“We learned the business firsthand while growing up,” stated Ed Shaw of Shaw Construction Company in Carson City. “By the time I was 10 years old, I was giving my dad bids on jobs he wanted me to perform, such as clean-up, carpentry and other types of labor.” The company was founded in 1955 in San Jose, Calif. by Ed’s father, Ray G. Shaw, and has been owned and operated by his three sons — Ed, Bob and Steve — since 1963. It is headquartered in Carson City, with a branch office in Reno.
Each of the brothers now performs different aspects of the business, corresponding to the work they did for their father as children. “My younger brother, Bob, built a tractor from spare parts when he was a kid,” said Ed Shaw. “Now Bob runs the crane operations company. I left the business for a while to attend college at the University of Nevada Reno and Arizona State and got my degree in architecture. I have built design-build projects since the mid-1970s. Mainly, I oversee the design work, do pricing, negotiate bids and handle marketing. My brother Steve worked as a carpenter for Dad and now he’s in charge of the construction field operations work.”
Shaw Construction has built about half the manufacturing plants in Dayton, 60 percent of the plants in Carson City, industrial projects in Minden, Pinon Plaza, casinos such as Slot World and also some office building projects in Reno at South Meadows. “Every project has its own unique complexities and challenges, including schedules, pricing and regulations, but we sweat the details and insist on quality work,” said Shaw.
Shaw Construction provides in-house design services, a team of architects, engineers, experienced construction managers and superintendents, and project managers who deliver comprehensive consultation including site selection, facility planning and complete building plans. The company furnishes conceptual cost-estimating early in the planning process to help each project fit its budget. The Shaw brothers custom-build facilities to meet specifications. They also work with professional brokers and developers to find the ideal location to meet a company’s requirements, and offer competitive lease rates and flexible terms to suit specific needs.
Looking to the future, Ed Shaw sees a definite trend of high-tech and California companies considering moving their operations to Nevada. “California companies have so many different pressures,” he explained. “We have built numerous projects for people from California, because it’s so much easier to build here in Nevada compared to what they are used to dealing with there. Now with the energy issues, high costs of real estate and equipment, as well as commuting problems, many Californians are looking to relocate their businesses to Reno.”
Ed Shaw is the incoming president for the Northern Nevada Development Authority and past president of the Builders and Contractors Association for Reno. The Shaw brothers have donated their services to the local community, including donating work for the Railroad Museum, the Carson High School ball field, renovation work at low or no cost for the Friends In Service Helping (FISH) offices and homeless shelters and were instrumental in completing the skating park. Through the Rotary Club, Ed has been involved in various fundraising activities.
“Dad taught us a great work ethic,” said Shaw. “He taught us about the value of honesty and hard work. We care about the work we do and the people we build for. It’s not just a job to us — it’s our life. The business keeps us all running, but there’s a lot of satisfaction in taking people’s ideas, needs, goals and budgets, and helping them accomplish their dreams.”