History

cherryIn 1955, Ritsema Associates began as a lathing and plastering company for the greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, community. Since that time, we have developed a full range of services that incorporate walls, floors and ceilings. Still today, Ritsema Associates sees each new job as an opportunity to please a customer. Over the years, we have added a full range of services including new and renovated exterior and interior construction, a comprehensive flooring department and showroom, along with a full range of wall and ceiling finishes that will help us meet your total interior requirements. Whether the project is big or small, we’re ready to respond to your needs to create solutions that will work for you, on time and within budget.

We have continued to expand beyond our main office in Grand Rapids by adding facilities in Kalamazoo and Traverse City. This makes it possible for us to successfully manage any project with a West Michigan location. Along the way, our dedication to the ideals of craftsmanship and relationship has made us a leading interior contractor and created a tradition we’re very proud of.

safety1
The success of Ritsema Associates dynamic safety program has not come about by mere coincidence, nor by mediocre efforts, but by an unwavering aim and a dedicated march toward an absolute goal of achieving an injury free workplace.  Our strong safety record is our compass, which lets us know where we are at, and more importantly, where we are going. The President of Ritsema Associates is committed to leading this march, and is followed by a culture of safety excellence that is ever so prevalent among all of our employees.

Our drive to achieving an injury free workplace is fueled by our commitment to each employee and their family, that we will do our absolute best, to ensure every employee returns home safely each day.  This commitment has also lowered our Workers Compensation and medical costs, MIOSHA citations and fines, and has improved our reputation with our customers who also demand safety excellence, which has allowed us to be even more competitive in todays market.
Highlights of Ritsema Associates program of safety excellence includes:

  • A full time company Safety Director
  • Pre-employment screening for drugs, alcohol, and certain criminal offenses
  • Safety orientations and training for all new employees
  • Training and certifications
  • Safety equipment
  • Toolbox Talks weekly training
  • OSHA 10 hour certification for all Foremen
  • Monetary Safety Incentives
  • Safety inspections

  • Newsletters and status reports
  • Progressive disciplinary program
  • A 3 year EMR average of .55 (this is an insurance rating where anything below 1.0 is considered above average)
  • Achieved more than 1.5 million hours worked without a lost time injury
  • ABC STEP award GOLD 2006
  • ABC STEP award PLATINUM 2007, 2008, 2009
  • ABC safety award of excellence 2007, 2008

Our futures are only built through our people, and it is obvious, we aim to protect them!

west_michigan_chamberABC is a non-profit construction trade association that fosters the principles of freedom of choice through the merit construction philosophy. That’s our mission, and it’s one that we work hard to achieve through the projects of the member construction firms across Michigan. Merit contractors and ABC are dedicated to providing Michigan with high-quality, low-cost, safe, on-time construction. ABC members build commercial buildings, industrial plants, municipal and public works projects, roads and highways, homes, and provide a wide array of construction services. Through innovative programs, ABC and its member contractors are:

  • creating more work opportunities providing more jobs and reducing unemployment
  • implementing innovative technology and ideas
  • using new tools, methods, and materials to enhance quality and safety
  • building 75% of today’s industrial, commercial and institutional construction
  • stimulating economic growth
  • training future workers through an apprenticeship program accredited by the Department of Labor
  • preparing young people for a successful construction career through the School-to-Career (STC) program
  • creating a marketplace built on the free enterprise system.


logo_csiThe Grand Rapids Chapter of the Construction Specification Institute
(CSI) represents an organization that strives to serve the Western Michigan construction community. CSI members represent a diverse group of individuals from Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Product Suppliers and Representatives, Owners, Distributors, Construction Managers, and also Specifiers. The Grand Rapids Chapter of CSI has been active in the Western Michigan are since 1967.

