Faust Company: Bridging the Generations
By: Erika Duelge
Bob and Bryan Faust, the father and son team from the Faust Company, Inc., are true experts in the plumbing industry. For five generations, the Faust family has worked in plumbing – with four of those generations having attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for engineering degrees – so it’s no wonder that they know what they are talking about.
“Working with family is a delicate balance,” notes Bob Faust, President of the Faust Company. “But when you have a long-standing history of trust and a mutual interest, it makes for a good working environment.”
Bob began his apprenticeship with the plumbers in 1975, taking his classes during his summer breaks from college. He became a journeyman in 1983 and joined Faust Company, which has been in business in Wauwatosa since 1898.
Bob’s son Bryan has since followed in his footsteps. Bryan finished his bachelor’s degree in 2007, is in the second year of his apprenticeship and is now working at the family company. He noted that he often spent his summers doing odd jobs around the office.
When asked about his decision to join the family business, Bryan admitted that he had considered pursuing other interests. “I considered a job working with computers and even a career in photography,” says Bryan. “What I love about my job is that it is challenging and each day is an adventure. There are always new products to learn about, changing laws to apply, and new customers to interact with.”
Having new customers as well as quality, ongoing relationships is key to running a successful business. As Bob notes, “Faust Company has seen many economic downtimes and has continued to survive through the years. I believe this is because of the solid relationships we have built and our ability to please our customers with high quality, cost-effective work.”
According to the research performed by the Plumbing Mechanical and Sheet Metal Contractors Alliance (PMSMCA), Faust Company is recognized as the oldest union contractor in Milwaukee. “Faust Company represents the strong and solid history of unions in Milwaukee,” said Peter Lentz, Executive Director of the PMSMC. “We are very pleased with the success the Faust Company has shown, and equally as impressed with their commitment to using our apprenticeship program.”
In addition, Faust Company is well recognized as a contributor to the future of the plumbing industry through the company’s support of the apprenticeship program. “As far as apprenticeship is concerned, Faust Company has always been an excellent employer,” noted Scott Hamilton, Training Director for Plumbers Local 75. “I am confident that any apprentice assigned to Faust will receive a well-rounded, on-the-job education. Faust takes the time and makes the investment to train apprentices, which in return, rewards them with highly productive journeymen plumbers.”
Bob and Bryan both recognize that despite their success, there is a constant need to adapt and change to meet client needs. Currently, Bryan is learning about plumbing solar energy techniques, which he believes is the future of plumbing. It is this willingness to learn and adapt that showcases the high standards of union construction, and will hopefully keep the Faust Company around for another 111 years.