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In “charge” of talent

image L-R: Damian Rodriguez, Sr.; Damian Rodriguez, Jr.; David Rodriguez and Guadalupe M. Garcia

SAN ANTONIO - Don’t blame the industry’s tradesmen shortage on Damian Rodriguez Sr. The owner of Assurance Electrical Contractors is doing more than his part to attract young talent to the electrical industry, starting with his two sons, Damian Rodriguez Jr. and David Rodriguez. Both young men were so inspired by their father’s hard work in the industry, they’ve followed his lead.

 

 

    “They’re working with me now and I’m very proud of them,” Damian Sr. says. “When they were younger, they liked to come along on jobs. They helped the guys by bringing materials and learned from them. I explained to them when they wanted to help me that it was hard work to do. But they were willing to do that instead of going to college or some other path; they wanted to learn a trade.
    At age 16, they helped me on night shifts, weekends, summers and earned their apprenticeship licenses. Both are successful now and will have earned their journeymen’s licenses by the age of 20. Damian Jr. has his license and David will be earning his this month.”
    It’s a scenario Damian Sr. is familiar with: Growing up, he was inspired by his own family who worked in the electrical contracting field. He began at an electrical business, transitioned to a union company, earned his masters license and then established Assurance Electrical Contractors in 2004.
    The business’ beginnings were humble. The staff consisted of only Damian Sr. and a helper and their service area was small.
    “It was really a hard and scary decision to make but it was good in the long run,” Damian Sr. remembers. “The first few years were the hardest because nobody knew me as a contractor but after the first two years, through word of mouth, I started getting work. People recommended me and that is how my business continued. After the second year, I started hiring more people.”
    Today, Assurance Electrical Contractors is seven employees strong including Damian Sr.’s two offspring, who have helped their dad’s business adjust with the times.
    “Everything changes,” Damian Sr. says. “We’ve invested in the equipment, like excavators and bobcats, to make our job easier, and we have to keep up with the generations and technology. My sons have kept me up to date on that, especially with the phones – I can be an old-fashioned guy and they’re smart about that kind of thing!”
    His sons have learned a few things from dear old Dad in return.
    “On a jobsite, they look at me as a boss first and not a dad,” he says. “I hope I’ve passed on a lot of experience in the way to talk to people with respect, to do work the way it always should be, with no shortcuts. If they do that, they’ll continue getting work all of the time.
     “I would like to see the business grow and for my sons to take it over, one as president and one as CEO,” he continues. “Damian Jr. is really outgoing. He’s a hustler, wanting to learn more and more; he can run a project. David is following in his footsteps too; he’s learning from his big brother now.”
    Now that his sons are truly in the fold, Damian Sr. is enjoying the pride he feels in his family business.
    “It’s a good feeling that they want to follow in my footsteps,” he says. “I tell them they can be better than I am. To me, it was very hard to get where I am right now, but for them at their young age, they can continue higher.”
    Subcontractor Assurance Electrical Contractor is located in Von Ormy. –mjm


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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net