US Builders Review                                                    

T & J Electrical Associates

35 years of commercial electrical contracting in Albany
Written by: 
Tom Faunce
Produced by: 
Sean O’Reilly

For the past 35 years, T & J Electrical Associates has been a leading commercial electrical contractor serving New York state. While Headquartered in Clifton Park, New York, T & J Electrical will venture into New England states, such as Massachusetts and Vermont, at the request of clients.

Anthony Sestito founded T & J Electrical in 1977 shortly after graduating from Hudson Valley Community College. In 1981, he was joined by his younger brother Joseph Sestito, who is currently a managing partner of the company. The two brothers started the company by working out of the basement of Anthony’s home. Using a single truck, the Sestitos began performing all phases of electrical work from small residential jobs to light commercial projects.

As the company grew, Anthony and Joe found themselves performing work for clients, such as Grand Union Supermarkets, CVS Pharmacy, Price Chopper Supermarkets and several other chains. As the amount and size of jobs increased, T& J Electrical found itself requiring additional labor, and the company joined International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local #236.

T & J Electrical now employs between 70 and 100 skilled electricians and works in a niche market comprised mostly of supermarkets and retail outlets. Anthony has since retired and Joseph continues to lead the company with the next generation of leadership composed of Jason Nolan, Tony Lafoy and Joseph’s oldest son, Nick Sestito.

As a member of IBEW Local #236, T & J Electrical takes full advantage of its access to construction wireman (CW’s) and construction electricians (CE’s). “We used them a lot in the past two or three years,” says Sestito. “We‘re probably one of the larger users of them in the local.” Sestito says that T & J Electrical was forced to join the Albany Chapter in order to stay competitive in its niche market. “You have to realize that these guys have limited capability and you have to identify what that is and use them for those specific tasks.”

A growing portfolio

Adding to its portfolio of commercial projects, T & J Electrical was recently involved in a job with CAP COM Federal Credit Union. “It was their new headquarters which was a $35 million building in Albany,” says Sestito. The job involved LED parking lot lighting as well as LED interior lighting. Consisting of 118,000 square feet and three stories, the job took T & J Electrical only 10 months to complete.

The company was also involved in the first generation of Price Chopper’s new Market 32 stores. The company was charged with completing a fully integrated Energy Management System (EMS) controlled refrigeration system as well as custom lighting for the deli and meat departments. The team also completed the overhead lighting for the facility, which included a Starbucks inside the store.

T & J Electrical Associates

T & J Electrical is often involved in high-voltage work. The company recently completed a 34-5kv substation for the main warehouse of the Golub Corporation, which is the parent company for Price Chopper. “We also did a 35kv substation at a FAGE yogurt plant in Johnstown, New York,” says Sestito.

In the near future, T & J Electrical will be involved in a major expansion to a hospital. “That project is going to involve a lot of high-voltage work so we’re really looking forward to that,” Sestito explains. “It’s a big project that is phased over two or three years.” The company will also begin working with several new supermarkets in 2015.

Success through quality

When the recession hit in 2008, the construction industry experienced a significant downturn. Many companies fought to stay afloat while others were forced to shut down. T & J Electrical not only survived, but was able to thrive through the tough economic times. “We’ve been in business 35 years so we’ve built up a solid client list,” says Sestito. “We made a point to cater to our clients. Everybody was having trouble then so we all helped each other out.”

The pride and quality that goes into the work that T & J Electrical performs has been a major factor in the company’s longevity. “We’re very on top of our projects as far as quality goes,” says Sestito. “We stress that to all of our employees and that creates a lot of repeat business for us.” The consistent workload that T & J Electrical maintains is comprised of 90 percent repeat business.

While Sestito is cautiously optimistic about the future of his company, he is slightly concerned about the future of the industry with less and less young people becoming involved in the trade. “The schools have gotten away from providing the trade classes and I think that could really affect the industry,” says Sestito.

As T & J Electrical Associates progresses into the future, Sestito says he and his brother are very happy with the success that the company has and he is confident in the future of the business with the next generation of managing partners. “This company has provided a very good living for me and my brother and our families,” says Sestito. “We’re very pleased with the way things have turned out. It’s been quite a ride.”

T & J Electrical Associates continues to satisfy its current clients while attracting new business. 

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Gexpro
SimplexGrinnell
The Bonadio Group