We asked Vinny about how he got his start in the industry, and what his thoughts are on EDA's culture.
What did you do before your time at EDA?
I’ve always been a Union Carpenter. I started my career by joining the Union in 1997 as an Interior Systems Carpenter. I had a cabinet shop with my uncle for a while.
What brought you to the construction industry?
My uncles were in construction, my grandfather was a carpenter… I’ve always loved construction. During the summer, I always worked at my uncles, doing side jobs with them. I couldn’t wait to get out of high school and get the tools on.
What was your reaction to seeing EDA’s emphasis on culture?
I was very surprised… but in the end, that’s what got me here. I got a job as a shop steward, and my B.A. (Business Agent) told me I was coming to work with EDA. I knew what the guys there were doing, they were on the same site that I was on. I was like “you gotta be kidding me? You’re gonna send me with an out of state contractor, working outside!?”. I was not happy about it. He tried to tell me they were a good company, but I didn’t want to hear it.
When I got with the crew though, the guys were great. Everyone got along well, and there was a real sense of comradery. It was a very different environment. It was the type of environment I always wanted to work in, one where everyone felt like they were part of the crew. The more I got to meet people, the more I realized that it wasn’t just isolated to that one crew, it was a company-wide thing. I was like “yup, this is the spot” … and now I’ve been with EDA for just under 8 years.
How is EDA's culture compared to that of your previous workplaces?
It’s very different. Other companies that I’ve worked for, regardless of where I was in the stack of guys, they did not treat me like they cared about me. You are there to do the job and when the job is done, you get laid off. Maybe they bring you back, maybe they don’t. You know who the company guys are, and they make it clear that you aren’t really “part of the team”. With those companies, you finish your job and then you are done with that company.
It’s not like that here at EDA at all.
What has been the best part about your experience working with EDA?
Construction in general is a constant challenge, which I really like. I’m not happy with the status quo, and I get bored with things. If its not challenging, I tend to lose interest in it. Construction in general has always provided a challenge. Whenever I’ve gotten very good at one specific aspect of carpentry, I’ve moved out of it into another one.
At EDA, my favorite part has been the growth I’ve been able to experience here. The leadership training, the small group training… being part of that has been huge for me professionally and even personally. A lot of the training I’ve experienced here has affected me personally.
What is your favorite EDA value, and why?
Build Trust, without a doubt. To me, that is the most important part of what we do. A team is built off trust, and you can’t have a strong team if you don’t trust each other. I’m quick to tell people that trust means a lot to me, because if I can’t trust someone, I tend to not want them on my team.