If you walk around Chico, there’s a good chance you’ll recognize their handiwork. Familiar with the Morehead Building? Yep, they made that. What about the Torres Community Center? Yep, they built that too! How about the Meriam Park Foundation Building? You can probably guess the answer!
Slater & Son Construction is the company behind these projects, and they’re helping build a better Chico, one memorable building at a time.
How Slater & Son got its start
Slater & Son truly embodies its name: Don Slater founded the company in 1948, and passed it down to his son, Howard Slater, who gave it to his son, Brandon Slater, the current president.
Year opened: 1948
Number of Employees in 2012: 6
Number of Employees in 2022: 35
Revenue in 2012: $6 million
Revenue in 2022: $45 million
Don Slater tried his hand at several careers before he found contracting: truck driving, apple farming, and teaching. He’d build houses on the side while working as a high school shop teacher in Woodland. Don realized he enjoyed this new venture, and soon moved to Chico to start his own business. “They had their roots here, and other family members,” said Brandon, referring to his grandfather and father. “They loved the natural beauty that Chico has to offer.”
And the rest is, as they say, history. Over time, the company transitioned from homes to commercial projects and now to a mix of both. While Howard was president, Brandon left Slater & Son to work for another general contractor. There, he learned about the construction of public works buildings, like schools, fire stations, and community properties. When Brandon moved back in 2011, he brought all that knowledge back with him.
To where the company is today
Today, Slater & Son practically does it all, and constructs commercial, residential, and industrial buildings. In Brandon’s words, “We build things the community needs, like housing and public buildings. We make high-quality products the community can be proud of.”
Slater & Son has completed plenty of projects that the Butte County community uses and values in everyday life and business, like:
- Patterson Toyota
- California Olive Ranch
- Morehead Building (home of the Hotel Diamond)
- Meriam Park Foundation Building
- Butte College Welding
- Torres Community Center
- Red Bluff High School renovation
Slater & Son Construction has finished an impressive number of jobs throughout Chico, but their goal is always quality over quantity. For Brandon, figuring out better ways to streamline procedures and improve techniques is key. “That’s the future,” he said. “I don’t want to focus on doing more, but doing what we do better.”
For Slater & Son, part of “doing better” is finding ways to give back to the community.
After time on the board of Valley Contractor’s Exchange, Brandon is now venturing out into a new nonprofit called Mobile Workforce Training Chico, which aims to get tools in the hands of junior high and high school age students. He also volunteers with the Chico Builders Association and is the incoming chair for the Chico Chamber.
From community to nature, Chico has everything Brandon and his family wanted and more.
“The quality of life here is a good one,” he says. “There’s a strong sense of community. You don’t get that in the big cities. And there’s a lot of passionate folks here. I love that we’re close to recreation, outdoors, four wheeling, lakes, boating, and skiing.”
And having family members nearby isn’t too bad either. “My sister and parents are here, and my wife’s family is from here,” he said. And with two sets of grandparents, that can only mean one thing: “Lots of free babysitting,” he joked.
You’ll find plenty of job opportunities in Chico, too.
He’s also impressed with the business and job opportunities available in Chico. “I’m always amazed at the industries in Chico,” said Brandon. “From call centers to Sierra Nevada, there’s a lot of industry that supports the whole world.”
He also noted Chico State University as an incredible asset to the city, a great school for education and for a skilled workforce after graduation. Over the years, Slater & Son has found many employees as graduates from Chico State.
Slater & Son Construction not only provides jobs, but also fills an invaluable role in the Chico community.
Almost everyone in Chico benefits from the buildings Slater & Son creates. “Everyone needs a place to live and work,” said Brandon. “We’re the people who provide that.”