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Cates making his mark at Joe Daniels Construction

By: Joe Petrie//March 14, 2019//

Cates making his mark at Joe Daniels Construction

By: Joe Petrie//March 14, 2019//

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Jacob Cates - Joe Daniels Construction
Jacob Cates –
Joe Daniels Construction

Jacob Cates has been around construction from the beginning.

Cates’ father was in the industry. So while growing up, Cates was able to take on projects as a hobby and get early hands-on experience in building things. He even met a woman who also comes from a construction background and married her.

“It’s something that has always been a part of my life,” he said. “It’s something I find really interesting.”

Cates, 29, joined Daniels Construction in 2015 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He now holds the titles of project manager and estimator and has been able to work on some of the biggest building projects in Dane County.

“I really like that no two jobs are the same,” he said. “I feel like I’m always learning new things and getting into new sets of plans. It’s an evolving industry that keeps you on your toes and creates new opportunities to learn new things.”

He’s now working on a large biogas plant in Dane County, an operation that will eventually take methane from cow manure and garbage and convert it into natural gas for use in vehicles and utility projects.

The plant will be one of the first in the U.S. to receive biogas from a large variety of sources and then be connected with a CNG gas station for distribution throughout the county.

Cates said the size and scope of the project has its pitfalls.

“A lot of challenges have come up and a lot of changes of orders, so it has caused us to have to adapt and overcome some of these challenges,” he said. “We’ve been able to jump all of these hurdles and take on new ones.”

Sam Daniels, chief operating officer of Daniels Construction, said Cates has grown into his role since coming to the team.

He said Cates always takes on projects with a long-term plan in mind and uses his combination of academic and hands-on learning to make sure his goals are met.

“He’s someone who’s motivated, has drive and is able to see that vision out and knows that things don’t happen overnight,” Daniels said.

Cates said construction gives people an extraordinary opportunity to leave a mark in the world around them at a young age.

“I really like to have had several projects that are recognizable for other people who say ‘Oh that building’s awesome,’ and then being able to say ‘Yeah, I did this with that project’ or ‘I managed that project,’ or my company did that,” he said. “When you build something in the city of Madison, it’s going to be around for a long time. So it’s great to have your name attached to it.”


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