locations. And you know, we weren’t licensed in Minnesota, then. It’s grown exponentially, think that’s part of the reason. I think if you want your company to grow and you want it to grow the right way, you have to be part of the community. You have to be able to give back and in turn, the community is really supporting your company. That’s where it comes from. It comes from nowhere else.
We started in retail. We also do a lot of storm restoration. But retail is where we started and I’m very grateful for that. We started out really small – I mean, we used to hand out flyers in grocery stores and, that’s how we, we started, there was no ‘marketing’ money. I actually started with, a car and, you know, you would do a job and, that would lead to you giving back to the community. In that way; your references were the community. That’s how you did it, your advertising was your first job and they told their friends and the next thing you know, you did another job. That’s how you build the trust in the communities. So, there’s so many organizations that helped you along the way.
How does Young Construction decide what organizations and non-profits that they’re going to serve?
We always support local. I like supporting organizations that give back, just simple as that. The food bank is a huge one. A person should not have to go hungry in the United States of America. I love toys for tots. I think a kid should at least get a Christmas present; you know? So, in that area, that’s how we started. We, stuck with local organizations. It wasn’t until later that we started, looking at it in a whole different setting. Probably six years ago, we started YC Cares. YC Cares was, my wife’s idea, actually. It was a great idea. What that does is target individuals’ areas that we can give back and make a direct impact to the community. We give away free roofs. We do a Christmas shopping spree – that’s a big one. I think we’re up to five families, and we donate $500 and take them shopping. Two of our employees does that. That’s part of being part of our company. We want people to realize that, if you work for us, not only is the community supporting us, but I want you to see that, people out there are hurting.
Some of the best ones I’ve ever seen is, you go on a $500 shopping trip and it’s interesting because when you see somebody that wins the $500 and they buy $400 in food in a hundred bucks and presents- speaks volumes, that’s when I know that, as an owner, as a person, as a family, as a father, that I’m doing what, what should be done.
Yes, because a lot of times you do see people go spend $500 on toys. They, they really take for granted those basic fundamental
things. And that’s why I wanted our employees to do it. I wanted them to see, you would see people and you would think, okay, they’re going get some toys for the kids. And they would ask, is it okay if I buy food? Yeah! Whatever you want to get, as a matter of fact, if you want and to get all of it. That really means that they’re falling in between the cracks. A lot of people in that situation, you’ll see both parents working and they make too much money for any help. They make just a little bit over what they need to get help. And there’s nothing to help them because they make just a little too much. So, we saw the need and I bet you, we probably get 150 applications at least. And it’s nothing you’re going to stop. If anything, we’ll be that we’ll be expanding now that we have our new location in Cedar Rapids.
You guys definitely saw a need in the community and you’re filling the gaps. And that’s the great thing about Young Construction is you’re so flexible. If you know there’s a different area hurting or that needs something, there’s no thought about it. It’s we need to help.
How can we help?
We seek out people that have that same mentality. I would rather have somebody work for us that has mindset. You have to give people that work for you, the ability to grow. It’s one of the biggest things I think in a company that you need to do. People need to realize that they have potential where they’re at. And if you don’t provide them with that. It’s disappointing to the employee and the employer. You want that person to have the ability to shine and do charitable stuff – It opens that door.
That’s one thing that really true drew me and draws a lot of your employees to this company is that they see how genuine and how caring and generous you and your wife are with everything that you do, whether it be giving to a family need or just helping an employee get to work, just the little things of giving back that aren’t dollars. And that’s it too, I remember starting out and not having what we have now and it’s a blessing. It’s grown because of the community. I truly believe you become what you want to be given to you and then you work. You have to work together. You have to work hard to get to where you want to go.
What’s that quote, “be the change you want to see in the world”. Exactly, I love that quote because it carries with you in everything in life. It really does.
When you give back to the communities, they give in turn back to you. And they give back to each other and some of the best feelings too are after you do a job for somebody and they send you a card saying you have no idea what we’ve been through and you helped us. It’s heartwarming. I’ve had families come in with the little kids on Christmas and the little kids come in with cookies and they made them at home. Those are the times where, you know, you’re doing it. If you follow that path, your company’s going to grow. It’s just the way it works. It always has.
And it can just grow from here. It’s just the foundation. You don’t always think of construction, in a soft-hearted way. And I will say Young Construction definitely embodies helping, giving back, doing the right thing to give back. Well, even on that, I travel a lot in the winter, I go to conferences to be educated. Everything we’ve built was because I was teachable. I talk about that a lot, being teachable. I hear all the time because we do storm restoration and what we call retail, which is your basic homeowner calls in our business calls in to do a commercial residential project. I hear when I’m going to the conventions and different ones. A lot of guys that do just storm restoration, how do you do retail? How do you do that? And, it’s really interesting because it was almost easier for us as a company to learn how to do storm restoration than it was, it is for them to learn how to retail. You try to explain it to them that it’s not a one-shot answer. It’s not knocking the door. It’s building a brand. Building a brand, followed by a company that backs up their brand with giving back to the community. And it takes time. This isn’t something that happens overnight. It took years to build the brand. It was later that we started doing storm restoration, that was probably a blessing in disguise.
We have a full-time marketing person right here. That I sought out. We looked for you, right? I believe you hire people when you meet them, you hire them on what they can be. You’ll meet somebody and they don’t know how good they can be or are, and how much they can grow in a position. They just need somebody to back them.
You guys have been valuable mentors to many people, not just in your workplace, but in the community as well. Mentors for different community members, people with kids, people who are entrepreneurs going through, things. It’s a big deal. I’ve found that the more successful we are, the more we’re able to give back, the more successful we are, it’s hand in hand. Yeah, it really is.
It’s a lot of, yeah, it’s a lot to think about, but it’s a lot of good advice for young entrepreneurs, which we’ll go into in another, episode of this, of how we can help, young entrepreneurs in this industry. We have a lot of charitable programs at Young Construction. We’ll expand on those. We have a lot coming up. This is probably our busiest time. Many, many things coming up that we do for the community happens now.
I can’t wait to talk about those programs and show everybody how immersive this industry can be. I like this part of it because I think sometimes as an industry, people need to see this part rather than, that sales gimmick, “Hey, buy from us.” “We’re the best”, you can be the best when you follow through with what you’re supposed to follow through with it. And be in a company that’s going to stick around in the community rather than, just get paid to do the job.
Well, awesome. Thank you for sharing that. And I can’t wait to see where else we go. It’s been great.
I’m, looking forward to bringing what we do out to the community a little bit more.