Jarad Wiederhold (left) and Dave Wiederhold (right), Ohio CAT – Cincinnati, OH
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?
Dave has been working in the construction industry since 1976, which puts him at 46 years in the industry. Jarad may have only started two years ago in construction, but he mentioned that it is a field in which he’d like to remain for years to come.
What role did family play in your decision to join the construction industry?
Family plays a huge role in the Wiederholds’ decision to join the industry. Dave said that his father had his own shop. That meant that Dave grew up around construction since the day he was born. He said that he probably started working on lawn mowers back when he was only about 10-11 years old. Then when Dave grew up, his two sons also both joined the industry. It was only a matter of time before Jarad, Dave’s grandson reached out to Dave about getting into the business himself. Jarad had returned from serving time in the Marine Corps for four years and originally thought he wanted to “turn wrenches” like his grandfather. When given the opportunity to join the Parts Department at Ohio CAT, he took it and has remained there since. Being in the construction industry runs in four generations of family for the Wiederholds.
How have you incorporated family into your job/work/passion?
For Jarad, it was important to him to maintain the reputation of the Wiederhold name that his grandfather had established. He uses his family relationship to motivate himself to be the best he can be for the company, himself, and his grandfather. Dave mentioned that there are advantages to having your family working in the same company. He knows Jarad so well and knows what kind of roles Jarad would be great at and other roles that he knows he’d be overqualified for. Because of this, Dave is able to encourage Jarad to apply for the positions that suit him or would interest him based on his talents and knowledge. Dave said that Jarad has been a leader in the Parts Department since he’s been there and it makes him super proud.
Why do you believe family plays an important role in building the future of construction?
Clearly the construction industry runs in the Wiederhold family and that has been successful for them. Not only do Dave and Jarad work in the industry, but so do many of Dave’s siblings. They are not the only ones though. There are a lot of families that see the benefits that the industry has and so you see a lot of families working in the industry together. This benefits the future of construction because they think you’ll continue to see later generations of families staying in the industry long-term. With family comes a knowledge-base that spans multiple generations.