From Laborer to Leader: Creating Your Path in the Construction Industry

Oct 21, 2019

The opportunity to work outside is one of the reasons Bob Cross was attracted to the construction industry after he graduated high school in 1972. College wasn’t cheap, and while he went part-time for a couple of years, he had enough of school.

He enjoyed working with heavy equipment and started as a laborer in the earthwork side of the industry. Bob knew he wanted to advance in his career, so he spent the next few years learning how to operate equipment.

“I was working as a labor operator, and the opportunity arose to run a small crew. I spent quite a while as a working foreman and would operate equipment and ran my portion of the job,” Bob said. “I worked my way up from the bottom. I’ve always tried to better myself and thought the more I took on, maybe the more money I’d make in the future.”

Bob continued to excel and took several Virginia Department of Transporation classes and environmental training courses along the way. His career path eventually brought him to Lane Construction, where he spent 13 years as a construction manager. The company merged with Salini Impregilo Group in 2016, and that’s when Bob started to explore different opportunities.

“When Lane merged, they started going in a different direction. I’ve managed to stay in Northern Virginia my whole life, and I didn’t want to move. I saw an opportunity at Branch Civil earlier this year, took it, and I’m glad I did. Branch wants to grow, and I think that’s a good thing. I want to try and help them grow,” Bob said.

As he continues his career with Branch Civil as a General Superintendent, his goals are to finish projects on time or ahead of schedule and to make the company money. Two things he’s proud to say he succeeded at in the past.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of pretty big projects, especially in the last 15 or 20 years. Before joining Branch, I was the construction manager for the Capital Beltway project, and I finished the earthwork portion of the Dulles Airport fourth runway project,” Bob said. “I enjoy seeing things built and have had the opportunity to work with a lot of good people.”

Bob’s been in the industry for 47 years and recommends a career in construction to anyone willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to get the job done. If you’re eager to prove yourself and take on more responsibility, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement.

“Not everybody’s cut out to be a lawyer or doctor. There is nothing wrong with being a mechanic, electrician, or whatever. We all need those people,” Bob said. “There are other ways of making a living and enjoying what you do. If you like working with your hands, you should look into the trades.”
____

Branch Civil roots itself in a longstanding tradition of serving the transportation and infrastructural needs throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast United States. The company’s history of planting, cultivating, and growing transparent, professional relationships with its clients has established Branch Civil as a respected name within the civil construction industry of our regions.

Branch Civil offers a dynamic range of services, including heavy civil construction, design-build, and site development. If you’d like to learn more about a career in construction with Branch Civil, please visit branchcivil.com/careers.

For more information about The Branch Group, please visit branchgroup.com.

.

SEARCH

Cost Engineer Joins Branch Civil

Cost Engineer Joins Branch Civil

  Please join us in welcoming Lee Price to the Branch Civil team. He’ll be working as a Cost Engineer from our Virginia Beach office. In this role, he’ll collaborate with our newly formed Project Controls group and will assist our project teams with budgets,...

Infrastructure Award for Joint Venture Project

Infrastructure Award for Joint Venture Project

We’re pleased to announce that the I-64 widening project in Henrico and New Kent counties (exits 200-205) recently received the HCCA Excellence in Infrastructure Award for projects valued at more than $15 million. This joint-venture project with Corman Kokosing...

Using Technology to Build a Better Future

Using Technology to Build a Better Future

Five years ago, Branch Civil’s version of fleet management was still manual entry. They had spreadsheets to locate spreadsheets were, and information traveled from person to person before it was ever entered into a computer. But at that same time, Equipment Operations...

Welcoming a New Project Engineer

Welcoming a New Project Engineer

Please join us in welcoming Project Engineer Nathan Collins to the Branch Civil family. He interned with us for two summers and recently graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Nathan’s passion for construction and the heavy civil...

Coleman Welcomed to Branch Civil

Coleman Welcomed to Branch Civil

We are pleased to welcome Project Engineer Trevor Coleman to the Branch Civil family. A former intern, Trevor will now be working with us full time in the Northern Virginia area. In addition to his recent graduation from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in civil...

Wilson Welcomed to Team

Wilson Welcomed to Team

We’re excited to announce that Matthew Wilson is returning to the Branch Civil family. He is a former intern and will now work as a full-time Project Engineer in the Virginia Beach area. As a kid, Matthew loved getting his hands dirty and helping his dad with...

Share This