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A concrete business
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A concrete business

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For more than 70 years, Beatrice Concrete Company has been an integral part of paving the way to the future.

Its roots can be traced back to 1944 when it was developed by Everett R. Jones and J.W. Lawler, who remained partners until 1983.

According to Beatrice Concrete Company’s website, Beatrice Concrete Company was incorporated that same year.

Beatrice Concrete controller Rick Dorn said Beatrice Concrete’s main business is ready-mix concrete primarily for contractors, though the business also caters to do-it-yourselfers.

Beatrice Concrete also works with aggregates, which are a key ingredient of concrete.

“We have three sand and gravel pits and we have one crushed limestone quarry,” Dorn said. “The sand and gravel pits provide sand to us internally for our ready-mix concrete and they also provide sand and gravel for a variety of things, road gravel, other uses.

“The same with the quarry. It’s some internal use, although not in our concrete. It’s primary function is for roads.”

He added most of Beatrice Concrete’s business is done in the southeast Nebraska area.

“The counties are an awfully big part of our aggregate division, mostly in the Gage County area,” Dorn said. “All of our products are transportation-sensitive, and so it’s southeast Nebraska.”

He added most products are used within 50 miles of their plant of origin.

Beatrice Concrete Company Inc. currently operates throughout southeast Nebraska with ready mix plant facilities in Beatrice, Crete, Fairbury, Tecumseh and a Highway 2 plant near Palmyra.

Beatrice Concrete Company is a producer of sand and gravel, and crushed rock at various mining locations.

The business employs around 95 workers.

One of them is Joe Armstrong, who has worked at Beatrice Concrete since 1997. He said what he enjoys about the job is the varied work schedule, which is set to accommodate customers.

“It’s fast-paced type of environment, is the main thing,” Armstrong said. “There’s an ever-changing schedule. It’s definitely not an 8-to-5 job. Whatever the customer demands is the time we’re where. They might see trucks driving by at midnight.”

Customer service is the backbone of the company, which Dorn said has contributed to many large projects.

“Throughout different ownerships it’s been a lot of involvement with the communities that we’re in, helping not only provide materials to those, but playing a part in community development,” he said. “Obviously what’s good for Beatrice, what’s good for each of those communities is good for Beatrice Concrete and vice versa.”

Dorn said the business underwent a significant plant expansion in 2004 and added the Highway 2 plant the following year to better serve that area and not overlap with the service area of other plants.

In August, it was announced that Beatrice Concrete was purchased by Lincoln-based NEBCO Inc. Dorn said the transition was smooth, and resulted in few changes for the Beatrice location. According to NEBCO’s website, the company supplies the construction industry with materials to construct buildings, streets and highways across the state.

NEBCO’s business interests also include mining, highway and road construction, finance, real estate development, agriculture, transportation, recreation, railroading and warehousing.

The company dates back to 1908, when George P. Abel Sr. founded the Abel Construction Company.

Abel Investment Company was established in 1949, separate from the construction company. In 1974, Abel Investment Company changed its name to NEBCO Inc. Abel Construction Company continued in municipal and highway concrete and asphalt paving and the same year changed its name to Constructors Inc.

NEBCO is a third generation, family-owned and operated business with about 1,000 employees and 21 companies working under its name.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott. koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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