President of G. J. Hopkins appointed to Governor’s Build Virginia Advisory Board

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November 02, 2018

Will Karbach, CEO of The Branch Group, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ernie Caldwell as a member of Governor Ralph Northam’s Build Virginia Advisory Board.  Ernie is the President of G. J. Hopkins, Inc., a mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC service contractor headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia and a subsidiary of The Branch Group.  Under Ernie’s leadership G. J. Hopkins has developed an apprenticeship program that has grown from an average of six apprentices in 2014 to thirty-one in 2018.
In June of 2018, Governor Northam announced the launch of Build Virginia, an initiative that will connect workers throughout the Commonwealth with training and employment opportunities in the skilled trades—a life line for G. J. Hopkins.  Build Virginia brings together information about industry-recognized training programs, registered apprenticeships, and other relevant workforce development resources.  Ultimately, it will serve as a comprehensive hub for citizens across the commonwealth to learn about the skilled trades and connect with employers seeking talent.

Headquartered in Roanoke, VA, The Branch Group, Inc., touches all aspects of the built environment through Branch Civil, Inc., Branch and Associates, Inc. and our MEP (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing) companies which consist of G.J. Hopkins, Inc. and L.A. Lacy Inc. The organization is committed to exceptional performance and to developing business relationships sustained by mutual benefit and respect. In 2017, Virginia Business Magazine ranked The Branch Group, Inc., as the largest privately held company in Virginia, west of Richmond, and Engineering News-Record ranked The Branch Group, Inc., #209 of the Top 400 largest construction companies in the United States.

In 2017, The Branch Group had total revenues of nearly $400 million and a workforce of over 800 employees. Through its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), it ensures that every employee has a vested interest in its success.