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Retirement couldn't keep Mike Almond away from coming back to Olympic SD

Mike Almond worked at Olympic Companies for 23 and a half years before he retired in 2017. But it wasn't too long after that he came to work part-time at Olympic. "Sometimes I'll work two days, and sometimes three. Sometimes I'll have a couple of weeks off, then I'll come back and do a full week—whatever they need," said Mike Almond.

  For Almond, one of the main reasons for coming back to Olympic after retirement were the people he worked with. "I just missed being around the guys," he said. He had started at Olympic as a carpenter, and retired as a foreman. In those years, he built meaningful friendships with a lot of his crew members, some of whom he saw become apprentices, journeymen, and foremen. "What have I built at Olympic? For me, it's basically relationships with the people you work with—building lifelong friendships. There are people even to this day that I still go hunting and fishing with. When I first got into construction, you just drove through town. Now when I drive in town, I look around and I can tell people, 'I did this job. We did that addition on the hospital. We built that auto build dealership. We built that school where my granddaughter graduated.' These are all the things I've built at Olympic. I've helped build this community, while building a community for me through these friendships," said Almond.

Mike and Pepe

Almond said that a lot has changed since he started in the trades, but the camaraderie and bond of being a tradesman has always been present. "Now at a company with steady stream of work, you'll see that work is all year long. When I first started in construction, you used to get laid off during the wintertime because of the seasonality of the industry. Now, the only thing about the seasons is you have to dress accordingly," he said. The significance of training, the support they receive from their union, technology and tools and the importance of safety are things Almond considers all positives in the growth of skills and stability of the workforce. 

Over the years of working at Olympic Companies SD, Almond says he's truly enjoyed his work and the people he worked with on the field and the ones he works with at the office now. "Everyone treats each other with respect. They challenge you and give you opportunities to move forward. If you have a problem, you can come in here and talk with them and listen, and if they can help you somehow or some way, they're willing to do that. It doesn't matter who you are, if you show potential, they're willing to give you a chance. And that's what I really like. It's personal. They treat you like how we should treat each other," he said.

Mike Almond     Mike Almond