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: Mahendra Mandadapu
Company: Beaver Excavating
Title/Position: Lead Project Engineer
Years Working in Construction: 5
What is the role that family played in your decision to join the construction industry?
When I was a kid, my dad used to take me to historic places every summer. He briefed me about the significance of why and how they were built—some historical monuments like the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and complex construction projects like Hydroelectric dams. My first exposure to construction was when my dad took me to a Hydroelectric dam during the 2002 summer. I was intrigued when my dad explained the construction stats to build Dam and its purpose. It had such a substantial impact on me. During my seventh grade, I exhibited and demonstrated electricity production from a Hydroelectric dam for a science fair project. It was evident to my parents that I’m drawn to such mega structures. When I had to choose a specialization at high school, my dad boiled it down for me and stirred me in the right direction to become a civil engineer. For which I’m forever grateful to him.
How have you incorporated family into your job/work/passion?
To me, anything that involves love could be people you work with, work that you are passionate about doing. In an average person’s life, one-third of it is spent at job/work. It is imperative to work on what you love. From the stance, I have a job that I’m passionate about, and I work with some of the exemplary people at Beaver who have constantly been structuring me to perform better and succeed.
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.
It forms over time through healthy workplace culture – it gives meaning and pride in their work. I look up to many people who helped me abide by my values and form new morals as we take on this walk of life. After leaving home at 21, steering in the right direction was crucial for my development(professionally and individually). Looking up at Leaders ( Project managers at Beaver that I worked with) gave me a new and broader perspective about the construction world and life. It taught me how a person should deal with different curveballs and stay focused on the big picture. My coworkers make everyday fun as we know new things together constantly. Going to work every day is a loveable thing to me. It brings on a smile and a sense of gratification that I have met such amazing people at work on whom I can count on. Lifting each other every day and being a constant pillar of support is nothing less than a family to me.
Why do you believe family plays an important role in building the future of construction?
Family evolves based on the company’s employee behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, management, and overall goals. It shapes the company’s workplace culture and builds professional relationships, growth opportunities, work-life balance, well-being of individuals, and job satisfaction. Family fosters a work culture based on responsibility, expression, open communication, and recognition.