(Itasca, IL – October 20, 2015) – Zach Gadomski brings almost a decade of experience in construction and construction management to his new role of superintendent with PREMIER Design + Build Group. He earned his Bachelor of Science in construction management from Northern Michigan University, and secured his promotion by successfully completing more than 400,000 square feet in projects within two years at PREMIER. Join Construction Superintendent (www.consupt.com) as Gadomski shares how his background prepared him for his role, his thoughts on the construction worker shortage and his dream project.
Your early background in the industry includes residential construction and building materials handling — how did these experiences impact your career path?
I gained experience working in the field on various projects and positions. The more I see and do, the less I”m caught off guard. Working with building materials taught me a lot about the types of products that are available and helped me understand costs associated with various projects. I”ve gained an understanding of what is required for any given job and a better understanding of how to complete the work. Learning how to work in a trade and underneath a foreman onsite from a non-managing perspective gives you more insight into what workers deal with on a regular basis.
Did you have a mentor in the field and, if yes, how has this benefited you?
Yes, I”d say PREMIER VP of Field Operations Ron Nelsen and all of the superintendents with PREMIER have at one point or another been a mentor. I had the privilege to spend time on every recent job and work with nearly every superintendent. Each superintendent that I”ve worked with has had different experiences and has their own style. They have all provided me with tips to make projects run smoothly.
Talk a little about the research vessel you maintained and ran conducting an underwater land survey in Panama City, Panama. What did that entail?
Using GPS and AutoCAD, I worked with a crew that located metallic items lost on the ocean floor. We would use this data to help locate everything from shipwrecks to old electrical cables. I gained solid record-keeping skills from my time with the crew and enjoyed the opportunity to work and scuba dive in a tropical part of the world.
Of the multiple technical design programs you”re skilled at, which one would you be lost without on the jobsite each day?
Excel, for its versatility — I use it for schedules and daily reports. If I am marking up or noting a drawing, I use Adobe Acrobat.
What has been the biggest challenge you”ve experienced as a new superintendent? How did you surmount it?
The biggest challenge has been getting contractors to understand insurance requirements. It becomes this big web of connect the dots to make sure everyone is covered. I now address coverage issues as early as possible, and stress to the contractor to handle all the paperwork well before they think they are going to start work.
What type of ongoing training, if any, do you engage in on a regular basis? What has been the most meaningful discussion and/or who has been your favorite guest speaker to date and why?
PREMIER brings in guest speakers every couple of weeks that specialize in various segments of the construction industry that we may or may not be familiar with. We get detailed answers from industry professionals that provide us with up-to-date industry processes, equipment, technology and problem resolution.
Favorite guest speaker: Our lawyer discussing the legal side of the business and what the legal ramifications can be if mistakes are made.
Name a piece of advice you”ve received during the course of your career and how it has impacted the way you do your job today.
Trust, but verify. I routinely follow up with subcontractors to verify jobs were actually completed and completed correctly. I”m always being told something was taken care of and, unless you check it yourself, you can never be certain.
What is your dream project and why?
I”d have to say it would be an ice hockey rink. Since we are dreaming, I”d have to say something like what Detroit is doing for the Red Wings in what they are calling “The District.” I love the sport and knowing that a structure like that will become the center point for major organizations that are admired by many fans. Obviously, with the size of a job like that, the challenge level is very high, and a long-term goal to have the opportunity to handle something like that is something I’d strive toward.
Construction worker shortage is a topic touted by many organizations. What types of training would you recommend for those looking for positions within the trades?
There is a great deal of discussion about the high cost of secondary education and I think a lot of people overlook trade schools as an option. There are many different trades you could get involved in. I believe anyone can climb the proverbial ladder with hard work and dedication. The most important thing for professionals in the field is safety training. No one wants you on a jobsite if you”re not going to work safely.