Finding stability and support at Olympic Companies

When Garrett Hodges' close extended family was moving to Sioux Falls from the Pacific Northwest, he knew his family of four was ready to make the move, too. This meant that his kids could continue to grow up with their cousins who'd lived just 5-10 miles from them since they were born. So last year, Hodges moved his family from Portland, Oregon, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

 

He started at Olympic Companies last November as Journeyman Carpenter—a fairly easy transition because he was already working a union carpenter job for a construction company in Portland. "It was just a family-based move and on top of that the union was available in Sioux Falls, too. The job move was a lot easier because I was able to just transfer all my healthcare and other things to the union and Olympic here," said Hodges.

For him, having that union support in Sioux Falls was really important. "I know it's a right to work state, but I felt better knowing that my family would continue to have healthcare and other support," he said. Being able to take care of his family while safely making quality work were Hodges' priorities when they decided on the move. He says working at Olympic has assured him stable work hours, and a secure and safe environment that cares for him outside of work. "Between work hours and the benefits for my family, they always reach out and are ready to support us. They start funds and things like that for the crew and families of crew members who've passed away."

The stability in work hours has especially helped Hodges lately as his family navigates schooling during the pandemic, and as they get ready to welcome a new baby early next year. One of the biggest things he's noticed since their move is that it's not all about work. "I've noticed that people work hard here for what they get, but it's not only about work because they get time for family and other things. Out there it was work, work, work, and see your family for two hours a day," he said.

So, what is Garrett Hodges building at Olympic Companies? "We're building 'quality.' We're trained professionals and get hands-on training through an apprenticeship. Our work is about safety and quality. They go hand-in-hand for a reason because we're not getting things done as fast as possible," he said. Olympic Companies makes safety a priority on each project and for every crew member, from sending out regular weekly Toolbox Talks to integrating safety into every task on the job. "You want to go home to your family each day. You could work your tail off for eight hours a day but if you're not practicing safety first, there's nothing after that."

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Hodges has noticed that being at a smaller company than his previous job, there's a lot more communication between everyone and within Olympic Companies. "There's strong communication that supports the quality of work we create as one team." He's recently been working in Brookings building the Raven Precision Ag Center at South Dakota State University. He said that he's really enjoyed working on this larger project because he's had a chance to know the crew better. "I've been working on that job since early this year, and just having that camaraderie with the group of guys not only makes the day more fun, but it makes it go by faster. We also get to work together, get to know each other, and care about each other," said Hodges. 

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Business Info

OLYMPIC COMPANIES, INC.
2823 HEDBERG DRIVE
Minnetonka, MN 55305
(952) 546-8166
(952) 544-8869 (fax)

Contacts

Owner/Director - Michael Conroy
President/Partner - Jeff Schwartz
Sr. VP/HR -EEO - Mary Jo Lecy
Safety Director - Mike Sturgeleski

Our Locations

Minneapolis, MN
Tel: (952) 546-8166
Email: jschwartz@olympiccompanies.com
Fargo, ND
Tel: (701) 365-0098
Email: jschwartz@olympiccompanies.com
Sioux Falls, SD
Tel: (605) 332-4420
Email: dsands@olympiccompanies.com
Milwaukee, WI
Tel: (262) 787-7006
Email: bluft@olympiccompanies.com