I grew up in a construction family. My father was an Ellis superintendent for most of his career. Working with him first at home and then on the job solidified my decision that construction was for me. I knew I wanted to be a project superintendent.
For me, construction is a passion. While completing my bachelor’s degree in Technology Education, I minored in construction. Education for the construction industry never ends; I look forward to the opportunities to learn new skills and techniques. There are always changes by OSHA to keep the worksite as safe as possible; new requirements for specific industries such as healthcare; and technology is changing the way buildings are built. Keeping up with the changes and techniques requires attending formal training seminars, being part of hands-on demonstrations by industry experts, and learning on-the-job from other construction professionals.
Frequently I am asked why I continue to work in construction. The weather can be terrible, and the work is dangerous. Inclement weather is just part of the job. Whether it is cold or hot, we do our best to negotiate it. Safety is a constant concern, and we strive to work safely at all times. For those that ask these types of questions, I remind them there are things in any job that we can’t change and require us to work through.
Things I love about my work are:
- The constantly changing environment, no two days are ever the same.
- Different project challenges.
- Meeting new people – owners, architects, subcontractors, etc.
- Good pay and benefits.
- Most of all, being able to drive by a completed project and say “I built that.”
Construction is a very demanding industry and is not for everyone. Skills for the job involve much more than being able to use tools or handle a crane; you must have good math, problem-solving, and communication skills. Additionally, every project has an element of art, whether it is building a manufacturing facility or a church. As a construction professional, I try to bring out the beauty that is in every building. Sometimes it is the obvious things like elegant woodworking or stylized architecture; however, there is an art to creating a foundation that is never seen but required to support the building. Building a strong foundation, figuratively and literary, is why I love construction.