When Jason Hebison and his family moved to Idaho from the Bay area, they knew it would be a challenge. They had left their home in California, and Jason had closed his plumbing business so they could buy their first home in Idaho. As a journeyman plumber with decades of experience in commercial work, Jason quickly found work. But after six months in that job, he knew it wasn’t what he was looking for, so he began looking around. He found a hiring post for UMC, Inc. and soon applied.
As our Idaho teammates will tell you, it’s taken time for us to establish a branch there. So it’s probably not surprising to hear that Jason’s second interview was at a McDonalds! Luckily, Jason recognized that even though our Idaho branch was small, there was something special about UMC. He willingly joined us as a site superintendent five years ago and now works as a project manager for us.
Since Jason joined us, we’ve seen massive growth in Idaho. For the first few years that Jason was with us, our crew in Idaho was small, with between 12-30 employees, and we were taking on two to three projects a year. But about 18 months ago, things picked up in the Idaho market. The team ballooned to 96 employees for a time, and Jason oversaw several projects simultaneously. It was a time of fast growth, high stress, and significant challenges.
The Ten Mile Creek apartment project was one of the biggest struggles during this time. This project was a three-phase project with 240+ units per building. Phases 1 and 2 went very smoothly, but phase three hit us during that busy time of growth, and because of how fast things were moving, there wasn’t enough leadership on-site throughout the project. The team ended up falling behind schedule and holding up other trades. Jason helped turn things around by going to the job site to get things back on track. With Jason’s help and guidance, the team persevered. He encouraged them to take on each project aspect one task at a time and directed the workforce to where the most significant issues were in the project. His calm guidance helped the team stay focused and deliver. The first three phases are complete, and phase four will start soon!
That period of intense growth was a big challenge, especially for Jason. He moved up from a site superintendent to a project manager, and his primary responsibility became hiring new employees for all new projects. Jason says finding the right individuals willing to live and work the UMC core values is challenging. Things have worked out, and now they have an excellent crew in Idaho with a team of 68, who are all dedicated to the quality of work that UMC requires.
The future in Idaho looks bright for UMC. We’re building a new office and warehouse space in Boise, allowing the Idaho branch to begin offering HVAC work for their projects. Jason hopes the Idaho branch will eventually outgrow the new office and warehouse space as we take on more projects. His goal is for UMC to be Idaho’s number-one mechanical contractor until he retires. He hopes that focusing on teamwork, unity, and a boots-on-the-ground mentality where everyone pitches in and does their part will help the team in Idaho reach their goals. With Jason’s calm leadership, we’re confident that our Idaho team members will get there!