Jobe cements place in El Paso

City’s former concrete king back in business(El Paso) Stanley Jobe is starting over again.But the man who spent the past 22 years building and operating the city’s largest concrete company said he’s not aiming to duplicate that feat.”I have no aspirations of becoming the largest (concrete) company in town. I just want a solid, good and employee-friendly company,” Jobe said. “I don’t want all the market; I want some of it.”Jobe, 51, and his sister, Irene Epperson, 53, who was executive vice president in the old Jobe Concrete, started Jobe Materials in April. That was less than a month after Mexico-based Cemex became owner of Jobe Concrete’s parent company, RMC Group.Cemex in March completed the purchase of England-based RMC in a $5.8 billion acquisition, making it the world’s third-largest cement company.Jobe worked for Cemex for a short time, and he didn’t want to talk about his time with that company.”I thought it was a good time to start a new company,” Jobe said. “I started the company because I felt there was good growth opportunities for El Paso.”Cemex officials could not be reached for comment.C.F. “Paco” Jordan, chairman and owner of CF Jordan, one of the region’s largest construction contractors who has done business with Jobe for years and calls him a “good friend,” said, “I know Stanley wants to be his own man, so he wants his own company.” RMC “let him do his own thing,” Jordan said.”It’s very difficult, once you own your own company, to work for someone else. Stanley is an entrepreneur,” Jordan said.Jobe, who started Jobe Concrete in 1983 with his father, Billie Mac Jobe, and two other partners, sold the company to RMC in 1999 for an undisclosed amount. Jobe’s late uncle, Chesley Pruet, an Arkansas businessman, owned almost half the company when it was sold.RMC retained the Jobe Concrete name and kept Jobe as president. Jobe also ran RMC’s Arizona operations in Phoenix, Tucson and Nogales.Under terms of the sale to RMC, Jobe couldn’t compete in El Paso for five years. That no-compete agreement expired in April 2004, Jobe said.Jobe retained rights to his company name and logo. He changed the name to Jobe Materials to better reflect its product line, which includes asphalt, landscape rock, sand and gravel, as well as concrete, he said. Those are the same products sold by Jobe’s old company and now sold by Cemex.Jordan said he expects Jobe, who he called “one of the hardest working and smartest guys I know,” will build another large company and “be a good competitor to Cemex.””Competition is good. There’s room for another (concrete) company here,” Jordan said.Three other concrete companies besides Cemex and Jobe Materials operate in El Paso. Owners or managers of those companies could not be reached for comment about Jobe’s new venture.Ray Adauto, executive vice president of the El Paso Association of Builders, which represents El Paso home builders, wouldn’t speculate on how big Jobe’s new company might get.”I’m not sure what he wants,” Adauto said. “He’s a force in the market. … I don’t think he’s in business to run people out of business.”Steve Sambrano, president of SamCorp General Contractors, said he doesn’t expect Jobe’s new company to affect pricing in the market “because demand will be overwhelming soon.” But he expects that the company will be successful based on Jobe’s track record, he said.Adauto, who described Jobe as a “quiet doer,” said Jobe has been successful because of his strong work ethic, strong leadership skills and ability to hire and keep good employees.Jobe Materials now has 100 employees, many of them from the old Jobe Concrete.It operates a concrete plant, asphalt plant and sand and gravel pit on 480 acres on Pellicano outside the city limits. It also operates a rock quarry on East Montana outside the city. It’s in the process of trying to get state permits to open two other concrete plants, one on the West Side and one in Vinton.Jobe wouldn’t divulge current revenues or revenue goals for his new company.”We have very little revenues right now,” Jobe said with a smile. “We’re just getting started.”The new company won’t automatically get customers that dealt with the old Jobe Concrete, Jobe said.”We have to re-prove ourselves. We have to earn our business,” Jobe said. “Customers will go where they get service and the best deal.”Adauto said, “Loyalties are long term; people who dealt with him in the past will probably want to deal with him again. … He’s very respected within the (construction) industry.”Vic KolencEl Paso Times

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