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Sturgeon Electric Celebrates Its Centennial

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Sturgeon Electric Co. Inc. in Henderson, Colo., a subsidiary of MYR Group Inc., celebrated its 100th anniversary on Sept. 13 as a provider of electrical construction services throughout Denver and the western United States.

Photo courtesy of Sturgeon Electric
One of Sturgeon's largest current projects is working with general contractor Kiewit to transform historic Denver Union Station into a regional transit hub.
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Sturgeon offers a comprehensive array of capabilities in commercial and industrial, transportation and high-voltage/power line construction. It is consistently ranked among the top electrical contractors in the region by ENR Mountain States magazine and the Denver Business Journal.

In1995, Sturgeon became an operating subsidiary of MYR, a publicly traded holding company of premier electrical contractors offering clients a nationwide network of resources and personalized service through local offices. Today, Sturgeon has the financial, managerial and technical capability to complete electrical installations of any type and size, and owns and operates one of the largest fleets of specialized electrical equipment in the nation.

“There is a direct correlation between Sturgeon’s reputation for quality, safety, customer service and range and diversity of offerings to our longevity in the industry,” said Jeff Waneka, vice president of Sturgeon. “Mastering excellence in these areas doesn’t come easily. Since 1912, we’ve worked hard to hire, develop and retain the most talented and best-trained people, invest in the best equipment and technologies, and dedicate ourselves to continuous innovation in the industry, especially when it comes to safety, quality and efficiency."

“Considering today’s challenging economic climate, companies like Sturgeon are rare, especially in the construction sector,” said Rick Swartz, vice president and chief operating officer of MYR. Swartz began his career with Sturgeon in 1982 as an electrical apprentice.

“There are numerous construction companies that are ‘here today and gone tomorrow,’” he said. “I feel the main quality that makes us a strong player is that we’ve made a conscious effort to invest and believe in our people, which has paid dividends for us. Our people deliver exceptional performance because we are actively interested in them. This has resulted in very low attrition and numerous long-term employees that have been able to grow their careers here. If you have the drive and ambition, the opportunities are here,” Swartz added.

Sturgeon’s diversity of services and ability to execute projects of all sizes and scopes helps the company weather tough economic conditions and avoid mass layoffs.

“We’ve recognized what it takes to be on top, and more importantly, what it takes to stay there,” added Jeff Waneka.

Sturgeon maintains STAR status in the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program for the Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction, the highest level awarded by OSHA for workplace safety and health.

Most recently, Sturgeon was awarded the national Construction Safety Excellence Award by the Associated General Contractors of America for outstanding safety leadership, programs and overall statistics.

David Sturgeon founded Sturgeon Electric in 1912 and played a predominant role in the growth of the electrical industry and downtown Denver. Sturgeon’s offices were first located in a garden-level shop at 1026 14th Street in downtown Denver, between Curtis and Arapahoe Streets. The building also housed the University of Denver College Of Music. As Sturgeon grew, offices moved to other locations throughout downtown Denver, the most notable being 300 Vallejo Street, Sturgeon’s home from the late ‘50s to 1986.

In 1986, Sturgeon relocated to its current location in Henderson, a 10-acre, 70,000-sq-ft facility complete with an equipment yard, extensive tool department, pre-fabrication shop and a 39-bay service garage.

Throughout the years, Sturgeon’s commercial and industrial division has completed electrical installations on many Denver and Front Range landmarks, including Denver International Airport, the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, IBM, Lockheed Martin, the Denver Federal Center, Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, the Colorado Convention Center and the National Renewable Energy Lab. Sturgeon has maintained decades-long relationships with many of these clients, and Xcel Energy and IBM have been Sturgeon clients for more than 50 years.

Notable current projects for Sturgeon’s commercial and industrial division include: Children’s Hospital-South, Boulder Community Hospital, Primestar Solar, Castle Rock Medical Center and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Sturgeon’s power line division is constructing the Nevada On-Line project, a $120-million, 235-mile-long, 500-kilovolt transmission line throughout southern Nevada.

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