This blog series will introduce our audience to some of the brightest and most dedicated young professionals in the PCI Mid-Atlantic chapter. These individuals contribute to the exciting future of our dynamic industry every day. Get a behind-the-scenes look into their lives and innovative career path.
I was born and raised in Millville, NJ and graduated from Millville High School. I attended college at Temple University and graduated with an accredited Bachelor’s degree through Temple’s Architecture program. Throughout my time at Temple University, I held internships relating to the industry and founded an organization specifically related to the university’s program in the Architecture school. The goal of this organization was to further connect students with professionals in the field to raise awareness of the needs and responsibilities in the industry. In any industry, gaining knowledge and insight from professionals with real world experience is invaluable. Throughout my life I’ve always had a knack for design and was intrigued by the construction process on how drawings come to life as actual physical structures.
My career began in the Heavy Highway/Marine industry where I was specifically a part of projects such as beach replenishment, outfalls, site work, and bridge/pier repairs. This is where I was first introduced to precast, during a pier rehabilitation project in Philadelphia over the Delaware River. Shortly after, my career in the precast industry began with Northeast Precast. During my time in the precast industry, I’ve had the opportunity to further my knowledge by working alongside experienced professionals, becoming ACI certified, and attending PCI’s level I and II training programs. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends (including my dog), hiking, boating, hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and hanging on the beach. Most important things to me are my family, my friends, and my faith.
PCI-MA: How do you have fun at work?
Shea: For me, I have fun knowing myself and others on our team are working together towards the same goals. Fun follows the hard work ethic. We make it fun! Being creative through challenges we face, overcoming obstacles, and achieving goals together. This is all rewarding which in return creates fun, knowing what we can and have accomplished together as a team. It’s amazing the amount of effort that goes into executing a successful project and continually improving our operations. Being a team and working together on our values in exceeding customers’ expectations and providing an experience that sets us apart from the rest is gratifying.
PCI-MA: Tell us about one of your proudest work accomplishments.
Shea: Having the opportunity to grow with the company personally and professionally is an accomplishment I am proud of. Being directed to lead and further build our project management team. Improving processes internally and improving the customer experience. Leadership starts from the top and is led by example by our owner, John Ruga, knowing our company’s story and where it started from is inspiring. Being a part of continuing the company’s growth and working toward our company’s goals & vision is something I’m extremely proud and grateful for.
PCI-MA: What is one thing you like most about your career in the precast industry?
Shea: We are a manufacturer that gets to build what we make. There aren’t many industries that get to be involved in and influence design, production, delivery, and assembly of their product on the scale that we are able to in this industry. Also, the opportunity in this industry, the ever-growing markets and evolving technologies within the markets. Being a part of that and improving our products to help the industry grow is great!
PCI-MA: What advice would you give someone just entering the workforce and the construction industry?
Shea: Something that was told to me that sticks in all aspects of growing professionally and in life is to “be seen and not heard.” It’s great to be able to communicate, have ideas, and talk about your goals, but the proof is in the pudding. Put your thoughts and words into action. Take initiative and do the work, put in the extra time, work hard, and most importantly take pride in what you do! It will not go unnoticed. Another word of advice is to “never stop learning.” Learn from your experiences, learn from your mistakes, learn from the knowledge of others, ask questions, be a sponge and build your arsenal.
About Northeast Precast
Northeast Precast is a state-of-the-art precast concrete manufacturer located in Vineland, New Jersey that offers commercial products and residential foundation wall systems. In 2001, John Ruga started selling Superior Walls® in New Jersey and started precast manufacturing in 2004. Starting as only a Superior Walls franchise, the company diversified and became known as Northeast Precast, a leader in custom precast products. Today, Northeast Precast continues to expand to meet the demands of the residential, commercial building, highway infrastructure and heavy marine construction markets.
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