Case Studies

Brian Midyett – STG Pacific

STG Pacific president guides building infrastructure and the workforce

In the more than 30 years Brian Midyett has worked in the construction industry, he’s directed design-build projects for public, commercial and industrial construction throughout Alaska and beyond.

As president of STG Pacific, he’s ensured the Anchorage-based contractors expand the scope of work and project locations into the Lower 48—as far away as Florida.

Brian Midyett – STG Pacific

Midyett draws from an extensive industry network he’s developed over the decades to accomplish the expansion at STG Pacific, but as he chatted with Blueprint in August, he said it’s been equally important to grow the construction industry itself by attracting and retaining younger talent.

He’s had some success, as 70 percent of the STG workforce are millennials—a demographic born between 1981 and 1996. But with the oldest millennials approaching or having reached 40 years old, Midyett is also looking to lure Generation Z to the industry.

“I’m surveying and having one-on-ones with all of our employees and trying to determine their priorities,” Midyett says. “We need to be training the next generation while learning how to differentiate in the market with the younger workforce.”

Building bridges and beyond

STG Pacific is a subsidiary of the Calista Corp., one of 13 Alaska Native Corporations formed in the early 1970s as part of the federal government’s settlement of land claims made by Native populations in the state. STG Pacific is certified as a federal 8(a) Small Business, enabling it to receive training, technical assistance, and contracting opportunities such as set-asides and sole-source awards for federal government contracts.

Among the in-state projects STG Pacific has completed since Midyett joined the company in December 2017 is the 2018 demolition—of two  WW2-era bridges near the U.S. Coast Guard Base Kodiak. The project also included improvements to water mains with new fire hydrants, electrical systems and water meters.

Brian Midyett – STG Pacific

In 2019, STG Pacific built the foundation for the long-range discrimination radar equipment shelter at Clear Air Force Station in Clear, Alaska. In the Lower 48, the company has replaced two railroad bridges and upgraded infrastructure at Beale Air Force Base in California. The bridges and infrastructure are needed to bring aircraft fuel to the base.

In 2018, STG Pacific assisted with storm cleanup and reconstruction after Hurricane Michael struck Florida. STG Pacific has also worked on five design-build projects and continues to enhance their bridge resume with 7 bridge structures under their belt.

“What we do is try and find niche opportunities so we can showcase what we do and pursue that work,” Midyett says. “We were also able to find the right partners to be competitive and attractive to owners.”

Listening and learning

Projects such as those underscore the benefits of working in the construction industry and the travel demands.

“We need energetic people who understand this is a hands-on business that requires going where the work is,” Midyett says. “Construction happens where the construction is, that can be a challenge to convey.”

Brian Midyett – STG Pacific

When seeking input from employees, Midyett found their concerns extended beyond salary. He was told that charting a clear career path with growth opportunities is a must, as is doing work with meaning and purpose.

Midyett says STG Pacific also emphasizes career growth and training by reimbursing employees for engineering studies. It also tries to send employees to national conferences and trade shows, such as those sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of America or CONEXPO, billed as the largest construction show in North America on its website.

“I need to do what I can with compensation, time off long-term, incentive programs, and other things that we have to offer to make people want to stay,” Midyett says.

While he can add perks and benefits while understanding what younger employees are seeking, getting people interested in a career in trades or construction is a larger challenge for STG Pacific and the industry in general.

Brian Midyett – STG Pacific

The company provides scholarships to Native Alaskan students for education in engineering, science and construction management. Midyett also serves as president of the Alaska Association of General Contractors, which conducts outreach at school job fairs.

“Our counselors and education systems are failing kids by not saying that college isn’t the only path to success,” Midyett says. “A four-year apprenticeship can lead to a six-figure income.”

Sailing ahead

Midyett has been living and working in Alaska for nearly 20 years, but his path to get there sometimes went in opposite, and watery, directions. He was born and raised in southern Oregon along the Pacific Coast and studied mechanical engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology.

Brian Midyett – STG Pacific

He also developed a love for sailing and lived in Hawaii for 15 years. Midyett has sailed lengthy voyages, including exploring the South Pacific in a 30-foot boat, sailing from the west coast to Hawaii in a 43-footer, and sailing a 47-footer from Texas to the Caribbean—where he spent the ensuing two years exploring the seas and islands.

Midyett’s work in Alaska includes serving as CH2M Hill Construction operations manager, senior consultant and director of construction for Program management firm C2HM (now Jacobs) from June 2008 to January 2015. In his roles, he helped guide bidding, staffing and client management and consulted on multi-billion-dollar projects in the oil and gas industries and marine projects. He says he developed the network that’s helped him expand STG Pacific’s work outside Alaska during his tenure.

“There’s nothing more important than changing stereotypes and getting people into the trades,” Midyett says. “It’s financially rewarding and there’s a tangible reward in that you’re driving on a bridge you built or seeing a building you built.”

View this feature in the Blueprint Vol. IX 2023 Edition here.

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