Kern County Builder’s Exchange, Inc.

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Profile appeared in our 30-1 Issue – April 2013

Not many businesses can say that they have been an integral part of our community for 84 years; braving the many challenges that have been presented over the decades only to be just as relevant today as they were at their inception. Kern County Builders’ Exchange, Inc., has had a great impact on the formation of our city, and it is still the spot where countless builders, contractors, subcontractors, and even the general public go to begin their building plans. Throughout our local history, the Exchange has truly lived up to its slogan, “All Great Projects Start Here.”

Mikin McClanahan, the current executive director and the first woman to serve as such for the organization, asserted that the Exchange has always been the go-to place for all construction projects. “Kern County’s building history is rooted right here,” she began. “When it was first created in 1929, everything was done through the Exchange. We are currently the largest Exchange in all of California due to being centrally located, which makes it a very valuable resource.”


The Builders’ Exchange truly is the place to go for all kinds of projects. Being a member of the Exchange takes the guesswork out of almost everything concerning the “who” of construction. Members include those who specialize in all levels of construction (from plumbers and electricians to home builders) and even range to people who are involved in aspects that some people may not consider, like lawyers—who are current on different codes and regulations. That’s essential information for anyone seeking to build. The Plan Room is now online and is an essential database for contractors in every sector of the industry.

“In our original building, we had a Plan Room, and that was about it,” Robert Moss, a long-standing member of 44 years, recalled. They experienced their greatest shift when they moved buildings in 1985 to the current location on Baker Street. “One of our members, Jimmy Stewart, bought the building because he had so much faith in what we were doing,” affirmed Tom Hartnett, another current director. “And his faith was well placed, because we paid him back as soon as we could.”


Members can not only peruse all of the plans available online, but the Exchange is also currently working on an app to assist members, as well. This is all just a part of the Exchange’s efforts to stay up-to-date and offer their members the best possible service.

President David Spalinger and board member Dan Boyance both agreed that there was one element that was most important. “The best thing about our members is that you wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of them to people seeking out the work they do,” Boyance stated.

With a history of reliability almost spanning an entire century, Kern County Builders’ Exchange is a veritable mecca for all things construction in Kern County, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Now that’s something strong to build upon.

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