Careers: The Estimating Team

Jacob Paplham is a problem solver. As a former Take-Off Estimator, he now trains these estimators to break apart a bid’s specifications and blueprints into sensible pieces for the hollow metal, wood, hardware, and security integration pricing departments. These departments are then able to determine prices for the customer. In other words, Take-off Estimating is the frontline segment of the Estimating Division and essentially works on deconstructing – and then reconstructing – puzzles every day.

But it’s not all black and white! Jacob said many times, Take-off Estimators need to make judgment calls and use logic to figure out holes or confusing parts of the blueprints and specifications. In addition, many jobs come back with revisions and new deadlines, so estimators need to be flexible to changing demands.

Communication is also key. Take-off Estimators need to effectively transfer information to the rest of the department, so everyone is aware of the projects’ details. Finally, people in this department work both independently and as a team, since they individually tackle bid jobs yet help each other out as needed.

Jacob is a 14-year veteran of Estimating, with over half of that time spent as the Take-Off Estimating Trainer. He said as a trainer, he feels that a successful Take-off Estimator must be detail-oriented, able to meet deadlines and multi-task, and willing to learn. LaForce is currently looking for applicants in this role; more information here.


LaForce is a hard-working, friendly company that emphasizes culture, advancement, leadership, and growth. These four areas are the top reasons why people continue to work for LaForce.


“We really care about our employees.”

LaForce accentuates work-life balance, as well as community involvement and a healthy lifestyle. LaForce has an active Volunteer Network and Wellness Committee, made up of employees from multiple departments. Many initiatives are implemented throughout the year to help employees make healthy choices and give back to their communities. Beyond these resources, LaForce maintains a positive and supportive working climate for its day-to-day business.


“Your career here at LaForce is in your hands.”

CEO Ken Metzler started 36 years ago in the estimating department, and President Brian Mannering began working at LaForce 28 years ago in shipping and receiving. These are just two examples of the “advancement from within” precedent at LaForce. Most managers and leaders work their way up in the organization, and many other employees switch departments and duties during their tenure at the company.


“Our leaders are forward-thinking and engaged.”

With an open door policy and a management team that makes an effort to get to know all employees, LaForce is a growing company with a small business feel. LaForce leaders are innovative and hard-working, and aren’t afraid to get involved with the day-to-day operations of the company.


“If you’re looking for a stable and growing company to call home, this is it.”

Since 2000, LaForce had added seven new locations nationwide. This spurs growth and hiring not only at the new locations, but also in the support departments at the Green Bay headquarters. Growth at LaForce is also deliberate and responsible. New markets are carefully vetted and conservatively projected prior to investment.

These are just four of the reasons why LaForce’s workforce is so committed. For more information about current open positions, visit the careers page.