The true meaning of many of our modern holidays tends to get lost in social activities, shopping blitzes and greeting cards. So when a holiday like Labor Day rolls around, our thoughts are more likely to turn to back-to-school sales, barbecues or one last weekend at the beach.
For the construction industry, Labor Day is immensely important – I’d even say it’s “our” holiday.
The Federal Department of Labor defines Labor Day as “a creation of the labor movement, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, saluting the contributions they have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
One of the great things I get to do as CEO is travel to our thousands of projects around the country. When I do, I see firsthand the incredible work we are doing – building roads and bridges, airports and hospitals, schools, data centers, office buildings and much more.
I also have the honor of meeting many of the talented people – our co-workers – who are building those jobs. I am always in awe of the men and women who spend hours outside – this time of year, in the hot sun – translating drawings on a page into the creations that catch our eye and tug at our imagination. We build those projects that make people say “Wow, look at that.” If they only knew what it took to create – and how much love, sweat and worry is left at every job site!
Here, in their own words, are some of our co-workers who make us proud to be builders and developers. Check out more stories from our workers who built the World Trade Center Oculus and Transportation Hub, here.
Thanks to them and the thousands of Skanska employees across the country for the work they do.
“It’s a rare opportunity to be a part of such a great construction firm like Skanska. It takes a certain type of person to work in the industry and I know I work hard. I want to make sure that I am able to provide our subs with the tools and access they need to complete our job. Anyway that I can help, if I can do it, I will. There’s nothing I can’t do. I have many certifications but I have no problem doing the dirty stuff, if something needs to be cleaned I’ll tend to it. I am just very grateful.” – Manuel “Manny” Berrios, Miami Science Museum Team
“The best part of my job is meeting new people, seeing what they do. I love learning new things and how they impact our customers. I was inspired by a job superintendent to keep learning and that has made an impact how I work.” – David Culliver, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital in Fort Lauderdale
“I got into the craft after high school, recognizing the opportunity it held. The best part of my job is meeting different people and teaching my craft to others. My job is hard, but also fun, exciting and very rewarding.” – James Thompson, I-4 Ultimate, Central Florida
“After working as a Field Engineer in Virginia, I was nominated for the CCTP program and am currently on rotation at the I-4 Ultimate Project with the Safety team. The best part of my job is the travel, seeing other projects and participating in other facets of the industry that I would otherwise not get an opportunity to do. This is a fantastic learning opportunity, it is enjoyable, challenging and offers an opportunity to see, do and learn something new every day.” – Tyler Smith, SGL Safety Department
“I am originally from Haiti, so this is an opportunity to begin a career in my newly adopted country. The best part of my job is building Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) walls, watching them get longer and taller. Our crew is more than a team, we are building lasting friendships and a camaraderie that has become very important and fulfilling for me.” – Joseph Bruneau, MSE wall crew
“Showing others they can be productive and schedule-conscious while still being aware of their surroundings and making the right decisions to help protect the well-being of them and their coworkers is what I love about my job. It is challenging, it takes discipline and patience, but it is very rewarding to see people working safely.” – Lucinda Cox, Area 1 Safety Manager