December 7, 2023
December 5, 2023
November 28, 2023
At Diversity in Contracting, we love celebrating the contributions and successes of women and minority owned businesses at the Port. Starting from working on electrical on-call projects at the Port to the Port’s Passenger Loading Bridge Electrical major construction project, Lights Inc is a model for business growth and how capitalizing on one opportunity can lead to another.
We were especially pleased to chat with Lights Inc co-owner, Junior Segura, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, in honor of National Hispanic American Heritage Month, which is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 each year. Read more below about Junior’s inspiring path from electrical journeymen to business owner, his advice for WMBE businesses on the need to be competitive, how his achievement allows him to foster the success of others in his community, and more!
I started off my electrical career as an Electrician’s Mate when I joined the US Navy straight out of high school. After boot camp, I went to trade school to become an electrician. During my four years of service, I gathered a wealth of knowledge working on various electrical equipment on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72.
Once I got out of the Navy in 2001, I joined an electrical company where I worked on getting my electrical journeyman license through on-the-job training. Once I got my general journey level electrician (EL01) certificate and my electrical administrator license, I started in a project manager role, working my way up to be an operations manager, and onto vice president of a company.
In 2017, I decided to go into business with my business partner and that’s how I became the Co-owner of Lights Inc. We have put in a lot of hard work to get on contracts and create partnerships throughout the industry. Overall, it has been a fun experience learning the business side of things and having employees, while creating a culture that is healthy and positive.
Lights Inc is an electrical contractor who specializes in energy conservation and renewable energy through lighting and controls in commercial and industrial buildings. We work daily on maintaining the lighting quality at high-volume business and industrial facilities, while working with them to ensure their facilities are as energy efficient as possible.
We have worked on multiple projects, big and small, from running new outlets, lighting upgrades, installing new transformers and new panels, installing conduits for data and decommissioning, to installing passenger loading bridges. We started off working for the Port by bidding on the Small Works Electrical On-Call project and have since won Major Works Electrical On-Call contracts.
Make sure you sign up to receive emails from the Port, so you get notifications when all the Port Bids come out. As a reminder, just because you are a WMBE/small business does not mean you will get selected for the job - your pricing will need to be competitive. You will still need to prove yourself and what your company offers.
It’s important to understand the invoicing and payment process. I would recommend that a WMBE/small company is financially strong in order to support prevailing wage rates which will increase your payroll. Reach out to other small companies that have been on Port projects to get some direction because they may help you avoid mistakes that can be costly.
My best advice is to utilize your resources. Port Construction Services, Construction Managers, and Port Contract Administrators are great resources. Ask questions! Working for the Port is a different type of work. Asking questions allows you to make sure you and your employees understand everything that comes with working for the Port.
Being a Hispanic business owner and coming into an industry with not a lot of other diverse business owners can be challenging and sometimes difficult to navigate, It has its benefits and learning experiences, however. It’s been a unique opportunity to be able to give guidance to help others from the Hispanic community and help them on their career paths to becoming an electrician. They can also see that someone that has their same background and culture can achieve the dream of becoming an owner of their own company.
I have incorporated all the traditional celebrations I was raised with. Traditions from ‘El Grito’ on September 16th (which is the celebration of Mexico’s freedom from Spain), to displaying the Mexican Flag outside my house, and teaching my son the values and culture my parents, who immigrated here from Mexico, taught me. I am always proud of my Mexican heritage!
As a Hispanic business owner, it is tough to get an opportunity with bigger companies because they all have been working with people like themselves for so long. All I ask for is a shot to prove what we can do and show how hard we work!
December 7, 2023
December 5, 2023
November 28, 2023
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