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Building a career & life through Olympic Companies

"My career began when I started working at Olympic."

Gerson Cortez has been with Olympic Companies SD for a year and seven months. He applied to be a carpenter when his cousin told him about the construction company. "He said he was working for a really good company where they only worked eight-hour days, and encouraged me to apply," said Cortez. He had already been working in the trade, on sheetrock projects for himself to working for other companies.

"People think construction is a really horrible area to work in. The way I see it, there's nothing more exciting than doing a project that's going to be around for years," he said. Building new things gets him excited, and he's thrilled that working in this field gives him the ability to build things for the community. "That's the most beautiful thing—being able to tell someone you were working on that floor of a building, or we worked on that project for a year as you drive around town."

No day is the same at Olympic Companies, and that is something Cortez has really enjoyed about the work he does. "They want you to learn how to get the job done, instead of 'just getting the job done.' There's a difference because Olympic will show you how to get it done the right way," he said. He has been able to learn a lot of new things he's been interested in, and feels that the company truly cares for him and his growth. Cortez has been a part of the Safety Committee at Olympic—something that builds on an integral principle at the company. "I learned a lot about how we handle and care about safety and our people. I brought suggestions to the team, and they took all of it into consideration."

He says that the Safety Director and Field Superintendent at Olympic Companies SD, Todd Tilberg, naturally builds safety measures into each project, and will tell the crew when things can be done better.

"I value that Olympic is always there to take care of you. It's great knowing that I'm working for a company that has my back if anything happens to me. It feels like a family. They really care for you as a person. We don't just work together; we talk to each other and it feels good to know that you have a friend and a co-worker at the same time—it's the best," said Cortez.

For him, the company has created opportunities for him to pursue new things he's curious about within the field, while supporting him in building his life outside of work as well. He says he was able to get his own house, take time to fix things up, and get everything going.

"Once I started working at Olympic, I realized I don't want to go anywhere else. I want to stay here and jump into areas I need more experience in. If you ask me if I want to be here for 20 years, it's a resounding yes."

Cortez says he's building his career and his life at Olympic Companies.