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Career Connections: Construction Worker

6 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections.

(Describer) Title: Construction Worker. Bruno Frate, Operations Director:

A construction worker is anybody that actually deals with the tools to build a building, whether it be a house or a commercial structure or, you know, driveways or roadways or bridges.

(female narrator) So plumbers, carpenters, and many other trades are grouped as construction workers. Bruno grew up in the industry since his dad did roadway and highway work.

(Frate) When I was in my early teens, he would bring me and my brother out, and we would dig and do all this manual labor.

(narrator) It taught him about productivity and finishing a project, giving him a strong base for his current career.

(Frate) As I got older and started looking at college, I decided to go into civil engineering. That's the engineering category that deals with a lot of the infrastructure of the country-- water, sewer, storm and sanitary, roadways, bridges, and that gives you a good base understanding of construction. An average construction worker makes a median salary of $35,750, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. A typical day is spent doing the physical work of the trade.

(Frate) For a commercial construction worker, you're gonna come on to a job site, maybe a building, and start with the daily team huddle. This is where your trades team gets together and you talk about what tasks you'll need to achieve today and if we need materials or equipment that we haven't thought about, or what it's gonna take to get those tasks completed.

(narrator) Then there's a safety huddle. After that, it's time to work on the assigned task.

(Frate) We'll take lunch and get a break in the morning. About 15 or 20 minutes before the end of the day, we'll clean up, make sure we leave the site safe and clean and we're ready for tomorrow.

(narrator) Bruno says the tools can vary by trade.

(Frate) As an earthwork contractor, I could be using a dump truck, bulldozer, excavator, and a sheepsfoot roller. As a carpenter, I'm using Skilsaws, air nailers, and compressors. As a plumber, I'm using Sawzalls and drills.

(narrator) He says people make the job most challenging.

(Frate) From finding good people to trying to defuse tense situations with people, because people are emotional about the projects they're building.

(narrator) Bruno says working in construction is rewarding because you're able to see what you create. He's most proud of a project from a few years ago.

(Frate) It was an abandoned shell of a building. It was originally an old car storage structure for when new cars came from Michigan. They were unloaded and staged there before going to the dealerships.

(narrator) He helped transform the building into the condos we see today.

(Frate) It was interesting, and everybody sees it. It's sort of a Cleveland landmark.

(narrator) Bruno thinks new construction and renovations will continue in Northeast Ohio, keeping the industry steady in the next five to ten years. Students interested in this industry should take math classes.

(Frate) It doesn't need to be calculus, but there's always measurements that are taken. Every day, on every construction site, you're taking your tape measure out and you're doing field measuring, and you've got to add and subtract numbers.

(narrator) Bruno also suggests working as an apprentice with a company or local small builder.

(Frate) Because those guys are always looking for extra hands to hold up a piece of wood or to get pipe. Being a gofer is a great way to learn-- to observe and watch.

(narrator) He says once in commercial construction, there are steps to take to become successful.

(Frate) If you're a go-getter, if you work hard and you understand or can learn how to read blueprints, you can work your way up to being a foreman. Then, same thing, is if that foreman is a hard worker and can make his crew productive, and that crew is beating their estimated productivity, that foreman could get promoted to being a superintendent, where that superintendent oversees multiple foremen, hence multiple crews. There's definitely an opportunity for advancement, but it boils back down to people. You gotta want it, and nothing is given to you, it's earned.

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. Western Reserve Public Media. Copyright 2015. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

PH:1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Meet a construction worker who followed in his father’s footsteps into a rewarding career of operating large equipment like bulldozers. He enjoys his job because he is able to see what he helps create. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 6 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12