Archive | February 2014

The Builders of America

JJID photo

JJID photo

Have you ever stopped to think about the people who build our cities and roads? The other day I was riding down the road and looked up to witness the construction of a major highway in the Washington, DC area. We were in stopped traffic and it amazed me that the road was being lain just like the floor of a house. I tried to explain it to my husband who was driving, but I think he thought I was making it all up. Above my head, pillars held floor joists and sub flooring…I assume for the foundation that would later be poured.

It wasn't the flooring that intrigued me but the people working on the road. I know, you are rolling your eyes about this…I'm not talking about the fifty guys standing on the side of the road talking and trying to look busy…I'm talking about the ones that really know what they are doing. I'm talking about the ones that have been building roads, houses, buildings for more than ten years and can walk into work and do their particular skill without hesitation. I had to ask myself if these people were different from those in previous generations.

Fifty years ago a person did not have to have a higher education to work a construction job. A person could apprentice under someone and work his/her way up the ladder until he was the lead foreman. But this isn't the case anymore. How do I know this? Well…I was talking with a young man who was getting a degree in Construction. Yep, you heard me right…Construction. He said that there were all kinds of categories under the degree; management, architecture, engineering, electrical. You get the idea. I was flabbergasted at first. But then he explained it to me. He said that with all the building codes and changes in weather with natural disasters, the infrastructure of our nation needed to be built by experts…not just someone off the street. Now does that mean we don't have day laborers or young men trying to do it the old fashion way? No…we do. It's just that times have changed and you have to go to college to build things. Which leads me to another thought…

Do you remember those legos you played with when you were little…or perhaps the wooden blocks? Now you have a reason to let your own child play with them longer. You can encourage your child to become our nation's next builder…our next construction expert. And when he or she is old enough, college will be ready to help fulfill their dream. Who would have thought that a little play could foster our future builders of America?

So the next time you go past a building or road being constructed, don't think you are looking at yesterday's skilled workers…you are looking at some of the smartest experts in their field…and they are creating perhaps some of the world's greatest structures ever built by mankind. Now there's something to think about…