A industry-leading mechanical contracting company serving the Washington, DC metro area and beyond
David Welch is the owner–operator of Welch and Rushe Inc., a mechanical contracting company located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Co-founded by David’s father, Linden Welch, in 1966, WRI has grown from a two-man operation to a 200-person operation serving clients locally and internationally. Today, the company is recognized as a leading mechanical contractor in the Washington, DC market, and has worked on numerous projects of national significance, including the National World War II Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the US Capitol Visitor Center.
OFFIT KURMAN: What makes a career at Welch and Rushe appealing to a prospective employee?
DAVID WELCH: One of the big advantages for an employee to come to Welch and Rushe is that we’re a medium-size company, so we’re not so large that they’re a number, but we’re not so small that they don’t have that opportunity to grow with the company. The employees like that feeling that, for one. As the owner of the company, my door is always open. From apprentices, foremen, project managers—they all know that at any time they can come into my office and I always have time for them. Out in the field, I try to talk to our men as much as possible, learn from them, get feedback from our men.
Welch and Rushe is run as a committee. We have five officers that run this company and basically what we do is we meet every Tuesday morning and make the major decisions for the company. We’ll meet one Tuesday, and if we have a couple of major issues, each of the five of us will go out and talk to our employees, get employee feedback, bring that information back to the table, and then we’ll make our major decisions. The employees know that they have a lot of input in the way that this company is run. That alone keeps a lot of our employees here. They’re not numbers. They come to work; they know that they make a difference. Any employee likes to have a purpose. They like to be going to a job where they can make a difference and they can see the results of their work, so that’s what we do here at Welch and Rushe. We give our employees purpose, we give our employees a voice. At the end of the day they can look back and see the fantastic job they’ve done.
What about your customers—where do they find value?
One of the biggest advantages for customers when they come to Welch and Rushe is the personal attention. We work very hard to build rock-solid relationships with our customers. Our project managers, they’re on the sites on a regular basis meeting with our manpower and making sure that things are going in correctly. Our reputation is rock-solid for a reason, and that reason is that if there’s an issue on the job, we fix it, especially if it is our fault. If there’s an issue and it’s our fault—if we’ve got to stay late, we’ve got to work late, we’ve got to work that weekend—whatever it takes to get the job done. We’re also known for our expertise in shutdowns. Being a mechanical contractor, it’s not unusual in August for there to be a major problem in a building with the HVAC. They want it done immediately. They want it fixed immediately. We have a full service department—they can be there within two hours notice, get the problem, address the problem, resolve the problem, get their cooling back on. It’s funny, when the weather is nice people are pretty calm about things, but when it’s hot or it’s freezing cold out, people want things fixed immediately. And that’s what we offer at Welch and Rushe: prompt, professional service.
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