Throughout the month of August, I Build America – Ohio is celebrating the role of family in the construction industry. In the world of construction, “family” means a lot of things. In some cases, there are multiple family members working together: mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, uncles and nephews working side by side. In other crews, the impact of family comes from working for a family-owned company. And, in other cases, a new family is formed through the bonds of working with a great team. One of the biggest drivers of new individuals to the construction industry is influence from a respected family member or friend, and we’re here to help share the stories of what family looks like in construction.
Name: Justin Hitchens
Company: Beaver Excavating
Years Working in Construction: 27
What is the role that family played in your decision to join the construction industry?
I started dating my wife Tanya when I was 15 yrs old. Her dad was a carpenter foreman that worked for Beaver but also did masonry, concrete and home construction as a side business. Helping him was a way for me to make some extra money during high school and college. I learned how to work hard and acquired a high level of detail for doing things the right way from him. I graduated college with a degree in engineering and went to work at a local factory making engine and transmission bushings for the automotive industry. The company closed the factory and outsourced their work to Mexico and I was let go. It was then that he went to Mark Sterling and asked to hire me onto his crew at Beaver. I started in August of 2003 as a Union Laborer.
How have you incorporated family into your job/work/passion?
The people you work with in this industry become part of your family. We spend as much time with our co-workers as we do our own family. We work close together while sharing in the successes and failures. Knowing that you can count on your team just like your family.
In what ways do you see “family” show up in construction? This could be literal family relationships or a more broad sense of the ‘construction family’ within your organization.
Beaver Excavating is a family. It’s a family owned and operated company that employs multiple generations of construction professionals. My mentor here at Beaver early on was Mark Kopp. Mark believed in family and made me part of his. Construction is a very satisfying way of life. Being able to step back and see not only the projects but also the people you’ve helped build is the best. All this being said, made it an easy decision to bring my own family into this industry.
Why do you believe family plays an important role in building the future of construction?
Family is a big role in construction. Not only can we count on them but it also helps drive us to be the best we can be to insure there’s a bright future for generations to come.