2nd Year In a Row: DSC Named Employer of Choice

For the Globe Gazette

Dean Snyder Construction has been a family-owned business for more than 60 years, and that is reflected in the workplace culture, according to Nate Carney, director of business development.

“We try to treat everyone like family from top to bottom whether that’s flexibility for kids’ activities or flexibility for appointments, private matters, that type of thing, we try to accommodate them as best as we can,” he said.

The Clear Lake-based company, which also has offices in Ankeny and Omaha, has around 245 employees. Around 20% of them own stock in the business. The remainder is still owned by brothers Dale, David and Don Snyder, the sons of company founder Dean Snyder.

Dean Snyder Construction is currently in the second year of this Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

“We are kind of in the infancy stage of that still, but I think employees are excited about it,” Carney said. “We feel like it is a long-term benefit for the employees … it gives them that skin in the game.”

The company is giving stock to the employees rather than having them purchase it.

Employee Kelly Steenhard said the program shows Dean Snyder Construction’s “commitment to treating employees like family and wanting to set up your future for success.”

“Dean Snyder Construction makes an effort to really make sure you’re in the job you want — and if you’re not currently happy with your current position, they’ll look to how to get you there,” Steenhard said.

Most of employees out in the field are cross-trained, according to Carney. This means they are learning how to do concrete work, steel work, carpentry, and other things.

Carney also said the company is always taking on new projects, so “there’s lots of opportunities to grow and challenge yourself.”

Having three office locations “has given us the flexibility to tap into different markets for employees, but it has also given some employees the opportunity to grow,” Carney said.

The current high demand in the construction field gives them “the freedom to move around a little bit when it makes sense and when it works for us,” he said. “There are people who want to go out and see different areas of the country and go work on projects outside their hometown or where they are from for a few years.”

Steenhard said it’s great to be “part of a company that really cares about the communities they are a part of, giving back to many organizations and good causes so we can not only look at buildings we’ve put up in our area, but also know we helped many nonprofits do everything from build parks to helping children with cancer.”

Over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and inflation have created “a unique set of challenges” for the conduction industry, according to Carney.

However, “We have a good team in all of our offices and we have been able to navigate that pretty successfully,” he said. “Our people are our most valuable asset.”

Read more about Northern Iowa Employers of Choice