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Meet the Consultants

Kevin Figueroa
Garco Construction
Kevin Figueroa

In commercial construction, many workers start out as laborers doing the hardest, most physically demanding work -- from picking up trash to moving materials. Over time,  through education and critical on-the-job training, these workers become  specialized team members with increasingly skilled and safe work practices.

Kevin Figueroa pushed himself through the ranks from laborer at a small construction company to lift director at Garco, working on the WSCC Addition. As a lift director with Garco Construction, Kevin oversees the crane loads and makes sure the riggers and bellmen are doing their jobs. He assures the crane operator that it’s safe to “fly a load.” Kevin is the last person to give the green light, which is a significant role.

“All the responsibility of that load comes down on me,” he says.

Kevin has more than eight years of experience in a variety of trades. After evolving from forklift operator to carpenter to rigger and now to lift director, Kevin says his commitment to continuous learning has brought him to where he is today. While he took classes and earned a certification for his current job, that gave him only the basics. He had to continue learning on the job.

“In the field, it’s a different story,” he says.

Moving up the ranks in construction means more to Kevin than just career advancement and pay raises. It’s important to him to help diversify the workforce and show others what’s possible.

“I’m from El Salvador, and when I was working as a carpenter, I only saw white people operating the crane. I never saw Latinos do anything like that,” he says. “I thought, ‘I can do that too.’ ”

Kevin wanted to prove to himself that he could put in the work, and he has goals for his future. He plans to take the crane-operating certification test next.

When he has an opportunity to teach his team or train an apprentice, Kevin feels proud. He also has some advice for those just starting out.

“Push yourselves to try new things, even if you think you can’t do it,” he says. “You won’t know unless you try.”

Kevin says he can’t wait to drive by the Addition 50 years from now, point to the iconic structure and say, “I helped build this.”


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