Tompkins named Daily Reporter “Rising Young Professional”
Wyatt Tompkins, a project manager/estimator for H.J. Martin and Son, has been named as a “Rising Young Professional” by The Daily Reporter, a publication covering the Wisconsin construction industry on a statewide basis.
The Daily Reporter bestowed the honor on 22 “outstanding young construction workers” in the state based on the criteria of demonstrated leadership, community contributions and success in achieving positive outcomes early in their career. Nominees were required to be in the construction industry for eight or fewer years.
An event attended by roughly 200 people was held on March 15, 2018, at the Harley Davidson Rumble Room in Milwaukee to recognize the publication’s first-ever honorees as “Rising Young Professionals.”
Tompkins has grown quickly in his career living by the axiom of, “You can learn a lot by listening.” As a third-generation construction worker in his family, it’s been especially true for him. From dinner-table conversations to a lifetime full of interactions, he has learned a lot by listening.
Today, at the age of 27, Tompkins has reached a position of significant responsibility for H.J. Martin and Son. He is one of the company’s top leaders on the largest drywall project in its history, the new Marquette General Hospital in Marquette, Mich.
Having a grandfather, father and uncle who have worked/still work in the construction industry definitely is an advantage if that’s the career path you choose. And it was the industry selected by Tompkins for his life’s work.
Tompkins began his career in the construction industry in March 2012, working as a truss builder for ProBuild in De Pere, Wis., where his duties included product specifications, measurements and assembly of floor and roof trusses, along with pre-fabricated walls.
A member of the U.S. Army Reserve since November 2010, his career in construction was put on hold in July 2013 when he began a 10-month tour of active duty in Bagram, Afghanistan, as a cargo specialist.
Returning to the Northeast Wisconsin workforce early in 2014, Tompkins took a position framing residential homes for Countryside Construction in Denmark, Wis. It marked the first time out in the field for him, seeing the actual building process from installing sheetrock, to wrapping a house and installing windows, among other items.
Two years later, while taking courses at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Tompkins joined H.J. Martin and Son in May 2016 as a Project Manager/Estimator. He subsequently earned an A.A. degree in construction management from NWTC in May 2017.
The latter part of 2017, having earned his stripes for H.J. Martin and Son for more than a year, including some time on a field crew, Tompkins was put into a leadership role on the Marquette General Hospital project. The $300-plus million project includes a state-of-the-art, 265 bed hospital facility, an 80,000-square foot clinical services building and a parking garage.
Tompkins joined the project at its earliest stages, in August 2016 at nearby K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, where H.J. Martin and Son began panelizing work.
Working directly under Project Manager Craig Nero and On-Site Superintendent Brandon Pecho, who have 33 years and 15 years of construction industry experience, respectively, Tompkins learned a significant amount on this massive project while carrying a high level of responsibility himself.
The drywall contract of H.J. Martin and Son for the Marquette Hospital project includes Gypsum Drywall, Cement Board and Exterior Sheathing; Metal Studs and Framing; Tape and Finish, Sound and Thermal Insulation; Installation of Hollow Metal Door Frames; Lead-lined Drywall and Radiation Protection; and Acoustical Ceiling Systems.
Among the estimated quantities of materials for the entire project are 79,584 linear feet of drywall partitions, 29,188 linear feet of exterior wall, 59,386 square feet of drywall ceilings, 22,866 square feet of lead-lined drywall and 1,935 hollow metal door frame units.
On a daily basis Tompkins walks the entire job site, checking in with company foremen to help resolve field discrepancies. Resolution can involve anything from referring to CAD files for accurate measurements and revision of construction bulletins, all the way to dialogue with project architects. Along with estimating other jobs, Tompkins also participates in morning meetings to review Requests For Information (RFI), done in an effort to clear up any subtle ambiguities or gaps in the construction documents.
At age 27, Tompkins admits that his level of responsibility can be intimidating, especially with many of his peers 30-or-more years older. A hospital project features a high amount of intricate work, he says, and you have to be continuously prepared for detailed inspections.
Tompkins finds that a significant amount of his work involves critical thinking, seeing potential issues in conjunction with the foremen before they occur, along with identifying solutions. He often runs into items in the field that the project architect does not foresee, and it’s up to Tompkins to resolve the discrepancies on this large-scale project.
Seeing the bigger picture, Tompkins has enjoyed watching all of the different pieces come together on this major project, scheduled for completion the latter part of 2018. He recognizes that it is essential to coordinate with the other trades on the job site and to help build relationships with the other companies.
“A lot of listening and learning has gotten me to this point,” Tompkins says, adding that with continued personal growth he one day hopes to lead such a large-scale project on his own.
And, with the amount he has grown in his young construction career, who would doubt that will happen?
Tags: Alyssa Bloechl, Brandon Pecho, Craig Nero, Daily Reporter "Rising Young Professional", Garret Nero, Marquette General Hospital, Mike Watermolen, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, The Daily Reporter, Wisconsin outstanding young construction workers, Wyatt Tompkins