Meet Jeff Barber - celebrating four decades with Skanska
In today’s mobile society, it can seem only natural to change employers every few years. So Skanska is fortunate to not only have many long-time employees, but to have numerous employees who have spent decades working for us. Here, we celebrate one of those who has worked at least 40 years with us.
Jeff Barber represents three generations of Skanska service: his father, Don, spent 33 years with Skanska (beginning when our Northwest U.S. building operations were still Baugh Construction) before retiring in 2000. Barber's son, Scott, spent 17 years with Skanska before leaving our organization last year when he was a field superintendent to start his own business.
As for Barber, he's busy running Seattle-area projects at Sea-Tac Airport and for a leading aerospace company, while adding new service stickers to his hard hat. He's had to get a bit creative with those decals: Skanska doesn't have service stickers above 40 years, so he uses two stickers: one for "40" and another for "3."
Excited by challenges and energized by colleagues
He started in construction by working under his dad as a laborer on a Nordstrom addition in Tacoma. He's stayed with Skanska and construction for his entire career – he's worked on about 70 projects – because he's excited by the challenges of the projects he builds, and he's energized by the colleagues with whom he gets to work.
"Bob Baugh set the tone of treating people fairly, building them up and giving them challenges," Barber said. That approach continues today, he added, and that's why several of our Seattle superintendents have also been with Skanska their entire careers.
When Barber finally decides to retire his Skanska hard hat, what he'll miss the most is "all the great people in this company." When you're retired, he said, it's hard to stay in touch.
"Everybody says, 'Just give me a call' – I've heard that over the years. But the people retiring don't really do that," Barber said. "You don't want to impose on those who are running jobs - they're busy."
But in reality, maybe that's a connection people on both ends of that call would appreciate.