Foundation Services Company Groundworks Flourishes with New Partnership

Foundation services company Groundworks forged a partnership with leadership consulting company Echelon Front last June, and that partnership has already proven to be a major success.

Over the past few years, Groundworks has grown steadily in terms of both operating brands and branches; it began with a single operating brand and three Virginia branches, and it now boasts five operating brands and 15 branches serving customers in 11 states. Among those 15 branches is the Roanoke branch, which was opened shortly after the partnership with Echelon Front began.

Groundworks was founded in 2015 and is currently comprised of five operating brands: Foundation Recovery Systems, Indiana Foundation Service, JES Foundation Repair, Mount Valley Foundation Services, and Tar Heel Basement Systems.
Its services include foundation repair, basement waterproofing, crawl space repair, encapsulation and waterproofing, and concrete lifting. The Roanoke branch (JES Salem and Surrounding) and the Appomattox branch (JES Evergreen) are the closest locations to Lynchburg.

The idea for the partnership with Echelon Front came about when Groundworks CEO Matt Malone and several other leadership members read a book entitled Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, the founders of Echelon Front. “The principles of the book resonated and aligned with the company’s core values of ownership, discipline, and executive excellence,” says Cary McGuckin, Chief Marketing Officer of Groundworks.

“After attending a workshop event held by Echelon Front, it was clear that the next step in building on those shared principles was to develop a partnership between the two companies.”

The partnership entails a three-year agreement that will grant Groundworks employees access to Echelon Front training resources and also give employees a chance to assist with this training. “Select Groundworks employees will be able to attend Echelon Front musters and help with those two times per year in different areas of the country,” McGuckin says.

“Employees will also be able to access Echelon Front’s online learning services, and Echelon Front leaders will be keynote speakers for annual Groundworks kickoff events.”

Additionally, Echelon Front leadership will host ongoing classroom workshops and Field Training Exercises twice a year. In these exercises, Groundworks front line leadership staff will participate in simulated combat scenarios on mock battlefields.

McGuckin believes that the partnership will enrich Groundworks in a myriad of ways. “Most importantly, it has brought home a sense of ownership and responsibility in all aspects of life that we believe are essential to delivering a quality of work that exceeds our customers’ expectations and to building a sustainable company that provides security and growth opportunities to every employee who wishes to advance their own abilities,” he says.

The recent addition of the Roanoke branch of Groundworks is also a significant boon for the company. “Prior to the opening of that branch, our nearest location to serving the western part of Virginia was Appomattox,” McGuckin says.

“As we continued to see a growing number of customers requesting us to help them repair and protect their home, the distance and drive time became a factor to where we felt we could better service our customers through an additional location.”

A strong talent pool and accessibility also played large roles in Groundworks’ decision to set up a branch in Roanoke.

“Beyond its natural beauty and favorable costs, the Roanoke area was ideal because it provided a great talent pool for our expanding business and geographically was strategically located in western Virginia,” McGuckin says. “It allowed us the ability to easily access Interstate 81, which extends the distances we can effectively serve.”

Although Groundworks has grown and evolved significantly since opening, McGuckin believes that the company’s work culture has been consistent from the get-go and has contributed largely to the company’s success. “We have a culture of bright, committed, and hardworking employees who treat every customer’s home like it’s their own because they care and take pride in their work,” he says. “We care about our employees and they in turn care about our customers.”

According to McGuckin, extensive training and an unending desire to improve are also cornerstones of Groundworks’ success. “We commit the equivalent of over 60 days to training each year to ensure our employees are the most highly trained in the industry and are on top of the best practices,” he notes. “We also strive for continuous improvement. We never stop learning, we continue to look for ways to get better, and we leverage technology and innovation to develop better ways to better serve our customers.”

In the future, McGuckin hopes that Groundworks will become available to all homeowners in the United States. “Despite our significant growth, there are still many people across the country who do not have the ability to select us as the company to help them repair and improve their home,” he says. “There are many people who only have access to mom and pop type operations or fly by night contractors. We would like to make our services available to any homeowner in need, regardless of where they live in the country. Our goal is to build the first national foundation services company.”

As Groundworks continues to build on the solid foundation they’ve established, they are seeking more dedicated team members to make this goal a reality. “We are always on the lookout for hungry, humble, and smart people who want to better themselves and build a career they can be proud of,” McGuckin says. “Our company is a meritocracy; education pedigree isn’t important. Attitude, effort, and a desire to do better are. If you are interested in a career with us, we would love to hear from you.”