STEP Logo WebIn the construction industry, no resource is greater than our employees, and ABC members take pride in sending their workers home safe every night.  Safety is everyone’s priority, and improving jobsite safety is a continuous process that ABC member companies participate in every day. ABC created the Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) to not only recognize ABC member companies who consistently excel in the field of safety, but more importantly to provide an evaluation tool to help identify areas in which contractors can work to reach the ultimate goals”sending every worker home safe to their families every day. Ritsema Associates has received the Platinum STEP level, the highest level to achieve. With this achievement our company has a proven track record of safety that around 2% of all ABC members have accomplished. It also means that Ritsema Associates has OSHA recordable incident rates well below the national average.

2007 & 2008 ABC Construction Safety Award of Excellence. The Judges were in unanimous agreement that our submission was the “best of the best” not only in content, but also in presentation. We celebrated 1,836,080 man hours, 1,597 man days which adds up to a little over four (4) years with no lost time accidents!

2008 Award of Excellence winner

From a Greek revival home to its new location in the heart of downtown, the Grand Rapids Art Museum sets a high standard. The talented tradesmen from Ritsema have created yet another masterpiece. The ceilings in the grand entryway, theater and the three inverse pyramids, which are visible from the outside, are finished with BASWAphon which provides a seamless, smooth, sound absorbing surface that is as beautiful as it is functional.

Another testament to aesthetic design is the one inch ceiling reveal. The unique one foot reveal throughout hides recessed lighting, heating and window shade pockets. The combination of recessed bulkheads and lighting along with an abundance of natural light leave the impression not only of a floating ceiling but of a warm, inviting atmosphere.

An amazing feature in this “state-of-the-art” building is the two seemingly floating stairways. This provided a drywall and framing challenge which Ritsema met and exceeded. The finished product is a work of art which will only serve to enhance the art showcased on its walls. This stunning architecture is as awe inspiring as the art that it houses and it is this exceptional workmanship that has earned Ritsema Associates the Award of Excellence.

communityRitsema consistently pursues a close relationship with the communities in which we are involved. We accomplish this through individual employee involvement in local churches, charities, and schools to our corporate involvement with local non-profit charities, service clubs, and trade association. We encourage and empower employees to share time, treasure, and talent. It is important to us to contribute back to our communities in as many ways as possible.

Ritsema assisted Partners in Compassionate Care, a group of ordinary people committed to bring solutions in a war-torn land, by sending two skilled employees to complete the interior construction of a small hospital in southern Sudan. In 2006, Partners in Compassionate Care began construction of the hospital in an empty grass field alongside a dirt road. God provided them with many volunteers and gracious donors which allowed them to complete Phase I in three short building seasons. Spring 2009, the Memorial Christian Hospital Phase I was dedicated to the people in Southern Sudan.

Ritsema has been involved with Rotary International for at least 20 years. Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

The Ritsema employee family has been a contributor to the United Way Campaign  for close to 25 years. United Way is a worldwide network in 45 countries and territories, including nearly 1,300 local organizations in the U.S. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all, by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. The United Way movement creates long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of problems that prevent progress in these areas. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

recycleRitsema Goes Green – RECYCLING

Ritsema Associates supports environmental awareness in its business practices and operating procedures by encouraging recycling and waste management. One way we are doing this is by partnering with Armstrong World Industries in a recycling project for acoustical ceiling tile.

It’s good for the planet, good for you and easy to do!

  • No landfill fees or dumpster costs.
  • Provides early view of potential problems, structural issues, and abatement needs.
  • Eliminates confusion and space limitations during demolition.
  • Great for the environment.
  • Recycling in your construction waste plan achieves LEED credits

Let us show you how!

LEED GREEN BUILDING RATING SYSTEM

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was established in 1998 to measure the sustainability and environmental impact of new construction and existing buildings. Building projects must meet or exceed requirements in the following six categories:

  • Sustainable Site Development
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation and Design Process

Ritsema Associates works with distributors and manufacturer representatives in determining which products best present green building. Ritsema Associates follows these guidelines in all our building and remodeling practices.
U.S. Green Building Council Website   usgbc.org