I love my career as a construction worker; but from April to early October, just call me Coach Steve.
If you drive over to North Commons Park in Minneapolis, you’ll likely to find me. I’ve been a youth football and baseball coach for the past 17 years, with a good 15 more years of coaching left in me. As a proud father of four—now all adults—I started out coaching as a way to spend some quality time with my son who’s turning twenty this year. Although he didn’t make it past that first year, I kept going and I’m so glad I did.
My role as a coach can be hard at times. I suppose that’s because I’ve become a father figure to a lot kids over the years, which means at times I have to dish out tough love. Still, I enjoy watching them grow and develop friendships—a couple have even come back to help me coach. I often get, “Coach, you’re still coaching?” from former players, but it doesn’t faze me. I just want to give back to the youth the way my coaches did when I was a young man.
One of the great aspects of being a member of the Laborers District Council is its commitment to family. I’ve always wanted to give my children a better life than I had, and I’m fortunate to have a union career that has made that happen. Some days are very long—balancing long days on the job site with family and coaching—but I told myself a long time ago that I wouldn’t work for a company that made me feel like just a number.
Now, as a result, every time I look at U.S. Bank Stadium, I’m rewarded by knowing I was there from early-construction rubble to the ribbon-cutting. I watched when the old Metrodome was brought down, later stood at the site when it was empty and now it’s this beautiful stadium. It’s a point of pride to be able to say I built the thirty-foot support columns, along with the steps that lead visitors to their seats. I feel honored knowing the value I bring to my company and have learned a great deal in my journey as a laborer. But, no matter how busy I get, I always make time for family dates and game nights.