Many contractors working in the industrial and manufacturing markets grew in revenue in 2011, but none matched Hoffman Corp. Its 2011 contracting revenue stood at $1.91 billion, up 142.5% from 2010.
"The semiconductor market showed some major activity last year, and we caught a piece of that," says Bart Eberwein, executive vice president. He declined to identify Hoffman's major projects. But the McGraw-Hill Construction Network database identifies Hoffman as the contractor for multibillion-dollar Intel semiconductor plants in Chandler, Ariz., and Hillsboro, Ore.
During the recession, Hoffman spent a lot on building information modeling and training people in its use. This training helped on a project for the Portland (Ore.) International Airport, which moved its baggage handling system underground. "BIM was invaluable in helping us work in what were essentially crawl spaces," Eberwein says.
Hoffman's critical strategy was to hold on to its employees, rather than lay them off. "We knew when the recession ended, our clients would come to us because we could provide them with seasoned teams ready to be deployed," Eberwein says. The strategy worked, helping it to climb to No. 28 on the Top 400.