John Eller is a 2018 graduate of Kennesaw Mountain High School, where he went through then-instructor Jeremy Whitaker’s Construction Pathway program and participated in a “Signing Day” event at which he accepted a job with C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. He and Whitaker are now colleagues – Whitaker is director of training and recruitment for the firm and John was promoted to foreman in the company’s asphalt milling division at just 21 years old. He shares more of his story here.
How did you get interested in construction work?
I’ve always been interested in working with my hands. Growing up, I worked on cars with my dad and did small-time carpentry.
What classes did you take in high school to learn more about the trades?
I took three years of carpentry and construction classes with Mr. Whitaker. This is where I learned how big the construction industry is and all the different kinds of construction work.
What was the Signing Day experience like for you, and what interested you about working for C.W. Matthews?
Being a two-sport athlete in high school, the Signing Day for me was as close to the college signing day as I could get. It felt great knowing I had a direction for my future. C.W. Matthews has a variety of different divisions, and I never really new about the asphalt side of things and how roads are built. So I wanted to see what that was like, and I haven’t looked back.
What kind of training have you received since starting your job?
I’ve had a good amount of training since I started, from learning how to run multiple types of equipment to being a certified traffic control supervisor, and most importantly how to execute a job safely.
What roles have you been performed for the company so far?
I’ve had the opportunity to perform as an operator and leadman for some great foremen. Now I have the opportunity as a foreman myself to train the next generation of good and skilled construction workers.
What do you enjoy about your work?
With what we do, there is never a dull day. There are always new challenges and obstacles that we get to encounter and overcome. The best experience I have now is being able to share my knowledge with all these kids coming out of high school and watching them excel in our industry.
What are your career plans and goals moving forward?
At my current age, the sky is the limit. One day I hope to sit in an office as president or vice president of this company, along with getting these younger guys to the same position as me.