Local contractors were heavily involved with the work done on the North Alabama Medical Center. Layton utilized local subcontractors as often as possible, resulting in $30 million in contracts for local companies. Photo by Rion Rizzo/Creative Sources Photography


Of paramount importance with the construction of the North Alabama Medical Center in Florence, Alabama, was hiring local subcontractors and employees. Layton’s project team heard this message from the community and the client loudly and clearly, and acted.

North Alabama Medical Center, Florence, AL

The Layton Team had a map of the area where they marked specific locations of partner subcontractors, suppliers and even restaurants to keep track of the local impact of the project.

A couple of Layton’s key company values tied directly into the subcontracting plan for North Alabama Medical Center:

  • Partner with proven, qualified subcontractors and suppliers.
  • Have timely, open and informative discussions about impacts and alternatives when events outside our control affect our customers’ priorities.

“Layton developed a great conceptual plan — hands down, the best in incorporating local labor,” says Mike Howard, chief operating officer at North Alabama Medical Center. “They had a map posted in the construction trailer showing where the local subcontractors were from. They even marked restaurants Layton team members frequented. In many ways, this project was far too large for local subcontractors, but Layton made it work.”

Layton’s “Keep it Local” campaign was the answer.

The project team put the word out, inviting local subs to be involved. Presentations were made at local Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs to make sure local companies were aware of construction opportunities. A spreadsheet was maintained to track local dollars spent. Subcontractors from nearby cities and towns of Sheffield, Tuscumbia, Muscle Shoals, Leighton, Rogersville, Russellville, and nearly 50 miles down the highway in Decatur, benefited by work on the project, resulting in over $30 million in contracts for local companies.

The Layton team was creative to find opportunities for smaller local subcontractors that otherwise might not have qualified for the work. Some of these solutions included:

  • Divided site concrete flatwork to utilize a local general contractor that has a concrete division within their company
  • Separated the acoustical ceiling package from drywall to allow an undersized local drywall sub to perform ceiling work
  • Isolated interior glass and glazing from the exterior package to award to a local subcontractor
  • Kept site fencing separate from the site-work scope, to be able to award directly to a local fence company
  • Extensive interview and evaluation process to negotiate a very large landscape scope to a local firm big enough to handle the job
  • Sourced the buck hoist man lift from a local vendor, rather than to a national rental firm
  • Partnered a relationship with a local custom metal shop to fabricate various custom metal products like television back box trim, sterilizer closure panels and operating room equipment mounting cover plates
  • Worked with the local homebuilders association to provide skilled carpenters for owner-furnished medical equipment installation

Coldwater Landscapes, LLC in Muscle Shoals is one of the local subs that became part of the team in constructing the North Alabama Medical Center.

Justin Wall is co-owner and his company has been in business for 12 years and employs 50 people.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to be part of something this unique,” Justin says. “It was a great experience working with Layton. We’ve never experienced anything like this. The hospital affects us. It’s in our home town, so we knew we had to give it 110 percent. After seeing several of our landscaping jobs in the area recently, Ella, our 5-year-old daughter said, ‘Daddy, you just build the whole world!’ It’s not the ‘whole world,’ but it’s sure neat to know that we had a hand in construction of the North Alabama Medical Center.”