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Employee Interview: Jim Joyner

Employee at work

What trade do you work on?

I’m a Sheetmetal and Refrigerant Piping Foreman.

What job are you working on currently?

MUSC Specialty Care and Charles River in the Lowcountry.

What is your safety focus right now?

I’m currently working by myself with Test and Balance subs on my two projects, which involves climbing ladders and working above the ceiling grid, so I’m always aware of the 3 Point Contact Method and the proper working height of each ladder.

How long have you been at Guimarin?

Going on 5 or 6 years.

How long have you been in construction?

Going on 30 years.

Why did you get into construction?

The main reason I got into Heating and Air Conditioning is I realized everybody likes to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  Seemed like a pretty high demand career to me.

How did you get started on your first job and get to where you are today?

I worked for my cousins who owned a Heating and Air Conditioning company called MacDabco as a sheet metal helper, which evolved into a sheet metal mechanic’s position. I then moved to HVAC Service and Sales. I owned my own business for 15 years before I came to work for WBG. My career progressed as I wanted to further myself in the industry and make myself more valuable to the people I worked with and around. In this industry you’re always learning. It’s been good to me and my family. My son currently owns his own Heating and Air business, and my youngest son is working for him, so it’s become multi-generational.

How has your experience been here at WBG?

When I interviewed for the employment opportunity here with Robbie and Bill, I told them I was looking for some place I could call my “Work Home.”  It didn’t take me a long time to realize I’d made the right decision to come here.  Everyone I’ve worked with and around has been a pleasure.  The environment here at Guimarin is one of serious business, but I’ve also seen a true concern for my welfare from proper training (whether it be first aid, OSHA, or how to operate a scissor lift), their main goal is job site safety and personal wellbeing.  There’s been some good times and bad times, but I’m happy to say more good than bad.  I look forward to being here as long as they’ll have me, and am excited to see what’s around the bend.

What advice would you give to someone who’s considering a career in HVAC?

I wish that I’d gone to school – it would have given me a faster working knowledge of refrigerant and the service aspects of HVAC.  Another important aspect is being able to invest the time to establish a skill level that in my eyes is disappearing.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

(The hardest part is adapting to the work load as my body gets older.  I can’t do what I used to do when I was 21!)  As a foreman, letting someone down, whether it be a project manager or a fellow employee – I think everyone wants to satisfy their coworkers and the people in command; I don’t like it when I’m a disappointment.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

There are several aspects that are enjoyable.  I’m always working somewhere different – I can’t imagine myself working in the same place year after year.  Meeting new people is a high point as well – whether it be fellow employees, other contractors, etc.  As time goes on, we go to certain jobs and meet contractors that we’ve known almost as long as our family members, and that’s enjoyable, but meeting new people is fun as well.