Summer work as the youngest of five union laborers in a construction crew of over 60 on a 164,000 square foot tilt-up concrete Fred Meyer shopping center at SE 3rd and Burnside in Gresham, Oregon. Worked with the tools, tradesmen and heavy equipment of commercial building construction from site-prep and foundation to finish roofing on a three month fast-track schedule.
- Helped form, reinforce, pour, and finish laser-leveled concrete footing pads, floor slabs, and pancake-like stacks of wall panels.
- Helped frame, reinforce, and pour concrete columns between the panels.
- Helped place and bolt together interior steel columns, glulam beams, joists, and purlins.
- Helped lay and seal plywood roofing panels, foam insulating boards, and protective sheeting with a thick layer of hot tar.
Learned how to dig with a knee for leverage to avoid back strain from "Smitty," the job foreman with 30 years of experience as a Union Laborer. Learned how a hand on the shoulder can help others get through the tough jobs easier from "Lenny," the labor crew foreman. Learned how to overcome unfairness by quietly outperforming others from "Goose," a career Laborer who made the hard stuff look easy.