If you could draw up a perfect student: one who listens, asks lot's of questions and is humble, In turn becomes the perfect teacher: one who is patient, is willing to go over the process again and again until the student learns and really cares about mentoring people. Well, you would end up with a picture of Mitch Barnhurst. Not only is Mitch an exceptional leader, but, has developed into an even better teacher. To have Mitch mentor and train the next generation of concrete finishers ensures the quality craftsmanship in concrete finishing will continue. I'm excited to announce Mitch Barnhurst as this month's spotlight!
I have worked in the construction industry for over nine years, starting right after finishing a church mission at the age of 21. I began as apprentice / labor for the concrete crew, working for Jacobsen Construction.
It typical takes 3-4 years to become a Journeyman Finisher and then having the option to become an ACI certified finisher and Technician. I did it in 6.
A little longer then most, but also during that time I became a journeymen carpenter, Certified Truck driver, Certified forklift operator, Certified Rigger, ACI Certified, and a Lead for the concrete crew, while going to school full time. I am now a Foreman running a flatwork and patching crew for the same company I started with, Jacobsen Construction.
I strongly believe that with desire, determination and asking why, one can become the best at what they do. I started not knowing the difference between a fresno and a bull float, or even how to use them. But by picking a good mentor and seizing any opportunity to take over for someone on a task like running a power trowel or rider, I learned quicker then most. I take pride in my work and give myself daily evaluations on my progress and goals so that I can make the correct changes to grow and improve my skills and knowledge of this industry. I work with a talented group of finishers that have helped in my progression.
Connect with Mitch on LinkedIn
Q: What made you want to stay in the construction industry?
I had the option to get out of the construction Industry and chase another career path, but chose to stay. When I was given a Foreman role and encouraged to train and team build I took that advice and ran with it. I found It to be rewarding to help others set and help them achieve their goals with in the construction industry. I enjoy the work, and most of all the people. There is plenty of opportunities to move up and to continually be challenged.
Q: What’s the one thing that makes you/would make you excited about going to work everyday?
When I was first learning to be a Concrete finisher, I went to work looking for something new to learn, by watching those around me, asking question and eventually trying it out. I didn’t limit it just to concrete. I am still learning new things as I spend time, team building and training.
Q: How about your crew? what can you do as the foreman to create that type of environment so your crew is just as excited as you to go to work everyday?
Create a learning environment, by helping crew members to learn to ask “why”. Giving everyone a chance to try and learn something new. This will only increase the knowledge and skills of your crew as a whole. Also allow individuals to train others in task that they’re experienced in will create trust amongst each other. Everyone has something to offer.
In our crew we our constantly training and evaluating everyone. For example, we have 16 crew members and have spent time training and setting the expectations for pan stairs with safety strips. These can be tricky, but out of 16 of the crew members 12 are trained with the other 4 not to far behind. (with half the crew being apprentices) Creating a learning environment is not easy it takes planning, the right mentors, time and money. But it is worth it.
Q: What is your proudest moment of your career & why?
Being able to say that with a group of 22 talented craftsmen that we hold a World Record for the flattest unshored metal deck ever, is both gratifying and humbling at the same time. I can look at the crew and see where we were five years ago, the difference between then and now is unbelievable and a massive improvement. Humbling in then sense of being compared on a world level to other crews, and knowing there is plenty of room to grow and improve individually and as a crew.
Hear What One of Mitchell’s Supervisors had to say about him?
Mitchell is an extremely hard worker who doesn't let anything get in his way. Through this pure dedication there are no limits to his success. Once he has a goal, he will not stop until he's able to achieve it. I've been able to watch Mitchell grow into a very talented craftsman, planner and leader. One of his biggest strengths is how good he is in training. He has a way of simplifying and explaining tasks to where everything seams simple. Then, if you somehow still don't understand, he'll get down and show you how it's done. Mitchell is also a very unique Forman who is able to admit his weakness, work on them and become an even greater asset, which is difficult to find. Mitchell is the true definition of an "Over Achiever". I have watched him juggle his family first, school, religion and a very strenuous work schedule. As an outsider looking in, I don't know how he is able to achieve this and make it look so effortless as he's doing it. He is proof that if you keep a schedule, plan ahead, make time for what's important and love what you do, you'll be successful.
Thanks For Everything You Do Mitch!!!