Edwin Rogel drove 16 hours from Texas to Sioux Falls to be closer to his girlfriend’s family as they prepare to be new parents, while Cameron Heyliger left his Kentucky bartending job to become a union apprentice in South Dakota. They both knew they wanted to work in the trades, either driven by experience or a passion to do more.
“My first job was stocking shelves, and I had never really worked in construction. The idea of working in the trades is very different in El Salvador, the country I’m from. Then I got connected with Olympic here, and I’ve been learning about drywall, taping and finishing—doing a little bit of everything on the job site,” said Rogel, who has been with the company for over a month.
He says he has fallen in love with the city, especially the easier-driving traffic here compared to Austin, Texas. “I really love it when you start to visualize what you’re building is going to look like, and then you get to see it as a finished project. I also really like that I’m doing something physical,” said Rogel. “In construction, you’re around people all the time—you hear the welders or the chop saw, and you can smell and hear the environment.”