The business rooted in Port Arthur now has a national footprint
Published 12:30 Tuesday, March 21, 2023
In a small room in the back right of JAV Industrial Services LLC is a wooden desk made by Jorge Vazquez when he first moved his business from his home to an office on Memorial Boulevard.
After working for another industrial contractor in Southeast Texas for 17 years, Vazquez decided to branch out on his own.
Fifteen years ago he rented a room inside another office in Port Arthur. Now the president of JAV Industrial Services owns that building and has expanded to other areas in and outside of Texas.
“We rush every day, calling customers to see what they need,” he said. “Dreams come true. That’s my philosophy. If you work hard, you get something. Sometimes it takes 12-14 hours, seven days, but whatever it takes.”
And for Vazquez, “we” is a big part of his company.
“I am an employee; he’s an employee,” he said pointing to operations manager Cesar Huerta. “I don’t see this as my business or this as Carlos’s business. This is our business.”
Huerta echoed the statements.
“We’re trying to bring the same culture to all team members and make them feel like they’re a part of it,” he said. “They are not just an employee. They are part of it.”
And their safety, Vasquez added, comes first.
“In everything, our primary goal is safety,” he said. “I don’t care if we’re doing 20 things, it’s safety first. If we don’t think it’s safe, we don’t do it. Our priority is the safety of our employees.”
JAV Industrial Services has been selected Small Business Development Center 2023 Hispanic Business of the Year.
“On a personal level, we don’t wake up in the morning trying to get an award,” Huerta said. “But we are honored, no. 1, and we humbly accept it.”
Vazquez sees it as validation.
“It means we’ve done something right and we want to keep doing better than that,” he said.
Inside & Outside SETX
Huerta said the word “industrial” in the business name shouldn’t sway anyone — they’ll work with anyone from commercial to residential and even offshore.
“California, Oregon, Maryland, New York — wherever they call us,” Vazquez said, noting that they opened a branch in Baytown five years ago and one in Iowa this year. They hope to be in Oklahoma by June.
Services include insulation, scaffolding, painting, blasting, fireproofing, and the use of a fire-resistant, water-resistant tent that can withstand winds of up to 50 miles per hour for which they hold the patent.
But no matter where they work, they bring Southeast Texas with them.
“With the exception of Iowa, when they call us, we try to use local resources,” Huerta said. “We hire local people, bring them there, let them do the work and we bring them back. This is a way to help the community.”
In October 2022, about 25,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into California’s San Pedro Bay. JVAC Industrial was called in and brought along about 80 local contractors.
But it shouldn’t be a disaster for them to leave, as they have spent more than a decade faithfully serving the same industries.
“All of our customers are repeat customers,” Vasquez said. “Chevron, ExxonMobil — they’ve been our clients since we opened. There are many clients we have served. What we need is more help from local refineries.”
Huerta said their work remains a tribute to Port Arthur.
“Although we have a lot of work all over the country, we mostly use local resources,” he said. “This is the main goal. We started here and we will continue to stay here.”
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