Ethical, committed to quality, and proudly local. These are the three pillars on which Klinger Constructors was founded over 40 years ago. Established in Albuquerque in 1982, the company still holds these pillars up as the standard, every single day. Over time, the company has made its mark in New Mexico by building quality commercial, industrial, high-tech, and healthcare projects. Equally significant, it has strived for decades to create long-lasting partnerships. The company offers construction, pre-construction, design-assist-build, design-build, manager-at-risk, and facility maintenance services. In addition to these services, Klinger Constructors’ ethical conduct has played just as large a part in both its longevity, and the consolidation of profitable partnerships. The company believes in the importance of honest interactions, upholding both professional and legal standards to maintain ethical practices.
To be precise, the history of Klinger Constructors started approximately 104 years ago in Sioux City, Iowa, as W. A. Klinger. The company moved to Albuquerque in 1982 and quickly established its presence across New Mexico. This move was made significantly easier by being an Associated Builders and Contractors member. In fact, ABC membership played a pivotal role in its growth and integration into the local community. As of today, Klinger Constructors has performed over $2 billion of work in New Mexico alone. In 1988, the company established one of its first, and still ongoing, partnerships with Intel Corporation. This long-lasting relationship is not an isolated case, either. “We’re about finding the right clients and doing a good job for them. We don’t get caught up in volume,” says Adam J. Leyba, Executive Vice President at Klinger Constructors. “We negotiate almost 75% of our work. We have a long list of clients that will continually call us for projects,” continues Senior Project Manager Jeff Slopek. “Getting that repeat business is a testament to how customers feel about our quality, cost control, schedule, everything.” Self-performing most of its work from concrete to steel, carpentry, and occasionally electrical, Klinger Constructors operates more like a building company than a construction manager. “We get involved. That is why we have over 100 people in the field,” says Leyba. “We employ ironworkers, master craftsmen, guys that could do it all. We’re proud to be a merit shop construction company.”
A recent project carried out for Arcosa is a fine example of how Klinger Constructors has built a legacy of quality. The opportunity to work on this project arose thanks to the company’s previous involvement with the facility. Approximately 30 years ago, it had built the structure when it belonged to another company. Remarkably, the company’s current president had served as the project manager during the initial construction. When Arcosa acquired the property and reviewed the old plans, they noticed Klinger Constructors’ name associated with the project. Impressed by its past work, they reached out, establishing a connection that had come full circle after nearly three decades.
Klinger Constructors is currently working on its third BlueHalo Project. According to Slopek, it is further evidence of the benefit that comes from clear planning and excellent communication. “It started as a hard bid with three contractors, and the project had a very tight deadline,” he says. “We were a little bit more expensive, but I gave them a plan on how we were going to be able to do it, and they decided to go with us.” Despite a short, six-month timeframe to complete the remodeling, Klinger Constructors successfully delivered the project, showcasing the company’s efficiency and dedication to its work. This has led to immediate repeat business.
Although it has worked on an array of different projects, Klinger Constructors’ focus is on industrial and commercial buildings. “We do a little bit of everything. But we try to be selective on what types of job we’re going to do, and we are very picky in selecting customers,” says Leyba. Regardless of the kind of project, Klinger Constructors gets involved very early in the process, providing preconstruction services and collaborating with clients to establish an upfront budget based on the client’s vision and the company’s experience. “We get everything the client wants, and if the price exceeds their budget, we go back, do some value engineering, and make changes. So, we can still give them what they want, but within budget,” says Slopek. Another advantage of being a design-build contractor is the ability to foresee potential issues with the project and address them from the get-go. This approach allows Klinger Constructors to expedite the procurement of vital materials, ensuring client satisfaction.
“Klinger Constructors focuses heavily on sustainability and green building initiatives, aiming to contribute to a better tomorrow.”
Klinger Constructors focuses heavily on sustainability and green building initiatives, aiming to contribute to a better tomorrow. The company has extensive expertise in the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) process. Six of its staff members are LEED-accredited professionals and active members of the US Green Building Council. The focus on sustainability is also evident in the company’s past and present projects. Two examples of Klinger Constructors’ commitment to contributing to a more sustainable future are the projects completed for Kairos Power, a key player in nuclear research and clean energy development, and ongoing work on a wind tower plan in Belen for the company Arcosa.
Establishing strong local connections and relationships is something Klinger Constructors excels at. Furthermore, it proves to be a significant advantage for both the company and client alike. Klinger Constructors operates primarily in New Mexico. Being a local entity allows it to leverage its familiarity with local institutions and organizations, enhancing its ability to navigate bureaucratic processes efficiently. Regular participation in industry events further fortifies the company’s network. Attending luncheons and other gatherings provides those within the company with face-to-face interactions, enabling them to showcase the company’s projects and engage in meaningful discussions with influential stakeholders. These well-established connections benefit the company and translate into advantages for clients. Through these networks, it can expedite processes, ensuring that its clients’ projects move forward with a smoothness and efficiency that competitors cannot match.
Many of the company’s employees have worked for the company for over 20 years. “This is a company where people come and stay till they retire. Almost all our superintendents have been at Klinger since before I was born,” says Slopek. “And that’s because of how we treat people.” Valuing its staff and ensuring mutual trust and respect in all interactions are cornerstones of the company’s approach. From team members and customers to suppliers and subcontractors, this is a company that respects and fosters a spirit of cooperation with everyone it works with. The company also provides necessary leadership and support to its staff, empowering team members, prioritizing safety in all activities, and providing continuous learning opportunities. “We train our people and give them the opportunity to advance. Jeff and I both started as Project Engineers. He’s a senior PM now, and I’m a Vice President,” says Leyba. “The safety of our staff is also very important to us. We have a safety bucks program. Employees can use this money to buy different things like hats, jackets, you name it.” Klinger Constructors employs dedicated personnel to inspect each job site regularly and provide detailed reports. Additionally, an independent third-party company assesses the sites, ensuring an unbiased evaluation. To enhance safety awareness, the company conducts monthly meetings where employees share near-miss incidents—potential accidents that were avoided. This information is disseminated to all employees, fostering a culture of learning and prevention, enabling them to prevent similar incidents on other projects.
With all this in mind, it is easy to see how Klinger Constructors has been a mainstay in New Mexico for over four decades. Looking forward, the company aims to sustain its current momentum and growth trajectory with further objectives to foster internal development and ensure that all team members align their efforts towards a common goal. By sticking to its well trusted formula of quality and ethics, the smart money would be on the company achieving, and excelling, at these goals. Typically, however, Leyba is a little more considered and measured in his response. “We’re pretty proud of our history here in New Mexico,” he says, “and we just want to continue to maintain and nurture what we’ve built.”