Our employees are the heart soul of our company. You can’t build a building without hardworking and dedicated craftspeople. With that in mind, we have launched this new monthly series where we interview our workforce and learn more about them. We begin with Superintendent Newell Graf.
How long have you been in the construction industry?
I’ve been in the industry 47, going on 48 years.
How did you get started in construction?
A lot of my family did construction. I needed a job and construction was what felt right. I got out of high school at 17 and had a wife and kids and needed money so I went to work construction.
What is one thing you wish you knew before you got into the industry?
If I look back on things I would have changed, I guess I wish I would have done more schooling before just learning on the job.
What is your favorite part of working in the industry?
Every job is new. You get new challenges. You have to think outside the box. It doesn’t get monotonous. You meet lots of different types of people and get to know them.
What tool or piece of equipment do you like working with the most and why?
I enjoy jumping on the bulldozer because it’s different than what I do on a daily basis.
What was the biggest challenge that you overcame in your years of working in the industry?
Being left-handed in a right-handed industry has proven to be a challenge.
If you weren’t in construction, what would you be doing?
Marine Biology. Something outdoors. I love all kinds of animals
What skills have you picked up through the years?
People skills. Learning how to negotiate. Learning how to handle each person how they want to be handled.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies?
Woodworking, Carving, Garden and Orchard (Apples, peaches, pears, & plums) Blueberries. I like giving them away to people. I just do it because I enjoy it.
What is an essential piece of wisdom you have for the next generation of skilled craftsman?
“If you can find something that you love to do, and make a living at it, you’ll never feel like you’re working.”