Business Spotlight: Norris Contracting

Posted: November 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

The business began in 1982 when Norris left a successful career in law enforcement to pursue his dream of starting Norris Contracting. He invested his retirement savings, purchased equipment, hired a few employees, and watched his business begin to grow.

"Contracting is what I love," said Norris.

A decade later, Norris opened Con Agg, a division of the company with a focus on industrial processing. Con Agg operates four aggregate material quarries in Chippewa and Mackinac counties which allows for the completion of contracting work and shoreline repair projects.

Huyck joined Norris Contracting as a laborer in 2005 and now serves as President of the company. With prior military experience and a background in trades, Norris knew Huyck would be an excellent choice to lead the company upon his retirement someday. Huyck now is the primary owner of Norris Contracting and manages all daily operations, while Norris serves as the Vice President.

In the spring, summer, and fall, Norris Contracting specializes in shoreline repair, asphalt paving, and underground utility placement. Huyck explains that although the winter months slow down, work can also be completed on shoreline repair projects. The business also stays busy performing equipment maintenance and plowing snow once snowfall hits.

Due to the remote locations of Con Agg quarries, Norris Contracting invested in a 1,000-kilowatt generator and 800-watt solar panel to create energy for their scales and quarry operations. They are also investing in wind generation projects to increase renewable energy availability at their quarries.

Contracting work relies on a strong business model, experience in the field, and employees who know how to get the job done. Norris Contracting has 20 to 25 employees on average, all from Chippewa and Mackinac counties. Describing his employees as loyal, team players, and hardworking, Huyck explains they all have a strong career path at Norris Contracting. Employees often work their way up to learn new skills and ten of their employees have worked at the company for over 20 years.

"We are a great team," said Norris.

"We strive to treat our employees like family," added Huyck.

A major project Norris Contracting played a role in for Cloverland Electric is the maintenance work along the canal that leads to the cooperative's hydro plant. Limestone from the Conn Agg quarry is purchased through Kokosing Industrial, a heavy marine construction company hired to complete maintenance on the canal. Kokosing Industrial has purchased the limestone from Norris Contracting for the past four years. Maintenance work on the canal is essential and ensures the canal stays operational for future generations.

Although most jobs are commercial, the projects that inspire Huyck and Norris often come from local community members.

"It's great when someone calls wanting a design-build project," stated Huyck. "We can look back five years later and see that it was a good project and held up well."

Norris and Huyck run an organized company with a family-focused spirit. They are proud to be a part of the local Eastern Upper Peninsula community.

"Our motto is work done today with tomorrow in mind," said Norris proudly.