El Camino Construction Expands in Long Beach
Although it was a small job—installing a wheelchair ramp in front of Lowell Elementary School—it was a job that a small local company was happy to get.
"We're hoping this will get our foot in the door for more school and municipal work," said Miguel Guajardo, president of El Camino Construction and Engineering Corp.
The long-time construction manager started his Long Beach-based company seven years ago because he wanted to work for himself and felt that Long Beach, where he had purchased a home, was an ideal launch pad for his Southern California customer base.
"Long Beach is a hub for all the freeways and I can get to virtually anywhere I am going in 25 minutes," he said.
Starting with just a few workers, he has grown the business to two dozen employees today, thanks in part to new skills and information he gleaned from an entrepreneur program.
He has doubled his revenues and added ten employees since completing a nine-week training in 2011 through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Long Beach City College.
Offered at several locations nationwide, including LBCC, the curriculum was designed by Babson College, the nation’s top-ranked entrepreneurship school.
The program is free to qualifying small businesses, 67 percent of which reported revenue growth within six months of completing the sessions. Nearly half added jobs during the same period.
"I was good at construction but needed to get some business savvy," Guajardo said. "The program, which was like a mini-MBA, really opened my eyes to ways I could expand my business."
The 50-year-old Arizona native said he is delighted to work on a Measure K school bond project.
"I support Measure K because it helps construction and our schools definitely need the repairs and new buildings," he said.
As for El Camino Construction, Guajardo said he is looking forward to his best years yet in 2015 and 2016.