Ten members of Associated Builders and Contractors’ National staff are spending the week taking part in The Zachry Craft Experience—a week-long training experience to give office professionals an idea of what it takes day in and day out to be a craft professional. The staff will be chronicling their time learning what our industry is really about. You can read a new entry here each day.
Sunday, Sept. 14, was arrival and “meet the instructors” day, as ABC National staff assembled in Deer Park, Texas—the hub of the petrochemical industry in America. Ten of us were transported to Zachry’s craft training center two miles away from Deer Park and, before we even left the parking lot, we were subjected to the first lesson of the week:
Seat belts, please. We do not leave until everyone has buckled up.
This seemingly simple rule is the foundation of the entire craft experience—safety comes first no matter how minor the detail—or nothing else follows. It’s a lesson that will be repeated throughout our meet-and-greet and the rest of the week.
We haven’t even started our craft worker experience yet, but one thing strikes me above everything else—while the effort and sacrifice that our craftsmen and women make in their work on a day-to-day basis is easily visible, what we don’t see are the sacrifices they make outside of work. The hotel we’re staying at for the week is nice—clean, comfortable, full kitchen, pool—but it isn’t home.
Each day, thousands of our skilled craftsmen and women check into rooms just like these, away from their homes, families and lives, for weeks at a time, so that they can build America. Sure, the pay is excellent, but these folks don’t do it for that. These are the men and women who truly enjoy their work and are proud of their craft. They love what they do. At the end of the project, when they’re packing up to go back home to their families, they can say “I built that.”
It’s the start of a new work week. Time for ABC National staff to go build something we can be proud of.
This post was contributed by ABC’s Director of Safety, Chris Williams.