Veterans in Precast: John Rhubart, Materials Manager for Superior Walls - Northeast Precast

May 24, 2023

Join PCI Mid-Atlantic in celebrating military personnel making significant contributions to the precast concrete industry. Our May “Veterans in Precast” blog series highlights a few individuals who have cultivated successful precast and prestressed concrete industry careers. They represent roles in production, engineering, sales, various administrative positions, and purchasing, to name a few. These professionals have found meaning, purpose, and success in the construction industry, manufacturing products for our nation’s infrastructure and many buildings across the Mid-Atlantic region.


Service Background Skills are Fit for the Construction Sector

When speaking with veterans and researching the many reasons for hiring qualified former military personnel, the benefits are substantial—veterans bring the following attributes and characteristics to the workplace:

  • Proven leadership and readiness for leadership roles
  • Mission-focused approach to work
  • Experience working in diverse teams and organizations
  • Ability to adapt and make immediate contributions
  • Strong work ethic
  • Capacity to perform under pressure
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Self-starting initiative
  • Integrity


John Rhubart, Material Manager for Superior Walls at Northeast Precast, is a brilliant representative of how people with service backgrounds bring valuable, transferable skills into the construction industry—even behind the scenes.


John continues our Veterans in Precast blog series by detailing his work and service history that led him to his current position in the precast concrete industry.


PCI-MA: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Military Service

I joined the U.S. Army in February of 2001. I chose to serve in the infantry; my unit was Bravo Company 1-9 Infantry, 1st Cavalry Division, and I was stationed at Ft. Hood, TX. After a couple of years of training, my company was sent to the Anbar Province in Iraq in September 2003-October 2004. Separated from the Army in 2005, involuntarily recalled in 2006, and discharged again in 2006.


Transition from the Military into The Construction Sector

The transition from the Army to the construction sector has been fairly seamless, as there are many parallels. As a former non-commissioned officer, I always make sure my crew is prepared for anything that is thrown their way. I always make sure that my guys have the tools they need to complete their mission, exactly as if we were in a combat situation.


Family and Interests Outside of Work

I have two daughters, Adelaide, 7, and Hannah, 5. We love to do things outside, anything having to do with nature. I love Phillies baseball and going metal detecting. The oldest coin that I have found is dated 1772!


PCI-MA: How did you learn about the opportunity at your company? 


John: In 2016, I was living in Arizona and attending college. A friend of mine named Tom Talalaj, who happens to be the GM at Northeast Precast, asked me if I was interested in a job after graduation. He needed someone whom he knew was dependable, someone he knew would be at work every day and on time. I knew nothing about the precast concrete industry, but I was excited at the prospect of working with my friend, so I moved home to South Jersey and jumped right in. I started out in receiving at Northeast Precast. Utilizing the organizational skills that I learned in the Army, I consolidated all components and materials and soon became responsible for counting the inventory. Putting things away and counting them eventually led to purchasing the items.


PCI-MA: How have the skills you learned in the military helped you in the private sector?


John: I always try to live by the Army’s core values. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and finally, Personal Courage. You may think that some of these don’t apply after you separate from the military, but you’d be wrong. Coming into the industry not knowing much, a person can go far simply by applying these values to their everyday work ethic.


PCI-MA: What do you like most about your role and the company you work for? 


John: In purchasing, we love being able to save the company money. It’s the consensus that for every dollar we save, that’s a dollar that can be going into someone else’s paycheck. So, sourcing materials and finding the best deals to save some money really gets me excited!


PCI-MA: What project or initiative have you worked on that has been particularly impactful to you? 


John: Well, there haven’t been any in particular. But I’ve had a few wins here and there that have saved the company thousands of dollars, which is especially gratifying.


PCI-MA: What advice would you give a veteran interested in working in our industry?


John: Even if you’re new to the industry, come to work every day trying to learn something new. Learn everything and become indispensable.


Find more of our Veteran in Precast series on our blog, and if you’re interested in carving out a career in precast concrete construction for yourself, browse our career center to get started!



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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