Q: What is your job title with Sargent? What challenges do you encounter in your job?
A: I am a Senior Forman for Sargent, but I always step into the role that’s required of me at the specific time. Challenges that I come across frequently include vague design plans and specifications that lead to RFI’s that can have impacts on the budget and schedule. Getting employees focused on specific tasks and making sure we’re 100% in compliance with safety requirements is an ongoing challenge. We also work in or adjacent to high traffic volume roadway so attracting the attention of the traveling public and being aware of your surroundings is critical.
Q: What was your work history like before joining Sargent?
A: Starting in 1997 I worked for several different contractors on projects in New England including pipelines and treatment plants. Prior to Sargent I worked for 20 years for a heavy civil contractor based in New Hampshire, primarily on bridge projects. My roles there included equipment operator, carpenter, iron worker, and concrete finisher.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job?
A: Pretty much everything. Being in the field and interacting with the crew every day is fun for me. I like hands-on work and sometimes it feels like being a kid again. Where else can you get paid for playing in the mud? I also don’t need to go to the gym – I get plenty of exercise every day doing my work.
Q: What makes Sargent a great place to work?
A: Lots of things. Our core values, including doing the right thing and investing in people – just like me. The amount of training provided, and the related certifications are unlike other places where I’ve worked. Our people are the best in the industry and great to work alongside of. They really make you feel welcome and like you’re part of the team. Competitive wages, being an ESOP, and the 401K benefit are all important too. The ESOP pays for itself through people putting more pride in their work. Sargent employees are well taken care of.
Q: Is there any part of your career that you’re especially proud of?
A: I like how the leadership at Sargent let me grow at the pace and in a way that I’m comfortable with. This has allowed me to be able to shine. I was also welcomed with open arms and felt like I could still be myself. Doing a good job every day allows me to constantly be proud of my work.
Q: Do you have any ideas about how our industry could do a better job of attracting the younger generation?
A: We really need to show the younger generation that there are many career options in construction, beyond just craft worker, operator, and foreman. Show them the other potential careers such as field engineer, mechanic, welder, surveyor, superintendent, project executive, and operations manager. There are so many alternatives, and the young folks just need to be exposed to them. People also want to be happy and have fun while they work. More content on social media of everyday work activities like operating a pavement saw, a trench roller, or a plate compactor can open people’s eyes to the varying tasks that take place on our projects every day. Wages are also a big factor on the younger generation’s minds. People are just chasing the dollar and need to realize just how important COLA raises and rising ESOP account balances are.
Q: Has there been anyone in your life that you’ve viewed as a mentor?
A: Yes, I consider several people at Sargent as mentors. Sean Milligan has taught me all about our internal company operations. I also like his honesty and how he doesn’t sugar coat things. That speaks volumes to me. Kendall Bickford has taught me to be patient and a wide variety of specific skill sets. He’s extremely knowledgeable, smart, and a hard worker. Matt Thibault taught me about the expectations of a Sargent employee owner and how we are all accountable to one another. Matt is also well organized and good at the paperwork side of things. Tim Blais was instrumental in getting me used to the company and taught me other skill sets such as HDPE pipe fusion.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: Hanging out with my family. My wife and I have four children, two daughters and two sons, ages 18, 14, 11, and 3-1/2. Right now, one of my sons has hockey every weekend in Massachusetts. In the summer we like taking trips to the beach, and in the fall, we make trips up to Errol, NH to camp with family and friends.