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.
Company: John R. Jurgensen
Title/Position: Heavy Highway Construction Paving Superintendent
Years Working in Construction: 27 total/20 with Jurgensen Companies
What is the role that family played in your decision to join the construction industry?
My Grandfather started in construction in 1936 for the WPA (Work Progress Administration). He first worked on a dozer and then went on to become a foreman. He joined the Army in late 1939 and went overseas in WW2 in 1942. When he got out of the army in 1945 he moved from Kentucky to Dayton, OH and got right back into construction. My father has worked construction his whole life. He first ran a paver at Butler Asphalt and then retired off of the paver at John R. Jurgensen Co. I followed the same path as my dad starting at Butler Asphalt before coming to John R Jurgensen in 2001 as a Paving Foreman and in recent years, Paving Superintendent.
How have you incorporated family into your job/work/passion?
My son graduated high school and wanted to do Construction and has been at A&B asphalt for the last 5 years. That is 4 generations of our family in construction. Family plays an important role in the future of construction because of the knowledge that can be passed down from generation to generation and the passion that is carried with that.
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.
A lot of construction crews are very close to each other personally and spend many hours during the work season with one another which, I believe creates a close bond that is unique to our field of work.
Why do you believe family plays an important role in building the future of construction?
You see many families with similar stories in construction. Especially at the Jurgensen Companies. The future of construction is strong and I hope to see many generations to come follow in the footsteps of family members into our industry.