JD McGowan

Residential Site Supervisor

Started at Berg: 2015

Q: What is your position with Berg? What are your usual responsibilities?
A: I started here in May 2015. I was a site foreman, but I just moved up to being a site supervisor. On a day-to-day basis, I run two crews to work on our residential sites. I make sure everything is taken care of on these smaller residential projects.

Q: What challenges do you encounter on a regular basis in your role?
A: We deal with a lot of challenges, but they mostly come down to getting everything organized — trying to make sure every job gets done in a timely manner and finding ways to meet production on each site. Just finding ways to work more efficiently, to complete each job on time, and making sure our guys work the right way — those are all challenges I deal with regularly.

Q: What were you up to in your career before coming to Berg?
A: I was an excavator operator. I ran equipment and built houses. I’ve been in construction pretty much all of my life.

Q: What do you enjoy about your current job?
A: I like the fact that we’re a large enough company to have the capacity to take on lots of different jobs, but we’re still small enough that you’re still a name instead of a number to them. I really do appreciate that. Everybody here gets along for the most part, and I enjoy the relationships I have with my crews.

Q: Why is Berg a good company to work for? What sets them apart from other companies?
A: They’re a very family-oriented company. They are all about family here. If you need time off for a family emergency or anything like that, it’s yours. When I had my child, Ford Berg actually gave me some clothing for my child as a gift.

Another example is how during the coronavirus crisis, they decided to provide meals for every employee’s immediate family. Everyone in the company would get meals every Wednesday. I can tell you that not many companies do that.

Q: How do you think this industry could do a better job of recruiting young talent?
A: I think we need to let kids know that not everyone has to go to college to make good money. I had no college experience whatsoever, and I’m in a pretty good position with this company. After high school, I went straight to the field.

I learned what I needed to learn to succeed in this trade, and I worked my way up. There are definitely opportunities out there for blue-collar workers to make a very decent living. We just need to make sure kids realize that.

Q: Is there anyone in your life that you’ve seen as a mentor?
A: My dad, definitely. He taught me a lot about life, as far as how to make money and save it. I didn’t have an easy childhood, but now that I look back at it, I can see that he set me up for success. When I graduated from high school, I had $20,000 in my bank account, and that was my own money, not given to me.

He taught me the work ethic I needed to succeed. He taught me that you make hay when the sun shines. I grew up on a farm, so I knew what hard work was before I ever had a job. My dad farmed in the morning and then worked second shift at a metal company.

A lot of guys in the construction industry don’t want to work more than an eight-hour day, and then they complain if we have a rain day because now they didn’t get their 40 hours in. My dad taught me to work hard without complaining.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I have a wife and three kids. I enjoy helping coach my son’s sports teams and just playing in the yard with my kids. I also love to hunt and fish. I enjoy any kind of outdoor activity, but hunting and fishing are my favorites. I’ll hunt anything with a heartbeat!