NEOSHO, MO – The last few months have been a difficult time for the construction industry across the country.

And while many companies across the U.S. have has to downsize because of it, one local construction business is bucking that trend.

According to the “Associated General Contractors of America,” construction employment dropped by 7,000 workers, nationwide, just between May and June of this year.

And over the last 15 months, all but 10 U.S. states have seen a decline in overall construction employment since COVID-19 struck 15 months ago.

And Missouri is not one of those fortunate few states.

But Justin Branham says his company has bucked that employment decline, with virtually the same number of employees now as before the start of the pandemic.

“Surprisingly we have not had that many projects delayed, we’ve only had one significant project that’s actually been put on hold, all of the other ones we’ve found a way to get the materials that we needed and just adjust our schedules a little bit with our owners to get them to the finish line.” Says Justin Branham, President, Branco Enterprises.

He says it’s required a lot of out of the box thinking.

“A lot of times instead of trying to build your schedule based on a completion date, now we have to find the most sought after commodity in that schedule and that will actually set both the start and the finish of the schedule.” Says Branham.

But he says he couldn’t have made it work without a lot of patience.

“We really like the support we’re getting from a lot of our clients, the municipalities, the school districts, and all of the people we work for for the most part have been very understanding, they see the news, they see the data, they know what’s going on and I think they really appreciate us being proactive as we can with trying to mitigate the impacts they have to endure on their projects.” Says Branham.