If it hadn’t been for an independent grocer in San Antonio, Metro Electric, Inc. might never have been. It was there that Jack Gerdes, a bag boy, was approached and told he should consider working for Alterman Electric Contractors. Jack took the suggestion and worked for them for years, learning the industry by beginning at the bottom – digging ditches.
“My grandfather worked his way up as high as he could get with Alterman,” company estimator Derek recalled. “At that point, he decided to venture out on his own, and in 1973 moved from San Antonio to Brownsville to start Metro Electric, Inc.”
A family-run operation with son Michael as vice-president and another grandson, David, as an electrician in the field, the 45-year old company, with approximately 150 employees, has garnered many awards.
Among the awards are Service Contractor of the Year for the Independent Electrical Contractors, (IEC), and Subcontractor of the Year for the local Associated General Contractors, AGC.
A commercial-oriented company, Metro Electric offers an impressive list of services including 24/7 emergency service, new construction and remodels, troubleshooting, voice/data systems, and certified infrared thermography and analysis.
“It’s basically taking images with a thermal camera,” Derek explained. “My brother and I are both certified. A lot of insurance companies are requiring them, especially for switchgear or transformers.”
Keeping up with the newest in the electrical field, which is rapidly changing, the family members love their jobs.
“It’s always challenging,” said Michael. “I’ve worked through every part of it, inside and in the field. I love it.”
Giving back to the community through such organizations as Easter Seals and PAWS, and helping Red Cross after Hurricane Harvey and helping fundraise for the Children’s Advocacy Center, the company is also active in local, state and national organizations.
“Our goal is to be the preferred electrical contractor with all our clients,” Michael said. “We’re grateful for all the return business these past 45 years.”
It’s the reputation of integrity and quality, and commitment to the business, that’s made Metro Electric the success it is today.