Veterans Development Corp.

In construction, nothing is more important than your reputation. Mark Voner, Veterans Development Corp. president and CEO, knows this is especially true in his line of business because his clients – a combination of public and governmental entities – rate the performance of each contractor that works for them, directly impacting the companies’ ability to be awarded new jobs.

“Your reputation is everything in this business, since our work for the government and in the public arena is evaluated,” Voner explains. “Several aspects of each company’s performance are rated. If you didn’t perform well, or you had issues handling the project, you will receive a bad evaluation and that will hinder your ability to get new work.”

A combination of strong work ethics, experience and the right training for its employees ensures Veterans’ evaluations are always at the top of the industry.

“We have an average rating in the state of Massachusetts of 95 out of 100, which not many people have,” Voner notes.

Veterans started in 1929 as a mechanical contractor under Voner’s father’s leadership. Over time, the company became Veterans Development Corp., a certified service disabled veteran-owned small business. It developed in-house capabilities to perform HVAC work and plumbing and became a general contractor.

As a certified disabled veteran-owned business, Veterans is able to compete for Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOC). This highly competitive federal program selects a few companies out of thousands of bidders for projects consisting of multiple work, grouped together by dollar value. “We’re currently part of a $100 million MATOC in Florida and an even higher one in Massachusetts,” Voner notes.

Enabling Service

One of the projects under the MATOC umbrella that Veterans is developing in the Boston area is the VA hospital in Jamaica Plain, Mass. “It’s a $5 million central heating plant renovation that will update installations dating back to 1950s,” Voner explains.

Veterans is installing new black iron piping, as well as new electrical, plumbing and gas utilities. “We are installing a 750-hp Cleaver Brooks state-of-the-art, energy-efficient heating boiler for the hospital,” Voner says

“It’s one of three boilers being replaced in that hospital. We’re reconfiguring the piping in the plant so everything will be ready when the other two boilers are replaced,” he continues. The new boilers will provide a more efficient heating system for the VA hospital and lower oil and gas consumption.

Work at the 15-story VA hospital had to be accomplished while the existing boiler plant continued to operate. “We had to keep the entire plant operational while we were doing the demolition and removal of the existing installations,” Voner notes.

“We did a lot of the work at off-peak hours, so we could shut systems down while the hospital was not in use,” he continues.

Voner notes that what makes all the pieces of each job fall into place seamlessly is the in-house capability of Veterans. “We perform the mechanical, the plumbing and we do the general work in-house,” he says. “We don’t rely on subcontractors; we control the manpower based on the needs of the client, so it’s a faster pace.”

Renovations are a big part of Veteran’s work, but the company also participates in new construction. Veterans is completing a $2.6 million construction project for the new Wilmington High School in Wilmington, Mass. The company has an extensive portfolio of institutional work, including the new HVAC system for the Nissitissit Middle School in Pepperell, Mass., and installation of state-of-the-art science labs, plumbing and insulation for the renovation of the JFK Middle School in Hudson, Mass.

Looking ahead

Since he joined his father’s company in 1984, Voner has seen the competition rise, so he is relying on his company’s performance and its workforce is training to help Veterans stay ahead of the pack.

“In the next five years, our biggest expansion is going to be in our energy division,” Voner explains. “Our personnel in the field is going to have to go through further schooling and training hours to keep their licenses current.”

Voner, a recipient of the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, is also counting on his military training – as well as the military experience of many of Veteran’s employees – to stand out from the competition.

“Our military training is reflected in the way we run the company, with integrity and honesty, in our personal appearance and how we operate while we’re on the job,” Voner notes.

“We are also a very tight-knit group of people and we have minimal turnover at the company.”

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