It was May 23rd, 1993, when I first entered the world of construction. Fresh off the farm and in between semesters of technical college, I could not wait to start a “Real” job in the industry building beautiful homes and commercial buildings. I had this idea that I would be reading plans and erecting some of the coolest buildings. As I sat down in the morning meeting while wearing my brand-new work boots, next to the rest of the guys, the big boss spoke up and said, “This is Mark, and he is going to show us what he is learning in school.” It quickly dawned on me that everything I learned in school was about to be put into practice. When I arrived on my first job site, I was digging through my toolbox getting the tools I thought I would need when the foreman said, “You aren’t going to find any brains in there, let’s get to work and see what you can do.” He was right! By 7:30am I was ankle deep in mud carrying concrete wall forms, and by the end of that first day I learned that not everything was in the books. The foreman taught me all the tips and tricks to make things more efficient and be just a little easier. Those things are the things that you don’t find in books but only find with experience.
My biggest lesson that first day, was that I was part of a team that was doing something amazing. It was intimidating to think that in 50 years, this building could still be sitting on the foundation we were pouring that day. It’s rewarding to be part of something bigger than yourself. To be part of a process that creates an environment for people to work in or live in, takes a sense of creativity, know-how and passion. At the end of the day, you stand back with your team and look at what you were part of, and this gives a great sense of pride and ownership in what you have accomplished together.
I’ve noticed lately that the thousands of political signs have been replaced with “Now Hiring” signs. Every business owner I talk to says the same thing “I can’t find qualified workers.” Worker shortages along with material supply chain issues make everyday a real struggle to achieve customer satisfaction. We can’t control the material supply chain, but we do our part to strengthen our team by creating a positive work environment. I want everyone to experience that sense of pride and passion of a job well done. Not every industry offers the chance to create something that will last a lifetime, and that is something for our industry to take pride in. I would encourage anyone who wants to be part of a team that is bigger than themselves to reach out to us. We would love the opportunity to introduce you to an industry that you can take pride in.