While many are still searching for their true calling in work-life, there are people like Tim McNear who don’t have to think twice about where they came from and where they are headed. Soon to be entering his third decade with East and Westbrook Construction, Tim McNear is a lifelong construction industry professional. Talking with Tim, you get the impression that he is 100% secure in his career path of choice – a path 30-plus years in the making and riddled with hard work, maximum effort and happiness throughout. Since he was a child, construction has been ingrained in him. Today, he is in an industry where he remains comfortable and familiar, doing the same things that have always brought him fulfillment and joy in the past, all while helping to bring along the next generation of construction workers.
We caught up with Tim to learn a bit more about his career with East and Westbrook and the path that led him to his current position as a Foreman.
What led you into the construction profession?
It all started when I was young. I grew up in a pretty good-sized family on a tobacco farm working and playing in the hay fields. There was always a lot to do and I’ve always been a hard worker – it was how I was brought up. I wanted to work so I tried working in a grocery store, and quickly realized that wasn’t my thing. I don’t like working in factories either. Growing up on a farm, being outside is what I love and running equipment was something I always enjoyed. Going into construction was natural. I get to work outside and I get to operate heavy equipment. I have been in construction ever since I was a teenager.
How long have you worked at E&W? When were you hired?
I officially started in January, 2000. At the time, I was working with a small company when the guy I was working with got sick with cancer. When he passed, the company was acquired (by East and Westbrook). I’ve been there ever since, about 17 to 18 years.
How has your role changed over the years with East and Westbrook?
I have been a Foreman since I started, but my responsibilities are always growing. The construction industry is always changing. There are new processes, new employees to work with. I definitely do a lot more paperwork than I used to.
After all these years, are you still learning things on the job?
Yes, always. But, I am in more of a teaching role now. Of course, if they don’t want to learn you can’t teach. For the most part, our guys want to learn and tend to pick things up quickly. No two guys do a job the same way. We are always learning from each other. I am all for learning a new way of doing things as long as it is safe and gets the job done.
What are your day to day duties like currently?
I have never been scared to get my hands dirty. I always work with my guys, moving stuff, doing whatever needs to be done. I like to get right in there and work with them. The good thing is in construction, you learn something pretty much everyday. You are learning all the time, especially in construction. There is so much to know and never a shortage of work to be done.
Can you recall some of your most favorite projects or types of jobs?
I’ve certainly worked a bunch of them. I guess, the most enjoyable is framing walls, and building things from scratch. I enjoy the concrete prep and framing work that we do early on in most jobs – grading the job site, getting it (concrete) ready to pour, whether it’s block or whatever the type of concrete we are pouring. Everything, all concrete work, takes some preparation and some precision.
How is E&W different than other construction companies?
They take care of their employees. If there’s work, they’ll work. If you want the hours you can get them. At same time, if you need flexibility, that is also an option. It’s very seldom that you don’t get your hours or have an opportunity to work more.
What are you favorite hobbies outside of work?
I spend most of my time on my farm (in Hardin County). We have some land, a few cows, some horses. I have 2 children, both girls, and 5 grandkids. The grandkids love spending time with us out on the farm riding the tractors and the horses. We spend a lot of time outside and do a good amount of horseback riding.
A growing team
East & Westbrook is always looking for passionate and hardworking individuals to join our growing family. Contact us to learn more about how to turn your passion into a lifelong career with the E&W family, or apply online.