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.
How many years have you been working in the construction industry?
Tom has been in the construction industry for 35 years. His two sons, Dan and Joe, have both been in the industry for eight and five years, respectively. Tom and Joe are both Servicemen at Ohio CAT’s Cleveland location and Dan works as a Field Serviceman out of the same branch.
What is the role that family played in your decision to join the construction industry?
“I grew up in a family where my father operated a small painting business,” said Tom. “I have tried to share my knowledge with my sons as well as learn from them. The three of us now all work together at Ohio CAT. The unique thing about this is I followed my son Dan here and was given this opportunity to work here.”
Joe said, “Not only did my grandfather run his painting business, but my dad also used to run a fencing business. I grew up in a blue collar, construction-loving family.”
“Growing up in a working household and seeing my dad always working with his hands made me want to follow in his footsteps to earn an honest living,” Dan said.
How have you incorporated family into your job/work/passion?
“This country was built on so many businesses being family operated. There are still so many companies in construction, both big and small, that are operated by families,” said Tom.
“My family shares a lot of the same interests in the construction field, and we all enjoy being around heavy equipment,” said Dan. “My dad, brother, and I all work for Ohio Machinery Co., and it’s nice to be able to help each other with the same jobs in the shop from time to time.”
“Having the opportunity to work with your family is something we don’t take for granted,” Joe added. “Since we’re able to do the same tasks together at work, it helps when we get together and have do the same types of things outside of work.”
In what ways do you see “family” show up in construction? This could be literal family relationships or a broader sense of the ‘construction family’ within your organization.
Joe echoed Tom’s point about the number of businesses in the industry are owned by families. He said, “So many companies in the industry are owned and operated by family, just like the company we work for. It adds another layer of togetherness.”
“When construction companies first start off, family plays a big role in getting the company off the ground,” said Dan. “Working with family makes communication easier and more effort is put into striving towards a common goal.”
Why do you believe family plays an important role in building the future of construction?
“Construction is a family and I believe family brings pride and quality to the industry,” Tom said. “In this day and age, we need to strive pride and quality on a regular basis.”
Dan added, “If we continue to keep and build around families in the construction industry, I feel that more passion will be put into the job at hand.”