Our HistoryA Resilient & Entrepreneurial Spirit

1977 – Our Founder

Great Southwestern Construction, Inc. (Great Southwestern or GSWC) was founded in the late 1970s in Castle Rock, Colo. by Bob Martinez, a New Mexico native and Vietnam veteran. He envisioned developing a company that would assist in serving the rapidly growing Southwestern United States, hence the name Great Southwestern.

The company’s founding principles, built on entrepreneurial spirit and the freedom to work wherever one wanted, were also incorporated into the company culture. With roots in the desert Southwest, Mr. Martinez branded his company with a portion of the Zia symbol, which is commonly found among Native American tribes in the Southwest as a symbol of the ever-present sun.

1980s – Driving Growth in the Southwest

The startup became a well-respected co-op contractor in the early 1980s, and the Department of Reclamation awarded GSWC a portion of the fiber and power systems for the multi-billion-dollar Central Arizona Irrigation project, bringing water resources to Phoenix and other rapidly growing Southwest cities. This project was instrumental in propelling the company’s future growth.

1990s – Geographical Expansion & Apprenticeship Program

GSWC began bidding and working in states outside the Southwest and Rocky Mountains by the 1990s. New transmission and substation projects for Nebraska, Texas, the Dakotas, Washington, and Oregon clients drive regional growth for the company.

In 1995, El Paso Electric awarded GSWC its first Master Service Agreement (MSA). GSWC established a Department of Labor-certified apprenticeship program in 1992 to build and train its workforce and allow field employees to become journeyman linemen. To accommodate growth, GSWC opens its Castle Rock, Colorado headquarters.

Early 2000s – Establishing New Partnerships

Geographic expansion continued and GSWC opens a new office in Georgia to help serve a new distribution MSA with Georgia Power. Large, 500kV transmission projects in Oregon and Washington help build the company’s resume, as does fiber optic work throughout the Southwest. MYR Group acquired GSWC in 2001, providing the company with strong financial resources and one of the largest specialty equipment fleets in the nation.

2010s – Respected Market Growth

GSWC is awarded the Cross Texas Transmission project (CTT) for LS Power in 2011. At 235 miles of 345kV transmission, one of the largest projects of its kind, it was part of the massive CREZ transmission build-out that helped establish GSWC as one of the larger electrical contractors in Texas.

In 2015, a new office near Dallas is opened to support the market’s continued growth. Oncor Electric awarded GSWC an MSA for substation, transmission, and distribution projects across their operational territory. New offices and personnel in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and Corpus Christi, Texas bring new opportunities and growth.

2018 – Expanding Resources & Training Facility

GSWC branched into the Midwest and Southeastern U.S., and an office in Norcross, Georgia is opened to better serve new clients in the Southeast and Florida. In addition, the company begins construction work for several utility clients throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. A new fleet center and training facility in Alvarado, Texas is acquired to continue the growth in the market and to build an industry-leading training center for its growing apprenticeship program.

2020 and Beyond

Today, GSWC is a nationwide contractor, serving clients across the United States. As we continue to grow across the nation, we are committed to positively impacting the world around us while partnering with our clients to deliver sustainable solutions. We have an inherent obligation to strive for top-tier environmental and social practices that affect the communities where we live and serve. By emphasizing our critical role in the clean energy transformation, we contribute to a more sustainable future for all.