The family business was love at first sight
Most little boys enjoy playing with toy diggers and trucks, but for three-year-old Max Correia the machines were real and his play became passion.
Now aged 24, the Devonshire resident is excited to be in a career where every day is different and he has the chance to appreciate the undeniable evidence of hard work.
His father and grandfather established Correia Construction and he watched it grow from a small Bermudian business to an international operator.
He said: “I knew I wanted to be in construction from the very first time my dad took me on a site when I was three years old.
“I loved the big equipment and being around something, watching it progress, being able to say that I saw this when there was nothing, now there’s this amazing project that has been created.”
Mr Correia said the first time his father Dennis put him in a machine he was aged four.
He said: “It was a small Bobcat — they look like a big version of a wheelbarrow, they move small materials around a building site.”
In what would probably be a dream for many young boys, Mr Correia was operating one of these by the age of nine and recalled: “It felt like I was playing a big video game.”
Aiming to make his own mark in the family business, he went on to study in Massachusetts and specialised as a diesel mechanic.
He has since done “anything and everything” in the company and now manages labourers.
Many of Mr Correia’s friends also work in the industry, some alongside him, and he explained: “They saw the exciting things I do day-to-day, it pretty much brought everybody in my age group wanting to work with me, every day is different. In the construction industry you have a whole mix of all different types of people from all different backgrounds, so they can meet and learn from other people’s experiences.”
Although some classmates opted for more office-based or technology roles, Mr Correia pointed out: “There is definitely a lot of high demand for IT in the construction business like keeping up with the books and inventory, flying overseas to meet clients.
“You get the office work but you also get the chance to go on to the field to see what you’re putting into the computer is being built right in front of you.”
Seymour Barclay has been in the industry for 20 years and he too retains his thrill for the job.
He said: “I absolutely love it. Give me open land and a plan — that’s like a piece of artwork, bringing it from scratch to completion.”
The owner of Barclay Construction feared too many young people lack the desire or dedication for hard outdoor labour, especially in Bermudian summers, and felt there was a trend for them to gravitate towards computer or internet-related jobs instead.
He said: “I guess they can stay more abreast of technology and the lifestyle that the type of job would bring in comparison to construction work.
“You have a few who want to do architecture and project management, the cleaner aspect of the work.”