Max Gray Construction Wins Award

By KBJR News 1

February 7, 2011 Updated Feb 7, 2011 at 7:11 PM CDT

Hibbing, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - A Hibbing Construction company did just that at the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce dinner held last Friday.

Founded in Hibbing in the 1930's Max Gray Construction has literally built themselves into one of the most successful general contractors on the range.

The new addition to the Mesabi Range Community and Technical College in Eveleth is nearing completion.

"It's a nice addition to the Eveleth college here," said Joe Bernier, a job supervisor at one of the many projects of Max Gray Construction.

It just one place you can see the impact of the Max Gray construction company. Max Gray also serves as a general contractor.

When it comes to hiring for projects, they like to keep the work close to home.

Out of the nearly 18 contractors on the new addition at the Eveleth Campus, 12 of them are from the area.

"It's a tough time to find work and the more work we can keep local here, is better for the economy here," said

"Some of these projects are multi million dollar projects and the impact to the area that, that has if that money stays in the area multiplies several times," said Jim Erikson, president of Max Gray Construction.

Company officials say this last recession dealt them some hardships, which included a few lay offs, but they feel they were able to make it through.

"I think we're maintained our own, or probably better than our own as far as our ability to get work and keep most of our key people working," said Erikson.

It is that kind of growth and development that earned them the "Business of the Year" award from the Chamber of Commerce.

"A lot of people still don't know what we do. It's going to be nice to kind of have some recognition," said Jim Abrahamson, vice president of construction with Max Gray Construction.

Congressman Chip Cravaack spoke at the presentation about the role of small businesses on the Iron Range.

"Small business is the 8th district of Minnesota. Like I said in my speech, seven out of 10 new jobs come from small businesses," said Congressman Cravaack.

Max Gray officials say their success all comes down to their employees.

"That's what made this company over the years. That is what continues to allow us to be successful," said Erikson.

Max Gray Construction has offices in Hibbing and Duluth.