Cooper Jones

Landfill Foreman

Started at Berg: 2014

Q: What do you do here at Berg Construction? What are your typical responsibilities?
A: I am a foreman with the landfill crew. I’m in charge of getting the guys going in the morning, answering questions throughout the day, and making sure the job runs smoothly. I will also jump on some equipment and help out whenever I need to.

Q: What would you say is the biggest challenge of your job?
A: I would probably say my age. I’m only 24, so I don’t have nearly as much experience as, for example, my superintendent who has been doing this work for 40 years. I’m still learning in that aspect. The challenge is getting some of the older guys to actually take direction from me being as young as I am.

Q: What were you up to in your career before joining Berg?
A: I actually started working with Berg Construction right out of high school — I’ve been here since June 2014. Before that, I was just doing summer jobs. I worked at an orchard, I worked for a roofing company one summer, and I worked for a farmer throughout my senior year.

Q: What do you enjoy about your job? What excites you when you get to work in the morning?
A: I always appreciate seeing the end product of what we do. Also, ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved being around equipment. I still enjoy running equipment every time I get the opportunity.

Q: Why is Berg such a good company to work for? Why have you stuck around all these years?
A: Ford Berg and Dan MacArthur look out for everyone who works here, and they help you out whenever you need something. Ford is honestly one of the most generous people I’ve ever met in my life. If they see that you’re willing to work hard and you’re eager to better the company and better yourself, they’re very easy to work for. Also, I like how this is still a small enough company so that everyone is on a first-name basis.

I also just appreciate the fact that they’ve given me a chance to be a foreman. There are a lot of companies that won’t even look at someone my age for a foreman position, even if they’ve earned the shot.

Q: Is there any part of your job that you’re especially proud of?
A: It’s always a good feeling when you take the time to make things look really good. I take a lot of pride in my ability to operate equipment — for example, grading something just right is rewarding. I like making everything look pretty.

Q: How do you think our industry could do a better job of recruiting young people like yourself?
A: I had a different upbringing than some other people in my generation. I started mowing the grass at the age of six, and I enjoy doing hard work. One thing we could do a better job of is letting young people know that you don’t have to be stuck with a shovel in your hand forever.

I’m all about giving some of the younger guys an opportunity to run some equipment, and I think that’s true of most people at Berg. We just need to make sure they know those opportunities exist.

Q: Is there anyone in your life that you look up to as a mentor?
A: My dad has always been there for me, and he’s always showed me how to do things. He’s very hands-on, and he’s very good at what he does. He’s an auctioneer and a real estate agent, and he owns his own business. He has a drive in life — I feel like he always knows the next step to take.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I’m a very big outdoors guy. I love hunting — I hunt deer, turkey, bears, ducks, geese, you name it. I like to go fishing, I ride four-wheelers and dirt bikes, all of that good stuff. I also enjoy traveling for vacations when I can, and I play fastpitch softball too.