How long have you been with EDA?
About 13 years. I actually started off in residential construction and then moved over to commercial construction with EDA, and I had the knowledge of interior construction to assist them.
When I first got here we were making panels on site with a hand-router and the product came out nice but seeing the evolution of doing all this stuff by hand, to having all these machines in the shop is awesome to see how much it grew.
During your time with EDA, how have you seen us practice our values?
In the beginning when I was working for other companies it was pretty cut and dry, like you’re just a number. It was 'okay you’re here, go do your work’ and when the work was done you’re laid off, you've got to go look for more work.
I noticed immediately when I got here that it was more family-minded, even though in the beginning there weren’t many carpenters, that group was still a family and looked out for each other. When jobs got slow they actually went the extra mile to find you a place at another company to hold you over until work picked back up. So just from the early stages I knew it was different; someone cared, you know?
What pushed you to start Reboot Construction Services?
I had a personal goal to start flipping houses and over time my mindset shifted, and I started thinking of different ways to achieve my goals while giving back to the community. A lot of people from where I come from (West Philadelphia) don’t have these opportunities, and I know there’s a lot of people with potential. My goal with Reboot was to open the doors of opportunities for my community into the construction industry and in turn help them support their families.
I did a breakdown of the demographics of Philadelphia to try and see why the job sites look like they do. When 65% of the population are people of color and it’s only myself and maybe two other people here it’s like ‘what’s going on here’? We developed the Reboot Program Curriculum to help prepare people for joining the job sites and a crash course to help them build confidence in their skills and open the doors for union sponsorship.
How are the Reboot and EDA teams showing our successful together mindset on the site?
Before we start a job, I let the team (Reboot) see everything we’ll be working on and have that transparency with them. That way they feel they can be as transparent in their communication because that’s how EDA works successful together.