Mick Rich Contractors | Solving Complexity With Creativity
An Albuquerque, New Mexico general contractor, Mick Rich Construction specializes in medium scale commercial building projects in all phases of construction: new construction, building renovations, special unique construction, tilt-up construction, and design-build. To serve our clients' needs, we also have a service department for repairs and alterations.
As a Nucor pre-engineered building dealer in New Mexico, we receive requests for proposals from building owners throughout the state. Our challenge is determining the “building loads,” meaning expected maximums of wind speed and snow depth.
Over the almost 30 years that Mick Rich Contractors has worked throughout New Mexico, we have seen many trends develop. One of those trends is a lack of technically challenging jobs, and a corresponding lack of people capable performing those jobs. As buildings become more technically advanced, public building owners around the state must seek technical services from Albuquerque to meet their buildings’ needs.
Like many states, New Mexico has made significant investments in attracting the television and film production industries. Looks great and sounds great. Stars walk our streets, and New Mexico settings appear on screens big and small. The productions drop mega bucks in our local economy. So what possibly could be the problem?
“Build it and they will come.”
That was the promise of former Governor Richardson’s administration regarding the America’s Spaceport. What an exciting idea: New Mexico would have a world-class facility, and become the premier launch point, for the space generation. Richard Branson and Dick Rutan were on board.
What could possibly go wrong?
Turns out, the best jobs that will be created by the Spaceport are in the legal field in Albuquerque.
Over the several decades I have lived in New Mexico, I have seen several plans to create jobs in rural areas. These plans center on the idea of “build it and they will come” – with “it” being infrastructure and “they” being jobs.
But we haven’t seen those jobs materialize.
Instead, the rural areas of New Mexico, without the help of master urban planners, have arrived at a common theme for creating jobs. Art: painting, pottery, textiles, and sculptures.
New Mexico’s pueblos and tribes do have entrepreneurs who start new companies. Are they successful?
Depends on how you define success.
Recently, a pueblo construction company completed hundreds of millions of dollars of work in Iraq. If you define success by large projects, this would be success.
However, if success is defined empowering individuals to start and build their own small businesses, the answer is less clear.
Politicians often proclaim the “American entrepreneurial spirit,” and how important it is to our future.
As a New Mexican, I wonder: why don’t we hear more about Native American entrepreneurs?
Most entrepreneurs need savings or credit to fund their startups. Homeowners, farmers and ranchers can use their land as an asset to be used for investments. But entrepreneurs who live on Native American land cannot use home equity to fund their business dreams, because they don’t hold title to the land.
Many years ago, I was listening to National Public Radio. One report described the difficulty in developing countries of starting small businesses or building homes. Why? Lack of property rights. When you own your home and land, you can borrow against your property. No property ownership = no collateral = no loans.
Since I moved to New Mexico in 1980, I’ve traveled to all corners of the state, both for business and pleasure. Sure, I’ve enjoyed the marvelous scenery. But more importantly, I’ve met some great people.
While every state has great people, what sets New Mexicans apart is that we accept people – whoever they are, and whatever they look like. In New Mexico, when the invitation states “black tie,” it also means cowboy boots and bolo.
We do not often hear “great” as a description of politicians in today’s world. But we do in New Mexico. I will limit my topic to the past 30 years, since I’ve lived here.
What are the qualities of great public servants?
(1) They lead from the front.
(2) They communicate the reasons for their direction.
(3) They succeed.
It appears this year’s presidential election will focus on government spending. Two of New Mexico’s politicians have been leaders on that subject.