Each One Teach One

By: Richard Nickel

Two employees talking to each other

Helping to build people is more rewarding than building things.

When we get to be involved with someone’s personal growth, it is unbelievably fulfilling. There are so many career paths available in this industry that the options are almost unlimited ― be it a laborer who becomes a crane operator, or a crane operator that becomes a superintendent, or a carpenter who becomes a foreman. No matter the path chosen, we truly enjoy being part of the journey.

When the culture is right, everybody is learning from each other and we all grow together. You never know where the person you help today might wind up tomorrow.

A personal story about how one person’s kind act has affected generations: In his last several years, my grandfather’s mind was failing, and conversations with him became highly repetitive. One story that he told often was of the person that helped him get his first job after college. The gentleman was an older neighbor who owned a local motel and had a friend working at NCDOT. According to my grandfather, through the neighbor’s recommendation and encouragement, he got a job at NCDOT directly related to bridge construction. This put him on the career path that ultimately led to Carolina Bridge.

When telling the story, my grandfather was always humble and thankful for what a kind act from a neighbor had provided for him. He gave a lot of credit for where he wound up in life to this person, and believed there may not have been a Carolina Bridge without them crossing paths. This neighbor not only affected my grandfather, but his actions ultimately affected myself and many others.

At my grandfather’s funeral, I had two people come up to me with similar stories. Both of these people had worked for Carolina Bridge, with one going on to start his own company. They both were very thankful for what my grandfather did for them, and gave him credit for what they accomplished in life.

I am sure the neighbor that started this has long since passed, and unfortunately I do not even remember his name. However, he influenced a tremendous amount of people, and by providing training and encouragement, we hope to carry his legacy forward.

One day we will be judged not by the cool stuff we built, but by the people we helped.

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