Since its creation and incorporation in 1970, Mid-State Industries Ltd. (MSI) has established a strong reputation for excelling in just about any construction project that’s thrown its way. Located in Schenectady, N.Y., the company is best known for its commercial roofing work, but it also specializes in sheet metal, masonry restoration, structural rehabilitation and historical preservation. According to MSI Director of Roofing and Waterproofing Michael Lucey II, offering expertise in this vast array of services is what makes the company stand out.
“More or less, we are roofing contractors, but we do offer other services,” he said. “Every project in its own way is challenging. We do a lot of crazy stuff over here. We do the projects that nobody else wants to do.”
When asked how he got his start in the industry, Lucey explained that it “basically kind of happened.” His father, Michael W. Lucey, founded MSI and is the current owner, and while Lucey originally had alternative career plans, he ended up falling back into the family business. “My father started the business and got it to where it is now,” he said. “I spent summers working for him during college. After graduation, I went into financial services for five or six years, but I ended up coming back [to MSI] about 12 years ago.”
Since then, Lucey has seen the company succeed in a wide range of unique, high-profile projects. The ones that particularly stand out in his mind include the historic restoration of Fort Ticonderoga, St. John the Evangelist Church and the Saratoga Race Track. “Fort Ticonderoga is a national historic site. We did a masonry restoration, rebuilt the parapet walls,” he said. “St. John the Evangelist Church in Schenectady has a 220-foot spire. It was a $3.5- to $4-million exterior renovation project. The Saratoga Race Track is another historic site. We did a slate roof replacement, sheet metal, carpentry and a timber frame repair.”
According to Lucey, the key to landing and completing these types of projects is quality workmanship. “Quality, quality, quality. It’s the norm. It’s required. You have to do good work. If you don’t, you’re not a Mid-State employee for long,” he said. “One of our mainstays is quality services, and we put a lot of emphasis on doing the job right the first time. We really pride ourselves on doing exemplary jobs.”
One way MSI ensures its employees adhere to these high-quality standards is through on-the-job training. “We train our people in house,” Lucey said. “We will bring in Carlisle or Firestone to train people on different roof systems, and our senior guys in the field are passing it down through generations. We try to create employees for the future.”
The company also puts a heavy emphasis on safety and continuing education. “A safety program is essential to us being successful in our industry,” Lucey said. “We have a 10-hour OSHA course that everyone is required to take, and we have continuing education twice a year. We work on sites that require a lot of safety and planning, and we educate our people as much as possible to avoid any pitfalls. We take it very seriously.”
Additionally, Lucey credited MSI’s positive work environment. “We try to make it as enjoyable and seamless as possible,” he said. “We have some guys that have been here 30-plus years, which is kind of rare, and we are very fortunate in that way. We have a lot of long-term employees, and we treat everyone like family.”
Ultimately, the company’s continued success stems from its reputation for professional, high-quality work. “Providing the highest level of services, quality and integrity sums it up,” he said. “We pride ourselves on doing good work. If there’s a problem, we attack it and fix it. The driving force is being very honest with our customers. We do very little marketing and have a lot of repeat customers. It all falls back to doing good work. It speaks volumes.
Looking back, Lucey feels that returning to roofing was the right choice. “It’s a very difficult business, but there’s a lot of opportunity as well. The best experience is being able to work with people, solve their problems and make them feel comfortable,”he said. “Keeping water out of their buildings, making their buildings sound again, and having the flexibility to do a project and drive by it later to see how it turned out.”
For more information about Mid-State Industries, visit www.midstateltd.com.