Q: What is your role at Berg Construction, and what are your responsibilities?
A: I’m an operator for the landfill crew, and I’ve been with Berg Construction since November 2013. I operate everything here — I’m diverse in that area. I run a bunch of different equipment at any given time when I’m called upon to help out.
Q: What are some of the challenges you encounter in your role?
A: I have to think on my toes a lot when I’m working on landfills. Sometimes plans don’t come out according to the way we draw them up, so we have to be adaptable, especially with the weather. The slopes in the landfill are tricky, so you have to be careful with the machines as well.
Another thing I have to look out for is the fact that there are gas lines that we’re constantly digging around, and then there are the liners for the landfill, which you also really don’t want to hit.
Q: What were you up to in your career before joining Berg?
A: Anything and everything! When I was in high school, I was doing carpentry as my job. After high school, I did electrical work, and then I painted houses. I also worked at an NHRA-affiliated drag strip as a maintenance guy.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job? What makes you excited to come to work in the morning?
A: I enjoy the challenges of this job, and I also really value the friendships I have with the guys. Learning the equipment over the years was also a ton of fun. There’s nothing more powerful than operating heavy equipment. I also appreciate how working in landfills has made me more environmentally conscious, just seeing the amount of trash that comes into these places. I think on those levels a bit more than I used to.
Q: Why do you like working for Berg? What makes this a great place to work?
A: For most of my career, I’ve worked at small companies. Berg isn’t as small as it was when I first started, but they still maintain the family feel of a small business. I’ve known the Berg family since I was around ten years old. We grew up in the church together, and I’ve been friends with them ever since.
They’ve always been hard workers, and they’ve always been super-generous in the community, funding overseas mission trips and things like that. I’ve always felt that if anything serious came up in my life, they would be there for me to help out in any way they could. They trust their employees, and we trust them back.
Q: Is there any specific aspect of your job that you’re especially proud of?
A: I get scared off easily on certain things, but I stuck with learning these machines, and I can do some really fine-tuned detailed work now. I’m very proud of how far I’ve come with all the machines, especially the excavators and dozers.
Q: How do you think our industry could do a better job of appealing to young talent?
A: This is not an easy industry. It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes really hard work. I do think getting material out into the world through social media is extremely important for attracting young people. When it comes to incentives to get younger people out into the field, I’m not too sure. People need to be motivated by either their immediate family or a higher power.
Q: Is there anyone in your life that you consider to be a mentor?
A: Both of my brothers are people that I look up to. My older brother always knew what he wanted to do. He always wanted to be a pilot. He’s no-nonsense. You don’t mess with my older brother. He says what he feels and he gets things done. He also loves the Lord and that is always a big thing for me.
My younger brother is similar in that he always knew what he wanted to do, and he has always known how to get it done. It was a bit of a struggle for me because I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I got a bit older.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: My family is my life. I’ve been married since 2010, and I have a son and a daughter. My wife is a school teacher, and my son thinks I’m a superhero because I work in construction. [laughs] We just enjoy our time together, whether we’re riding bikes, watching movies, or just hanging out. As for my own interests, I do photography all the time. That’s my stress reliever.