Jet Industries has worked with Boldt Carlisle + Smith since 1983—but longevity is far from a novel concept for the family-owned design-build contractor.
Established originally as an oil company by Aaron Zeeb in 1977, Salem-based Jet now boasts project sites across the country, with more than 350 employees. Jet aims to provide “solutions for a streamlined project,” offering heating and cooling, electrical, mechanical, engineering, communications, utilities and fire protection services to commercial and residential customers alike. Growth has become a natural component of the company.
“Diversification is a main part of our culture,” said Hunter Zeeb, Jet’s President and CEO. “It’s what we’ve done well. So we try to keep that focus.”
Hunter Zeeb began helping his father, Jeff, manage the company in 2005, collaborating to expand his grandfather’s vision to include more services and larger scale projects. One of their current projects, a 12-story high rise located at 1500 Taylor in Portland, showcases the modern versatility of the company. Working with valued partner LMC Construction, Jet will complete a variety of services, from fire protection to electrical work, on the 150-unit structure.
Working on such large-scale developments has spurred investment in new departments; much of Jet’s heavy prefabrication, for example, is now completed in-house. Not only does this internal production make installation less intensive in the field, combating a dearth of skilled labor, but it also offers a higher level of quality control and the benefits of an indoor work environment. Work can be completed safer, simpler and more efficiently when Jet oversees multiple facets of the job. The company’s growth from single-service business to multi-state design-build contractor has given Jet the impressive ability to walk a client through every step of a building or maintenance project.
“It’s incredible, knowing all the hard times my Grandpa and Dad had to go through, both professionally and personally, to get to where we are now,” Hunter said.
The company’s internal training series, dubbed Jet University, reflects this dedication to holistic development. From beginners to advanced leaders, Jet employees can find a course that fits their further educational needs. The Zeebs began the program several years ago in an effort to foster consistency in training and encourage in-house advancement. New hires pass through the introductory course, which Hunter said has built solidarity and helped maintain transparency across the company’s many different divisions.
Classes are on-site at Jet’s headquarters, but placed on YouTube so workers outside the Salem, Ore. area can still access them. At the conclusion of every course, Zeeb and his leadership team follow-up with the participants to touch base and get feedback. This framework helps the program grow and thrive.
“We’re constantly asking, ‘How can we help individuals keep striving to develop themselves?’” Hunter said.
As a third generation CEO of Jet, Hunter aims to preserve the same sense of unity and collaboration established by his grandfather and carried on by his father. The business operates as a “Jet family,” making it not just a job for many employees, but a support system, as well. Hunter noted that as a family business, Jet has been able to remain rooted in the same principles throughout 40-plus years of business. It’s a tradition he’s honored to continue.
“I’m incredibly proud to have great clients and an exceptional team that focus continually on development,” Hunter said. “We have strong foundational values that we’ve based our family on—and based our business on, too.”
For more information on Jet Industries and the services they offer, visit their website or give them a call at (503) 363-2334.