by Our York Media,
IT’S A WARM EVENING IN YORK, AND A LITTLE BOY SITS WITH TWO HANDS PRESSED TO THE CAR WINDOW. THE CITY BUILDINGS PASS IN A BLUR, BUT SOON HE POINTS TO ONE RISING FROM THE STREET IN FRONT OF HIM, EYES WIDE.
“My dad built that,” he says.
That boy could be any Kinsley employee’s child, says President and CEO Jon Kinsley. That’s because that sense of both wonder and pride in the company’s hometown extends across the organization. It’s in every brick, every beam.
It’s the foundation of a business that’s been dedicated to the York community for more than 50 years. And it’s the launching point of a new initiative – #BuildYork – that is spurring York’s revitalization as Kinsley takes a more focused mission on its hometown.
“We take great pride in the connections we make and the relationships we build here,” Jon says. “We love getting to know the people and businesses of York and learning about their visions for the city.”
‘YOU NEVER REALLY LEAVE YOUR PROJECTS’
Jan Wagner sat in his seat at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, thinking of what would make the theater around him even more striking. In 2003, Kinsley had completed a multi-million-dollar renovation of the facility, but still there were things left undone.
“Unfinished business,” the Kinsley Vice President called it — business to be settled soon with another project at the site, 15 years after the first.
“That’s what’s special about working in York: you and your family are going to be in those buildings you help to create,” Jan says. “You never really leave your projects.”
Kinsley has had many touchstone projects in York County including the Appell Center, the Yorktowne Hotel and the York County Judicial Center.
But the bulk of the jobs the company has finished in York County are not about the limelight. They’re about an entrepreneur with a bold idea, or an underutilized property, or a local business looking to grow.
Whether it’s creating a space for York County residents to unwind and connect, like at the newly remodeled York Blue Moon, or breaking ground on a project that can change the economics of our community, like the Yorktowne Hotel, Kinsley is looking at the bigger picture for building York.
“We’ve always tried to take our strengths and apply them to help small businesses,” Jon says. “They’re the backbone and the engine that’s fueling York’s growth.”
‘IT’S WHERE WE GREW UP’
Kinsley Construction has completed more than 8,000 projects in York County over its 55-year history. Restaurants and museums, schools and libraries: look closely on your way to work tomorrow, and you can see them.
You can feel Kinsley in the community.
“This is where we grew up, and it’s where our kids and grandkids are going to grow up,” Jon says. “We feel you need to give back to the community you call home.”
For over 800 of Kinsley’s 1,400+ employees, that means living, working and playing in York. It means philanthropy and volunteerism that touches more than 100 nonprofits across the county. Soon, it will mean even closer ties, as the company updates an East Princess Street property that will house an expanding Kinsley building division.
That will put the engine for downtown’s continued revival right where it belongs: in the heart of the city.
“We’re very excited to bring more of our people around downtown,” Jon says. “We’re looking at this as a way to allow for growth for the next 10 years or more.”
GENERATIONS, BUILDING YORK
On a sunny Saturday morning not so long ago, Jan loaded his kids in the car and drove across the city. They watched as he looked over the progress at Kinsley’s latest job site, ensuring everything was just so.
It went by too quickly, of course; these days, those kids are grown or gone. Still, when they come home to visit, they like to ride with their dad by the new Kinsley projects in York.
“They still take pride in that work, just like I do,” Jan says. “Just like everyone on my team does.”
So, Jan tells them what’s planned, knowing that somewhere in the city this morning there’s a Kinsley project manager who’s up early, thinking about the job. He wants to show his work to a wide-eyed little girl in the back seat today.
He wants her to know how fulfilling it still is, after all these years, helping to build York.
Originally printed in Our York Media.