Harold Johnson came to California in 1947 with a dream! After serving as a company commander in the Army Corps of Engineers and working in the family construction business, Irving Construction and Wrecking, “Hap” Johnson decided that California was the land of opportunity. He came to California with his wife, $35.00 in his pocket and an old Buick. He worked as a carpenter at first, then after obtaining his contractor’s license, built custom homes. He went to work for William P. Gressen, the largest commercial contractor of the 1950s where Hap quickly rose to the position of Vice President. After working for Gressen for 14 years, Hap decided to start his own company, Near-Cal Corporation in 1964. Near-Cal started out as a small company building commercial retail centers, restaurants such as Denny’s and Coco’s along with numerous savings and loan buildings.
In 1973, Hap’s eldest son, Dwight Johnson, came to work for Near-Cal after serving with the Elite Search & Rescue team of the United States Coast Guard. Dwight started out as a carpenter and was soon running the concrete crews. After taking numerous business administration and project planning classes at Fullerton College, Dwight achieved his Apprentice and Journeyman certification and then became a superintendent for Near-Cal for the next ten years. Dwight ran projects from savings and loan buildings, tilt-up warehouses, commercial centers, and home improvement centers. In 1983, Dwight became a project manager and ten years later became Vice President of Near-Cal. He is adamant that Near-Cal stay on top of the latest trends in the construction industry as well as maintaining strict certification and training mandates for the company’s staff.
Carl Johnson, Dwight’s brother, came to Near-Cal in 1973. Hap had a different vision for his younger son. After graduating from California State University at Long Beach with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and becoming a licensed Civil Engineer, Carl started out as an estimator with Near-Cal. After ten years of estimating, Carl became President of the company and earned a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. This fulfilled Hap’s dream of having Carl run the day-to-day office operations while Dwight ran the field construction operations. Together, Dwight and Carl have led Near-Cal to the top of the industry with “big box” giants such as Lowe’s HIW, Inc., Home Depot, Kohl’s Department Stores, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart Stores as well as every major retailer and developer in California, Nevada and Arizona.
Both Dwight and Carl are licensed contractors in the State of California.