Business rooted in Port Arthur grows with new national footprint

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, March 21, 2023

In a small room at the back right of JAV Industrial Services LLC is a wooden desk Jorge Vazquez made when he first took his business from home to an office on Memorial Boulevard.

After working for another industrial contractor in Southeast Texas for 17 years, Vazquez decided to branch out on his own.

Fifteen years ago he rented a room inside another Port Arthur office. Now the president of JAV Industrial Services owns that building and has expanded to other areas in and outside of Texas.

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“We hustle every day, calling clients to see what they need,” he said. “Dreams come true. That’s my philosophy. If you work hard, you get something. Sometimes it takes 12-14 hours, seven days, but whatever it takes.”

And for Vazquez, “we” is a large part of his company.

“I’m an employee; he’s an employee,” he said while pointing to Operations Manager Cesar Huerta. “I don’t see this as my business or this as Carlos’ business. This is our business.”

Huerta echoed the statements.

“We’re trying to bring the same culture to all of the team members and make them feel that they are a part of this,” he said. “They’re not just an employee. They’re part of this.”

And their safety, Vasquez added, comes first.

“Throughout everything, our main goal is safety,” he said. “I don’t care if we’re doing 20 things, it’s safety first. If we don’t think it’s safe, we don’t do it. Our priority is the safety of our employees.”

JAV Industrial Services has been selected the 2023 Small Business Development Center Hispanic Business of the Year.

“On a personal level, we don’t wake up in the morning trying to get an award,” Huerta said. “But we’re honored, No. 1, and we accept it humbly.”

Vazquez sees it as validation.

“It means we’ve done something right, and we want to continue doing better than that,” he said.

In & Outside SETX

Huerta said the word “industrial” in the business’ name shouldn’t sway anyone — they’ll work with anyone from commercial to residential and even offshore.

“California, Oregon, Maryland, New York — anywhere they call us for,” Vazquez said, noting they opened a branch in Baytown five years ago and one in Iowa this year. They hope to be in Oklahoma by June.

Services include insulation, scaffold work, painting, blasting, fireproofing and use of a fire-resistant, water-resistant canopy that can withstand winds up to 50 miles per hour for which they own the patent.

But no matter where they work, they bring Southeast Texas with them.

“With the exception of Iowa, when they call us, we try and use local resources,” Huerta said. “We hire local people, bring them over there, let them do the work and we bring them back. That’s one way we help the community.”

In October 2022, approximately 25,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into San Pedro Bay in California. JVAC Industrial was called out, and brought with them approximately 80 local contractors.

But there doesn’t need to be a disaster for them to head out, as they’ve spent more than a decade faithfully servicing the same industries.

“All of our clients are repeat clients,” Vasquez said. “Chevron, ExxonMobil — they’ve been our clients since we opened. There’s a lot of clients we’ve served. What we need is more help from the local refineries.”

Huerta said their work remains a tribute to Port Arthur.

“Even though we have a lot of work anywhere in the country, we mainly use local resources,” he said. “That’s the main goal. We started here and we’re going to continue staying here.”