Ben Swisher

Foreman

Started at Berg: 2017

Q: What do you do here at Berg? What are your typical responsibilities and challenges?

A: I’ve been working here since August 2017. I’m a foreman. My responsibilities include running jobs, scheduling our crews, and assigning tasks to our employees. When it comes to challenges, I would say it comes down to working on several different jobs in one day and the on-the-fly decision-making that comes with that.

 

Q: What was your education and background before joining Berg? How did you get started in construction?

A: A friend of mine in high school got me interested in construction. His dad was an owner at a construction company. After I earned my high school diploma, I studied landscape contracting at Delaware Valley College. Today, I have more than 20 years of experience in construction. Other than the eight years I spent working at a steel mill, my entire career has been in construction.

 

Q: What do you enjoy about your job?

A: I like building. I like problem-solving. When you mix those together, that’s pretty much what I do. There are a lot of issues that come up in a day’s time that I have to figure out and move forward with. That’s the part I like the most about it. Being able to see something on a piece of paper and apply that to actual real life is really cool.

 

Q: Are there any specific projects you’ve worked on that you look back on with pride?

A: I was extremely proud of the Hill School project. It was a complete mess that we as a crew made look like gold! The school has been around since the early 1900s. The work we did out there was something I had never done before. We actually lowered the basement while the building was still intact.

We were digging down and pulling stuff out, and every time we started working in a different spot, we ran into new issues or problems in our way. For a building that’s been there forever, going in and dropping the whole basement down a foot was a new experience for me, and it was really neat to see how we were able to execute the plans.

 

Q: What is it about Berg that makes this a great place to work?

A: This is a family-based organization. A lot of companies say that, but they don’t follow through. If there’s an issue with your family or someone you have contact with, they’re pretty lenient about letting you handle that before you get back to work.

They also don’t work us into the ground here. Most of the companies I’ve worked for expect you to work 10, 12, 14-hour days. Berg has a more laid-back attitude. I’ve worked for some bigger companies that only care about production, production, production. Here, they obviously still care about production, but they also make plenty of room for family values.

 

Q: Is there anyone you look up to in life?

A: My parents. The main thing they taught me is that you have to work for what you want in life. I try to teach my own kids that too. You need to make sure you’re pushing every day. If you want more, you have to do more. Don’t settle for halfway. Always push to be better.

 

Q: How do you like to spend your free time?

A: I love watching my kids play sports. We also spend time just hanging out at home or enjoying the outdoors boating or camping.